After an eventful NBA offseason, the 2022 season tips off Tuesday, Oct. 18. Bets will be flooding in for the marquee opening-night matchups of Celtics vs. 76ers and Warriors vs. Lakers. But savvy bettors already have plenty of action via the futures market, investing in their top picks for MVP, Rookie of the Year and NBA champion.
Want to take it a step deeper and make even more long-term money? Let's bet on every NBA team's regular-season win total.
Over-under win totals remain a niche futures market in the sports betting world, but they gain popularity every season. For many, it's simply a way of adding some fun to watching and rooting for their favorite team throughout the year. For others, it's a legitimate method of employing their knowledge and expertise of the league to ultimately turn a profit.
Just like in any investment market, sharps preparing win total wagers must consider a plethora of variables, including offseason roster movement, coaching changes and injuries. These variables will be taken into consideration when building out a model to quantify the expected success rate of each team.
The Sporting News has done just that, and we're excited to share our predictive analytics with you ahead of opening night. Let's take a look at Caesars Sportsbook's projected over-under win totals, then highlight our favorite bets across the board.
MORE: Best bets for NBA Finals, MVP, Rookie of the Year, and more
NBA win totals for 2022-23 season
(All odds are from Caesars Sportsbook)
|Golden State Warriors||52.5||-115||-115|
|Los Angeles Clippers||51.5||-125||-105|
|Los Angeles Lakers||44.5||-115||-115|
|New Orleans Pelicans||45.5||-125||-105|
|New York Knicks||38.5||-130||+100|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||24.5||-110||-120|
|Portland Trail Blazers||40.5||-105||-125|
|San Antonio Spurs||22.5||-115||-115|
Best NBA win total overbets
Philadelphia 76ers OVER 51.5 wins (-120)
Not surprisingly, the squad we highlighted as a sleeper for the NBA Finals also cracks our list of best win total over bets. Sure, the East improved as a whole this offseason, but so did Philly.
On top of perennial MVP candidate Joel Embiid, a full year of an in-shape James Harden and an ever-improving Tyrese Maxey, the Sixers feature a litany of solid role players. P.J. Tucker provides elite defense and the best corner-three marksmanship in hoops. Tobias Harris consistently delivers wing scoring. Shake Milton, De'Anthony Melton, Matisse Thybulle and Montrezl Harrell offer additional depth.
This core rotation checks off a lot of boxes, and we have Philly finishing No. 1 in the East for the second time in three years. If it stays healthy, this team should be closer to 55 wins than 50.
Los Angeles Clippers OVER 51.5 wins (-125)
The Clippers have a balanced, versatile and extremely deep roster, and they are built for massive success if they avoid the injury bug.
Two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and two-way stud Paul George comprise arguably the most talented tandem in the NBA, and Los Angeles has the best combination of coaching, wing scoring and defense in the league.The addition of John Wall should help take some of the scoring burden off Reggie Jackson when the superstars are off the floor. And Norman Powell has quietly looked like a Sixth Man of the Year candidate this preseason.
Additionally, the ability for this team to play small-ball with Marcus Morris, Robert Covington and Nicolas Batum makes the Clips even more potent.
Many will worry about load management and the lack of a true big behind Ivica Zubac. But this team is stacked and poised to go on a serious run for the NBA title. Our model projects the Clippers to eviscerate the West and claim the No. 1 seed.
Minnesota Timberwolves OVER 49.5 wins (-125)
The Wolves made a huge splash in the offseason to acquire Rudy Gobert, arguably the best defensive big man of the 21st century. He could be the final piece of the puzzle for Minnesota, one that includes elite big man Karl-Anthony Towns and emerging superstar Anthony Edwards.
With Gobert improving this team immensely both defensively and on the glass, Minnesota should win 50 with ease.
Cleveland Cavaliers OVER 47.5 wins (-120)
The Cavaliers struck gold when they fortified their frontcourt with Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan Mobley, a skilled scorer and future Defensive Player of the Year. They also enjoyed a superb sophomore campaign from Darius Garland and breakout season for Jarrett Allen, both of whom were named All-Stars.
