We are now closer in time to the start of the 2019-20 NBA season than we are to the end of the 2018-19 season. Excitement is building for fans of all teams. This season should be a good one with a lot of parity as last year’s two Finals teams, the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors, both lost key players.
The best teams for the upcoming season all have questions to answer. How will the season pan out? It’s tough to say.
However, there are a few teams that I have strong feelings about and that the American sports gambling firms are severely underrating or overrating. Here are some NBA regular season win total bets’ predictions and picks that I think you should take:
Dallas Mavericks under 41.5 wins at -145 with Bovada
This year will be the Mavericks’ first season since 1997-98 in which they haven’t had future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki on the roster. Nowitzki wasn’t much of a help to last season’s team on the court, but he was surely a big help off of it with his wisdom.
Dallas embarks on the Luka Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis era this fall. Will the two rising young stars fit together well? Maybe more importantly, how will the 7’3” Porzingis rebound from his ACL surgery?
There are enough questions with the Mavericks’ best two players. The rest of the roster is also basically a host of solid role players. Dallas has plenty of depth, but their starting-level talent after Doncic and Porzingis is lacking.
To be above .500 in the stacked Western Conference, you have to be a solidly above-average team. The Mavericks are not.
Detroit Pistons over 37.5 wins at -115 with BetOnline & SportsBetting
The Pistons lost no one who provided significant positive value to last year’s roster. They gained Derrick Rose, Tony Snell and Markieff Morris. Rose gives the team some needed scoring punch off the bench. Snell and Morris are both versatile defenders with some size.
Considering the Pistons won 41 games last season, it would be quite a surprise to see them drop four wins to 37 in a weaker Eastern Conference this season.
Sure, we could see some regression from Blake Griffin, who had a major bounce-back season at 30 years old. Aside from Luke Kennard, I don’t see any young players ready to make any leaps. I think the marginal additions the team made in the offseason should help them hold steady with last year’s win total.
Cleveland Cavaliers under 24.5 wins at -125 with BetOnline & SportsBetting
The Cavaliers don’t quite have the worst roster in the NBA right now. That “honor” probably belongs to the Charlotte Hornets. By the end of the season I think Cleveland’s roster will likely be the worst in the league.
Kevin Love is healthy again and the 29-year-old big man is clearly Cleveland’s best player. What incentive do the Cavs have to keep him, though? He is still prone to injury, he’s making more than $30 million per year through 2023 and his age doesn’t match up with the young core of Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Dylan Windler, Cedi Osman and Kevin Porter Jr.
By the middle of the season, Love will likely be traded to a different team. The young perimeter players will dazzle audiences with some fun moments but there is not nearly enough defensive fortitude or offensive playmaking for this team to be anything resembling respectable.
Phoenix Suns under 29.5 wins at -110 with BetOnline & SportsBetting
Every year, I think the Suns are ready to take a bit of a step forward in the Western Conference. Their roster is perpetually young and I always assume lots of internal growth. In the end, though, they have won just 21.8 games per year in the past four seasons, topping out at 24.
Are the Suns going to jump from 19 to 30 wins from 2018-19 to 2019-20 despite the improvements of most of the rest of the West? I highly doubt that. That’s what needs to happen for you to lose this bet.
Signing Ricky Rubio for three years and $51 million wasn’t the best move from a financial standpoint. However, he does help in the playmaking and perimeter defense departments. His eight years of experience could also come in handy.
That is really all in terms of the moves that will have an impact on next season. In fact, you could argue that losing the scoring punch of forward T.J. Warren does a lot to cancel out the positives that Rubio will bring.
Phoenix will be better than last season with improvements of young players and the addition of Rubio, but the team’s offseason wasn’t nearly enough to make it a respectable squad.
Best record in the NBA under 62.5 wins at -145 with BetOnline & SportsBetting
This might be the bet I feel most comfortable urging you to take. The parity in the NBA was strengthened this offseason, as a lot of teams got stronger but no squad really occupies the “super team” category anymore.
Think about some of the projected best teams in the league this season.
The Los Angeles Clippers have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George now, but both need to be integrated and have nagging injury problems that will force the team to be cautious in the regular season. The Milwaukee Bucks lost two very important players (Malcolm Brogdon and Nikola Mirotic) and didn’t adequately replace them. The Utah Jazz have to integrate Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic and still don’t have any 2018-19 All-Stars on the roster. The Houston Rockets have to make big offensive changes to accommodate the ball-dominant Russell Westbrook. The Philadelphia 76ers will take time to adjust to a new big-ball lineup that features offseason acquisitions Josh Richardson and Al Horford. The Denver Nuggets are very good, but do they have a second All-Star caliber player after Nikola Jokic?
At the bottom of the league, I would say you have the Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers as clear tanking candidates this year, with maybe the Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks joining them. Everyone else, though, likely thinks they have a shot at the postseason.
There are a lot of really good teams but no standout squad. Combine that with the relative lack of truly bad teams and I think it’s unlikely any team hits 60 wins this season, much less 63.
Jared is a lifelong sports fan and writer whose specialist subject is NBA. A 2015 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Jared has been a sought-after freelance sports writer. In addition to his valuable USA Betting contributions, he has also written for other top media outlets.