As we begin to officially put the finishing touches on “Bet
Week” here on BasketballNews.com, NBA over/under win total
projections have been released for every team.
Which numbers stand out most to hammer one way or another from a
betting perspective? In this piece, I unveil my over/under
predictions for every team in the Eastern Conference. All odds are
provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Boston Celtics: Over 54.5
The defending Eastern Conference champions headline the best win
total of any team in the league on DraftKings, checking in at an
impressive 54.5 projected wins. Boston not only improved its roster
following a Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors, but the team
added some real contributors who will hold immense value with
Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari. Also, Robert Williams staying
healthy all season long would be a huge boost for an already elite
We’re hammering the over here because the Celtics have all the
necessary ingredients in place to finish with 55 or more wins. Not
only can their rotation easily go 10 players deep, but Jayson Tatum
and Jaylen Brown are two dynamic stars at the most important
position on the court. Even if the Celtics were to swing a
jaw-dropping trade sending out Brown for Kevin Durant, this team
should be in a magnificent spot to hit this projected mark with
Milwaukee Bucks: Over
It’s never wise to bet against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the
Bucks. More often than not, they always hit their overs when the
roster is fully cooperating from a health perspective. Giannis is a
player I’ve highlighted over the last week who is in prime position
to make a serious push for multiple awards like Most Valuable
Player and Defensive Player of the Year. If that indeed comes to
fruition and Giannis sets a rampage throughout the NBA, Milwaukee
will be one of the most dangerous teams entering postseason
The Bucks’ team-building job is a lot easier with Giannis
onboard, but Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday are bona fide
sub-stars who showed their true value during the team's 2020-21
title run. Also, re-signing Bobby Portis to a long-term deal was
huge for the Bucks because he fits so well alongside Giannis as
their complimentary stretch big.
Once more, I love the over to hit here at -115 odds on
DraftKings. If Giannis stays healthy, the Bucks should cruise to
50-plus wins while posing a real threat to upend Boston atop the
Philadelphia 76ers: Over
Joel Embiid and James Harden joining forces was always Daryl
Morey’s dream vision in Philadelphia. Following a rough and quick
postseason exit, it feels like the light finally turned on for good
with Harden. All offseason long, Harden has reportedly stayed in
shape while re-signing a team-friendly, one-plus-one contract, and
two of his former teammates in Houston have joined the fray.
The Sixers signing PJ Tucker, albeit at age-37, is a massive
move to bring aboard much-needed physical toughness to a roster
sorely lacking it. Danuel House Jr. will also provide some two-way
versatility off Philadelphia’s bench. Also, the draft night trade
with the Memphis Grizzlies for De’Anthony Melton continues to be
overlooked. Arguably the perfect complementary third guard to place
alongside Harden and Tyrese Maxey, Melton should thrive within this
role, as he mastered it next to Ja Morant.
Health is a huge question mark when examining the long-term
gains of this over/under of 49.5. Will Embiid play most of the
season? If so, this is another simple nod to the over. However,
with an already deep history of injuries, tread lightly here on
Philadelphia. Rolling the dice, I’m taking the over while praying
Embiid puts together another fully dominant campaign.
Miami Heat: Over 48.5
As always, the Heat are flying under the radar entering another
season. It was an offseason filled with little to no activity for
Miami outside of re-signing Victor Oladipo and Caleb Martin. Plus,
they seem like massive long shots to ever enter the potential trade
race for Durant after originally being a preferred destination
alongside the Phoenix Suns.
Miami is returning a loaded rotation, although losing Tucker to
a conference rival will sting a little bit. This is an over/under
bet where you simply trust the system in place. Jimmy Butler and
Bam Adebayo are top-30 players in the Association. Tyler Herro is
an emerging young star who is the betting favorite to win Sixth Man
of the Year in consecutive seasons. Erik Spoelstra remains one of
the game’s elite-tier tacticians too.
Add it all together, and Miami should flirt with a 50-win season
in 2022-23. Trust the process and “Heat Culture” for the team to
slide its way into a top-three seed in the East.
