The NBA season is less than a week away. If the bettors are looking to make the most effective over/under win total bets, here are write-ups for the 15 teams in the Eastern Conference.
Boston Celtics – Over 59 wins
Even though this total has been set high, I have the Celtics winning 60+ games this season. The C’s won 55 games last season, passing their expected win total of 53. They did so with Kyrie Irving out injured for half the season and Gordon Hayward out for all of it. Adding those two stars to Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the rest of the Boston squad that experienced the playoffs, will make this team even better this season. Danny Ainge also has a ton of assets that he might be able to flip, so the possibility of improving even more with a mid-season acquisition exists as well. Lastly, they have the man, and my favorite coach in the league, Brad Stevens. He will make sure they are prepared night in and night out, and more importantly, help them rack up wins vs. a weak Eastern Conference.
Toronto Raptors – Under 55.5 wins
While most are bullish on the Raptors due to the Kawhi Leonard acquisition, I’m going the other way, as there are just too many question marks going into the season. Will Kawhi be locked in, or is he looking forward to free agency? If he isn’t, will the Raptors trade him at the deadline? Another reason for the Raptors regular season success the past few years was their great team chemistry, especially between Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozen. With the departure of DeRozen, will this team as a whole still have that chemistry? Will their bench be as good as it was last year? Will they be able to stay as healthy as they have been the past few years? Lastly, they have a new head coach in Nick Nurse. Can he coach and manage these egos? If any one of these go sideways, 56 wins will be hard to come by.
Philadelphia 76ers – Under 54 wins
I love the 76ers and can’t wait until they face off vs. the Celtics in the playoffs. That being said, I am taking the under. They are bringing back their two stars in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, but lost Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova, both of whom were big cogs during their 16-game winning streak towards the end of the season. On top of that, they missed out on all of the big free agents, and their 1st round draft pick Zhaire Smith suffered a fractured foot. Granted Simmons, Embiid, Saric, and Co. should improve internally, and getting Markelle Fultz back will be like gaining a another lottery pick, but this number is inflated. Then there is also the case of Joel Embiid’s health. It sucks to talk about, but if he does miss some time, or they rest him to be safe, that can have an adverse affect on their season total as well.
Milwaukee Bucks – Over 48.5 wins
The Bucks finished with 44 wins last year, but got much better at one key position, head coach. Mike Budenholzer is a huge improvement over former Bucks coaches Jason Kidd and Joe Prunty. He understands the modern NBA and utilizes spacing, ball movement, and shooting. Speaking of shooting, I love the offseason they had in picking up Brook Lopez, Ersan İlyasova, and Donte DiVincenzo. Why? All three can space the floor. Malcolm Brogdon was having a great season before he got injured, and should return back to form. Don’t forget, Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton are both going into contract years, so you know they will ball out. This will all maximize Giannis Antetokounmpo’s true potential. The King of the East should have an even better year, which should tip them over the 48-win mark.
Indiana Pacers – Over 48 wins
After winning 48 games last season, the Pacers should take a step forward this year due in part to their off-season. They added some nice under-the-radar pieces in Tyreke Evans, Kyle O’Quinn, and Doug McDermott. Evans should be better than Lance Stephenson, O’Quinn is a good hustle guy off the bench, and McBuckets should be able to get a lot of open 3’s playing next to Victor Oladipo. Aaron Holiday was also a great value pick at 23, and should be able to contribute right away. Bojan Bogdanovic is just a monster, and Myles Turner will only get better now that he is eating well and practicing yoga. His body transformation is incredible, so look out. Either way, if the Pacers are going to get this over, they will need Oladipo to take yet another leap, and I am all aboard for the ride.