By season's end, they finished 44-38 despite a flurry of late-season injuries. Then, they acquired three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell, giving Cleveland one of the best starting fives in the NBA. This prop feels like a gift.
Chicago Bulls OVER 42.5 wins (-105)
The Bulls won 46 games last season despite injuries and issues with depth, and yet sportsbooks seem to be writing them off as a fringe .500 team.
DeMar DeRozan has grown into one of the most clutch wing scorers in the league, and Zach LaVine remains a threat at all three levels. With Nikola Vucevic looking better than he has since his Magic days, Andre Drummond and Goran Dragic improving the second unit and Javonte Green poised for a breakout campaign, Chicago should be right back in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Lonzo Ball's return from a knee injury would be the icing on the cake.
Best NBA win total under bets
Miami Heat UNDER 48.5 wins (-115)
The Heat had one of the worst summers in the NBA and probably the worst offseason in Pat Riley's tenure as team president.
They missed out on Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell and lost P.J. Tucker to the Sixers. They are essentially running it back after a postseason that saw Jimmy Butler desperate for some offensive help.
With point guard Kyle Lowry a year older and Caleb Martin projected as the starting four — not to mention a second unit that looks more like what you'd usually see from the Kings — we have a hard time envisioning Miami winning 49 games.
(NBAE via Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers UNDER 44.5 wins (-115)
The Lakers will assuredly be better than last season, but that's not saying much. LeBron James and Anthony Davis were sidelined for much of the season, Russell Westbrook had a disastrous year and the ancillary pieces offered little to no help.
While a few offseason additions plus the health of their stars will help get the Lakers closer to contention, too many question marks remain to bet on them winning 45 games. If Westbrook gets moved for a shooter and/or a big, there could be hope.
Otherwise, this could be another lost season for LeBron.
New York Knicks UNDER 38.5 wins (+100)
We wanted to pick one over/under with plus odds, so the Knickerbockers enter the conversation.
New York parted the proverbial seas to make room for point guard Jalen Brunson, who may or may not be ready to be a franchise player. Julius Randle, one of the least efficient big-usage players last season, figures to remain a cornerstone of the offense.
R.J. Barrett could take a step forward in his third-year, and Isaiah Hartenstein should help Tom Thibodeau's frontcourt depth. But we still don't see this team winning 39 games in the loaded East.
You need consistent defense, clutch shooters and scoring depth to win in this league — too many pieces are still missing with this franchise.
Orlando Magic UNDER 27.5 (-115)
We love what the Magic are building, and No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero should be the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year if he stays healthy. But the rest of his team is marred with injuries, especially in the backcourt.
It doesn't just feel like this team will be incapable of winning 28 games — it also feels like it would make no sense for them to even try. The rebuild will be complete after one more season in the low-20s.
[NBA Getty Images]
Oklahoma City Thunder UNDER 24.5 wins (-120)
The Thunder have been the kings of the tank for multiple years now, and they already have a ton of solid assets to show for it. With elite prospects Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson highlighting a fantastic 2023 draft class, another year of tanking should be on the horizon.
We love the Thunder's young core, but starting fives consisting of mostly guys in their early 20s typically struggle to stack together wins. We have no reason to think Oklahoma City suddenly improves upon its past two win totals of 22 and 24.
Over/under win total predictions for the remaining NBA teams
Atlanta Hawks (46.5): OVER (-115)— By a hair, with very little confidence. We love the offseason addition of Dejounte Murray but wonder if things will click right away.
Boston Celtics (53.5): UNDER (-115) — More confident in their NBA Finals aspirations. Too much offseason drama compounded by injuries to Danilo Gallinari and Robert Williams. There will be some growing pains with Joe Mazzulla leading the charge, too.
Brooklyn Nets (50.5): UNDER (-115)— Don't bet the farm here because our model has them finishing with 49 wins. But with depth issues and a top three that screams volatility, how can we possibly bet the over on 51?