Atlanta Hawks: Under 46.5
What a splashy offseason it was for Atlanta following its
embarrassing postseason exit at the hands of Miami. The Heat
exposed the Hawks’ lack of ball-handling help to take pressure off
superstar point guard Trae Young. Now, with an all-in move for
Dejounte Murray, Atlanta wants to surge up the East ladder. Can the
Hawks recapture the 2020-21 magic with an All-Star backcourt
pairing? Paying the heavy price the team did for Murray, Atlanta
better hope this meshes as well as it looks on-paper.
For our projection, though, we’re going with the under at a
slight underdog value at -105. Similarly to the Western Conference,
the East is setting up to be a war, so the top eight could all be
mixed together by season’s end. Teams such as Atlanta could be the
prime example here, because 46.5 wins truly feels right on the
money. In the end, a 45 or 46-win season for the Hawks would be a
success, while also cashing plus money for those who bet the
Brooklyn Nets: Under 45.5
I truly have no clue how this team should be viewed right now.
With Kevin Durant still holding firm on his trade request, the 45.5
number here just feels like too much. If Durant is off the Nets
anytime soon, Kyrie Irving would probably soon follow him out. It’s
a ticking time bomb right now, so avoiding this bet entirely is the
smartest play possible.
Brooklyn did a fantastic job outside of the Durant and Irving
fiasco to add more depth to a team ready to push for a title.
However, because of all the uncertainty, getting the under on 45.5
wins at plus money odds is simply too good to pass up.
Toronto Raptors: Over
One of my favorite teams projected to take a massive leap
forward in 2022-23, the Raptors finished the regular season off
strong before their postseason exit against Philadelphia. Scottie
Barnes established himself as a true building block. Pascal Siakam
and Fred VanVleet are entrenched core pieces. With OG Anunoby and
Gary Trent Jr. as the team's fourth and fifth-best players, it goes
to show how loaded Toronto can become. The Raptors added more depth
and remain a top contender to secure Durant’s services, if the Nets
indeed decide to trade him.
Whether Durant comes to Canada or not, I absolutely love the
Raptors as a team who should be pushing closer to 50 wins compared
to 40. Hammer the Raptors over here to oblivion as they establish
themselves as a real Finals threat this season.
Chicago Bulls: Under 43.5
As I wrote earlier this offseason, Rudy Gobert felt like the
missing piece to the puzzle for the Bulls to become a real threat
in the East long-term. Now, with Gobert on the Minnesota
Timberwolves, where does Chicago realistically go to pivot? It’s
hard to see a clear answer right now, which is concerning over an
extended window. The Bulls backed up the Brink’s truck for Zach
LaVine, who definitely deserved the lucrative payday. LaVine and
DeMar DeRozan form a dynamic scoring combination, but who else can
help take this team into another tier?
Patrick Williams is a potential name to watch develop, but the
real questions loom in the backcourt, for me. Goran Dragic signing
in Chicago was very interesting, because the team already has a
glut of guards on its roster: Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu
and Dalen Terry. With Ball’s shoulder sidelining him last season,
how concerning is that moving forward? For those wanting to monitor
the betting lines for Chicago, Ball is an underrated piece to its
early-season success as a connective two-way presence.
With the East even tougher, plus some looming concerns in the
short and long-term view, I’m hammering +100 value on the Bulls to
finish as a Play-In Tournament team vs. being a playoff lock.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Over
Similarly to Toronto, this is another squad I'll love to slam
the over on. The 42.5-win number here is too small for Cleveland,
especially with its young core jelling together even further.
Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen make up one of my
favorite young trios in the Association, and I’m betting big on the
three taking another huge step forward.
Don’t forget, the Cavaliers were rolling before injuries to
countless rotation members begin to be too much to overcome. Caris
LeVert, a midseason acquisition, should look much more comfortable
in J.B. Bickerstaff’s system. Collin Sexton’s status remains
unclear, but he’s a spark-plug scorer who would take immediate
pressure off Garland.
Las Vegas is leaning towards projecting the Cavs as a playoff
team, and I’m siding with them as well.
New York Knicks: Over
Just like their cross-town rivals in the Nets, betting on a
Knicks over/under win total right now isn’t smart. Wait to see how
the dust settles for Donovan Mitchell in Utah first before deciding
upon any Knicks-related props.
However, for my projection on Aug. 8, I’m betting on Mitchell to
eventually land in New York before the regular season begins. With
Mitchell, New York feels like a real playoff contender. However,
even after signing Jalen Brunson, this Knicks team feels rather
incomplete compared to other squads.
