NBA Futures – Win Totals Betting for the 23-24′ NBA Season
We are just under two weeks away from the start of the season. There are many changing faces from front offices all the way down to the player personnel. Win Totals have been out for a few months now and there has been movement on a few teams but there is still some value in several teams. Today I will go through my top three win-totals on the board and analyze the overall trajectory of that specific team. Spoiler alert, if you are here to root for overs and positivity, you are in the wrong place, I’m sorry.
Denver Nuggets u52.5 wins
Nikola Jokic is the best and most dominant player in the NBA. I’m aware of Jokic’s greatness and what he does for the Nuggets. When you win a championship, two things are prone to happen, depending on your team. First, they got a taste of the success and are hungry to get back for more or secondly, they are a little hungover and only turn it on when it matters. I’m expecting a little bit of both with this roster shakeup and how much more loaded this Western Conference is.
In the last seven years, the Nuggets finished atop their division (1st or 2nd) and only went over this number twice. Last year they won 53 games and this year I think this team is more in line to regress to more of the mid 40’s. The previous three NBA Champions ended their next season with an average of 45.6 wins. The division is better which is where a lot of their damage is done, finishing atop (1st or 2nd) in the last five years. While still elite and likely to extend that to six straight, it will not be easy with other teams being better and Denver taking a very slight step back.
There is a world where Denver kind of coasts early while they try to find out who is going to be in their rotation when the games matter most. The loss of Bruce Brown is nothing to just gloss over. He was a connector on both ends and brought versatility that not many players off the bench can provide. The roster production outside of the starters is unproven and will be heavily relied upon. The draft was one of the best in the league but will they be ready to contribute at a high level right away? I don’t think they will.
Christian Braun and Peyton Watson are the two players who will be called on to take a big leap in this offense. Talented duo but again, can they be consistent contributors at a high level? These guys will without a doubt be solid players along with the rookies but they are an unknown and will be getting everyones’ best shot on a night in and night out basis. Denver will still be atop the West but back-to-back 53-win seasons is something i can’t foresee.
Cleveland Cavaliers u50.5 wins
If you have any Cavs stock, I hope you sold it last year before they got dominated in the playoffs. If you are still hanging on to some, this is the perfect time to sell before the season begins. According to their win total, they are a top five team, but do we really believe that? I don’t, but if you do, let me dissect this team as to why you should be on this under with me. I’ll refrain from the historic side of it due to the dominance of Lebron in two stints, but we all know those numbers are not in their favor.
This roster is not a 51-win roster, plain and simple. Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland are a dynamic backcourt but outside of those two, who are you afraid of offensively? Evan Mobley is an elite defender and will anchor that defense but can he develop into an average offensive player? That is too be determined which I believe is holding him back from being a star in this league. On ball defense is a bit of an issue as well but Mobley and Allen being so good helps negate some of that.
Their off-season was underwhelming, even with the additions of Max Strus, Ty Jerome and Georges Niang. The shooting is an upside but it doesn’t help any of their other weaknesses. The spacing with Mobley and Allen on the floor is horrific. Neither is a threat to stretch the floor, so defenses pack the paint to prevent Mitchell and Garland from getting to the rim. At forward they still don’t have a reliable option, and with Emoni Bates ascending in the preseason, they may be relying on him more than they foreseen.
Caris Levert and Isaac Okoro are being relied on to play a big factor on the wing, which should tell you all you need to know about this roster. The east will be more competitive this year and I don’t think this Cavs team (as currently constructed) is even a top four team in its own conference, let alone the entire NBA. Another factor in this under is the status of Donovan Mitchell being here for the entire year. I would not expect him to resign long term, and if the Cavs are smart, they will try to get a big package for him before he hits free agency in 2025.
In summation, I can see a step back here for this Cavs team, i have them projected at 44. All things considered, this could be a fringe play-in team if these new signees don’t pan out and the younger players don’t take another leap.
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Miami Heat u45.5 wins
No Dame and the win total only drops by two wins? Let’s not forget that this team barely got in last year and were a collapse away from being out in the play-in game. This opened around 47.5 in the summer when they were heavily favored to land Damian Lillard. I’ve got several questions about their roster and the continuity. They lost two key players who contributed on both ends and were consistent contributors on a nightly basis.
From a roster perspective, their biggest problem is still their biggest problem(s). They have no size and although they have depth, it is unproven in the role they will be taken over. Caleb Martin is a perfect example of this. Yes, he had a great run in the playoffs and arguably was their second-best player. Can he bottle that up and be consistent for a full season? That is to be determined as are the roles for other players looking to fill that void of Vincent and Strus.
Since the 14-15 season, the Heat went over this number twice. The division is usually where they pick up a lot of their wins but I think all those teams have improved while Miami is at a stand-still. After what they’ve done by getting to the finals twice as lower seeds, not sure it’ll be an incentive to be this 47 or 48 win team. They’ll be more conservative with Jimmy and with the unknown with their secondary pieces, I think the correct range is low 40’s.
THIS IS AN ARTICLE WRITTEN BY DELONTE SMITH
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