Charlotte Hornets (33.5): UNDER (-120)— Franchise player LaMelo Ball is hurt, Kelly Oubre Jr. and an injury-plagued Gordon Hayward will need to fill Miles Bridges' shoes and the big man issues remain in Buzz City.
Dallas Mavericks (48.5): OVER (-115)— Luka Doncic comprised four of our NBA staff's 13 picks for MVP, and it's easy to see why. The additions of Christian Wood and JaVale McGee should greatly improve this team, as should a full season of healthy Tim Hardaway Jr.
Denver Nuggets (52.5): OVER (-115)— One of the toughest calls on the board. Denver has back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic and put a flurry of floor-spacers around him, plus Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. look ready for their comebacks. This is a big number, but we like them as well as any other team in the West.
Detroit Pistons (29.5): OVER (-110)— The Pistons put together a phenomenal offseason, and a full campaign of Cade Cunningham could result in Detroit's first All-Star appearance since 2019. Thirty wins is quite attainable.
Golden State Warriors (52.5): UNDER (-115)— With drama swirling around this locker room, we expect a bit of a championship hangover in the Bay Area. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson remain one of the most deadly duos in basketball, but their health will always be a concern.
Houston Rockets (23.5): UNDER (-105)— This roster has plenty of talent, but it's going to take some time for it to all come together. The wins will be fascinating to watch, but the losses will be eyesores.
Indiana Pacers (22.5): OVER (-125)— This one will go over easily if Indy doesn't trade Myles Turner and/or Buddy Hield and tank for Wembanyama. Tyrese Haliburton is one of my favorite breakout All-Star picks, and he has some young wing scoring around him.
Memphis Grizzlies (48.5): OVER (-120)— The Grizzlies emerged as one of the most dominant young teams in the league last season, and Ja Morant is my dark horse MVP pick. Do we honestly expect Memphis to go from 56 wins in 2021 to 48 wins in 2022? Pound the over.
Milwaukee Bucks (52.5): OVER (-115)— Another tough pick, but we have to go over. Khris Middleton will be back to 100 percent soon, and Brook Lopez is ready to play the full season. Everything this title contender was missing last year, it now has back in the fold.
New Orleans Pelicans (45.5): OVER (-125)— When healthy, Zion Williamson is one of the biggest difference-makers in the sport. And with the right pieces around him, the Pels should flourish. We love this squad to be one of the better overachievers of the season.
Phoenix Suns (52.5): UNDER (-130)— The over on this one is +100, which is tempting. But 53 is a big number, and this team has not improved enough for us to pick them to lead the conference again. Everyone else got better, while the Suns gained nothing but a PR disasterthis offseason.
Portland Trail Blazers (40.5): OVER (-105)— Don't sleep on a healthy Damian Lillard, especially with an underrated group of scorers around him. The Blazers won't sniff 50 without major defensive upgrades, but they can cruise to 42-45 wins based on offensive talent alone.
Sacramento Kings (33.5): OVER (-125)— The Kings are a legitimately good team now, and rookie Keegan Murray filled in the one weakness at power forward. My colleagues and I like Sacramento to finally put together a solid season — and maybe even end its record 16-year playoff drought.
San Antonio Spurs (22.5): UNDER (-115) — Gregg Popovich has a young squad that won't do much winning in today's NBA. Everything Popovich does is calculated, though, and right now it's clear that the Spurs are tanking for Wembanyama.
Toronto Raptors (47.5): OVER (-115)— The Raptors always seem to get overworked, but they have a solid core rotation and elite coaching. They hit 48 wins last season, and they should be able to improve upon that number this year.
Utah Jazz (23.5): UNDER (-125)— The Jazz held an offseason fire sale like we've never seen before, turning themselves into the Miami Marlins of the NBA. But Danny Ainge knows how to build from the ground up, and he'll continue to do that with a high lottery pick next season.
Washington Wizards (35.5): OVER (-120)— The Wizards are one of my favorite surprise teams this season. Bradley Beal will finally enjoy a solid core four around him. Kristaps Porzingis must stay healthy for 36 wins to become a reality, but if he does, this looks like a fringe Play-In Tournament team.