Sportsbooks released their NBA regular season win totals earlier this week and with the hullabaloo of Opening Night and Christmas Day games getting announced, there’s no better time to look at those numbers. While it may seem early to be looking at projected win totals, getting to the numbers quickly often make all the difference by the time the regular season tips off.
Here are five teams that provide the best value on their projected regular season win totals:
*Odds courtesy Westgate LV Superbook*
Washington Wizards (41.5)
The Wizards may seem like an odd team on this list. They never found their chemistry last season, due to the lingering injuries relating to John Wall, who missed 41 games last season. Despite this, Washington still managed 43 wins.
The biggest move the Wizards made this offseason is the addition of Dwight Howard. The veteran big man is an enormous upgrade skill wise. And while he hasn’t been a great fit in other locker rooms, the Wizards are betting he’ll be a difference maker, especially considering the notable friction between Wall and Marcin Gortat.
Losing 15 games last season to teams with losing records isn't going to help you contend or instill confidence. But, if the Wizards find a way to close out games, win the ones they should, and have a healthy Wall, then their season win total seems low.
Pick: Over 41.5 wins
Denver Nuggets (47.5)
Offensively, the Nuggets look great on paper: keeping Gary Harris around, Jamal Murray continuing to get better, and hopefully with Paul Millsap staying healthy, putting up points will not be an issue.
However, defensively, there hasn't been a notable improvement. They’ve ranked among the 10 worst teams in defense for five straight years and in close games, or games where the offense isn't clicking, they’re put at a disadvantage. Assuming the defense stays the same, paired with competing in a stacked Western Conference, surpassing their number will be tough.
Pick: Under 47.5 wins
Los Angeles Lakers (48.5)
A lot has changed for this team (LeBron freaking James) and the addition of the best player in the world takes them from a young, upcoming team, to a squad which should - at the very least - contend for a playoff spot.
What is working in the Lakers' favor this season, is that they will be playing 12 games against the likes of the Clippers, Suns and Kings, which fall under the category of “must win games” that they should be able to take advantage of.
Outside of James, the Lakers are still a very young team which is going through a big transition. There are a lot of concerns about chemistry and roles, which have yet to be established, and to peg them as a 50-win team seems premature.
Pick: Under 48.5
Portland Trail Blazers (41.5)
The Blazers were very lucky last season in terms health and surprised NBA fans and bettors alike, racking up 49 wins and finishing as the No. 3 seed in the ultra-competitive West. This year though, they appear to be more of a team on the playoff bubble.
The loss of rotation players Pat Connaughton, Ed Davis and Shabazz Napier are huge, and most certainly will be felt. They need Zach Collins to be the center they were hoping for when they drafted him. Although, upon first glance, their win total seems low, a regression from last year is almost a given.
Pick: Under 41.5 wins
San Antonio Spurs (43.5)
Kawhi Leonard is still a Top 5 player in the Association and losing him would hurt any franchise. However, Leonard played only nine games last year and none in the playoffs, yet the Spurs still put up 47 wins. Most of that is due to their dominance at home and that's one thing that won't change this year: it’s tough to play at AT&T Center.
The Spurs needed a scorer and that's what they got in acquiring DeMar DeRozan. Offensively, he’s a great addition, but his track record on defense has not been favorable and most of that is due to his lack of effort. Seeing how Gregg Popovich has helped mold LaMarcus Aldridge in to a serviceable defender gives bettors hope that he can do the same with DeRozan. While it will likely be a far more difficult, the Spurs are a team that can help transform any player and if anyone can help DeRozan on the defensive front, it’s Pop.
Pick: Over 43.5