This one is simple: If Mitchell arrives, it’s a yes on the over.
If not, stay away and hit the under instead.
Here's another organization that feels incomplete at the moment,
especially with the ongoing legal situation surrounding Miles
Bridges. As currently constructed, the up-and-coming Hornets feel
further away than they did last season. Although Gordon Hayward and
Terry Rozier are solid veterans for Charlotte, I don’t put them on
the same tier as the Cavaliers or Knicks. LaMelo Ball is
approaching full-blown superstardom, but who else around him will
be able to help consistently? This may be a hot take, but it might
be in the Hornets’ best interest to bottom out for a year hoping to
land a top pick for a stacked 2023 NBA Draft.
If there’s one team poised to regress from Play-In contender to
lottery team, Charlotte certainly stands out, and I’ll take the
under at plus value.
Washington Wizards: Under
Are the Wizards in win-now mode? It certainly seems that way
after Bradley Beal signed the dotted line on a supermax deal. The
time to put together a winner in D.C. is throughout Beal’s hefty
contract, but this team still isn’t close to being a real threat.
In my opinion, Washington continues to stand out as the premiere
“blow it up” squad because of Beal’s uncertain status. Now, with a
no-trade clause, Beal pretty much runs the entire show now.
Washington added a starting point guard in Monte Morris, but
that’s not enough to really make a sizable improvement unless Beal
bounces-back with authority. The team's young players also need to
take much-needed steps forward. At this moment, I’m betting against
all of that occurring next season. As a slight favorite, feel
comfortable selecting the under on the Wizards.
Detroit Pistons: Under
It’s hard to argue against the Pistons possessing one of the
most promising young cores in the East. Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren
are ideal pieces to put alongside former No. 1 overall pick Cade
Cunningham, who began to flash superstar potential during the
second half of his rookie season.
While the Pistons added foundational pillars this offseason, the
team is still ripe with inexperience. The rebuild remains ongoing
in Detroit, but the exit signs are approaching. In the meantime,
the young core is prioritized over wins this upcoming season.
Although a 30-win campaign sounds fun, another top selection in
2023 could really take this team to heights it hasn't experienced
in decades. Bet on the under here, especially as the tank race hits
overdrive post-All-Star break.
Orlando Magic: Over 26.5
Paolo Banchero brings an alpha mentality that’s been missing
forever in Orlando. The No. 1 pick has the ultimate runway to
produce immediately, which is why he’s the betting favorite to win Rookie of
the Year. Banchero could be a 20-plus point scorer right away,
but don’t forget about some other enticing young talent in Orlando.
Franz Wagner established himself as a core piece, producing
excellent all-around numbers. Wendell Carter Jr. is a double-double
machine with playmaking chops for a big man. Jalen Suggs hit the
rookie wall, but if he can round into form it'll add another
aggressive scorer to the equation. Plus, there's the returning
Markelle Fultz as well.
Orlando owns one of the youngest rosters in the NBA, but it
consistently showed heart by keeping a lot of games close. If
Banchero’s adjustment is smooth, I actually like betting the
favorite option here on the over. Something along the lines of a
27-55 season feels spot-on for Orlando.
Indiana Pacers: Under
Rounding out the East’s over/unders list is the Pacers, who are
now creating a noticeable difference at the bottom. With two games
separating Indiana from Orlando, it shows how little faith Vegas
has in this team winning a lot of games next season.
Tyrese Haliburton is the face of the franchise in Indiana now,
as the team begins a rebuild over 30 years in the making. Bennedict
Mathurin, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, brings a
score-first approach that should mesh seamlessly in the backcourt
next to Haliburton. Isaiah Jackson and Jalen Smith are two young
bigs who have flashed two-way potential in addition.
Outside of that, trade rumors are the main subject ongoing in
Indiana. According to The Athletic’s Bob Kravitz, Indiana would
prefer to trade Myles Turner and Buddy Hield this offseason.
Neither player fits the organization’s new timeline, and the Pacers
should be able to fetch some real value in return.
Indiana is a team that really stands out as a prime contender to
enter a full-on tank. For an organization that has never drafted
No. 1, it would change everything for the Pacers to have some good
fortune. Finally embracing a rebuild, maybe lady luck is finally on
their side for good.
With that being said, my most confident play is the Pacers under
24.5 wins cashing.