NBA betting roundtable: Our best season win total bets, including the rejuvenated Knicks

·4 min read

Last season, the Houston Rockets' win total was 34.5. On April 9, they lost their 38th game to clinch the under for bettors. They still had 24 games left in the season. 

It's rare to hit a season win total bet that comfortably, but it's a market that many bettors like to dabble in. Yahoo Sportsbook writers Frank Schwab, Nick Bromberg, Greg Brainos and Sam Cooper give us their best bets, with all the odds from BetMGM (we went through our best bets for MVP, NBA Finals champ and other major awards here):

What are your favorite win total bets in the East?

FS: You’d think the Knicks would be overvalued. We all pay attention to the Knicks, good or bad. And last year was good, with a 41-31 record. They had a good offseason, building up the backcourt. Yet their win total is just 41.5. There could be some regression after a big improvement, but that’s more than baked into the number. Tom Thibodeau treats February games in Memphis like they’re Game 7; it’s not like the Knicks will be taking it easy after a big year. Over on the Knicks is an easy play for me. (I also like under 50.5 on the 76ers and over 48.5 on the Heat.)

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle will try to repeat his breakout season. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Knicks forward Julius Randle will try to repeat his breakout season. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

NB: After I talked up Scottie Barnes for rookie of the year previously I have to go with the Raptors at over 35.5. I think Toronto is at least a play-in team with a healthy Pascal Siakam and Goran Dragic is a functional starting-caliber point guard to replace Kyle Lowry. I also think we’re going to realize how much of a drain playing in Tampa Bay was for Toronto last season.

GB: Teams are going to hate playing the Heat. They finally have a point guard who can defend, so now to get a bucket you have to get past Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, PJ Tucker, and Bam Adebayo. Good luck with that. Over 48.5 wins. I also like the Wizards to win more than 33.5 games. They have a deep bench and I think Bradley Beal can lead them to the playoffs again.

SC: I agree with Nick on the Raptors being undervalued but I don't want to double up with the same team. How about more of an outside the box selection? I like the Detroit Pistons over 24.5 wins. I really like the young nucleus the Pistons have assembled with Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart to go with Jerami Grant and a few other capable veterans like Cory Joseph and Kelly Olynyk. Killian Hayes had a brutal rookie year but still has potential. With a coach like Dwane Casey, this team will compete and win some games it is not supposed to.

How about best win total bets in the West?

FS: I’m not sure where the Dallas Mavericks’ improvement comes from. They were 42-30 last season, which was a pace for about 48 wins in an 82-game season. Their win total this year is 48.5. Luka Doncic is great, but the dysfunction that led to Jason Kidd replacing Rick Carlisle at coach (big downgrade) is still there. Their offseason wasn’t great. And if Doncic misses any time, this will cash easily. It’s an under bet, and hopefully Doncic doesn’t ruin that action himself.

NB: The Spurs’ win total seems really, really low at 28.5. I don’t think San Antonio is a playoff team but its total is just five higher than Oklahoma City and one game higher than Houston. Both of those teams are playing for the draft pick. There’s enough talent in San Antonio where the Spurs should be competitive most nights and I simply have a hard time believing that Gregg Popovich is going to have a team with fewer than 30 wins unless something goes wrong.

GB: Much like an Elon Musk launch, the Rockets just aren’t ready yet. They’re in full rebuild mode and I’d be very surprised if a team this young won more than 27.5 games, so I’ll be taking the under. Another West total I’m all about is the Utah Jazz over 52.5 wins. Home-court advantage for the playoffs is extremely important to that organization, so they’ll be focused on capturing the No. 1 seed.

SC: I’m pretty skeptical of the New Orleans Pelicans, especially with so many new parts and Zion Williamson dealing with a foot injury ahead of the beginning of the season. I like some of the young pieces on the team, but it feels like the Pels are asking a lot from guys like Devonte’ Graham and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. And when Williamson does return, I’m not sure about his fit in the middle with Jonas Valanciunas. The number is 39.5, and I don’t see enough perimeter shooting or defense to get there. I like the under.