Betting wins total is always an interesting exercise. You don’t want to fall into the trap of purely taking the over for teams that have good vibes and the under on teams that have bad vibes, which is a trap that I think a lot of podcast hosts and writers fall into.
This isn’t a “stock up, stock down” exercise. It’s important to make a record prediction for each team and think about that before you even look at the lines. I’ll be making a pick for each line and then will give my 5 favorite bets.
This tends to be a difficult exercise for me personally because I’m naturally a glass-half-full guy. I do have a few more overs than unders because of this. I got these lines from Fanduel on 10/10/23.
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Atlanta Hawks – 41.5 wins: Over
I’m buying into the Hawks with their first full season of Quin Synder. I think the combo of one of the best regular season coaches over the last few seasons and Trae Young is good enough to get a few games over .500. Synder will get this team to shoot more 3s and I think Saddiq Bey is a better fit than John Collins for his system.
This team has some legit depth and I value center play for the regular season especially the Hawks have two legit starting caliber centers in Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu. The 6th seed or better is very much in play for the Hawks, another play-in berth should be viewed as a disappointment for this squad.
Boston Celtics – 54.5 wins: Under
The Celtics swung for the fences by trading for Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porziņģis and I do think those moves will help them in the playoffs. I worry about their frontcourt depth for the regular season especially because I expect them to do their best to make sure Porziņģis and Horford and I also think the Celtics regret going balls to the wall to start last season.
They ran out of gas in the playoffs. This team will be a tough out in the playoffs, I just think that’s where their focus will lie, the regular season won’t be a focus.
Brooklyn Nets – 37.5 wins: Under
Ben Simmons finally bouncing back to form could make me regret this pick, I just think this team will really struggle on offense. As much as I like the trio of Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and Nic Claxton, I don’t think that trio can drive an efficient team offense.
This might be the team I’m most interested in when it comes to the trade deadline, even if they’re committed to their core, they could get assets for Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie among others, and really gut the depth they have. I wouldn’t rule out a Cam Johnson or Mikal Bridges trade at the deadline as well.
Charlotte Hornets – 30.5 wins: Over
This team only got 36 games from LaMelo Ball last season and still won 27 games. I don’t really expect the Hornets to be super close to .500, but I do find this to be a pretty easy over. 35 wins should be very manageable for this team and they would fly past the over with that kind of season. I like Mark Williams stepping into the starting center role and rookie Brandon Miller can hopefully help space the floor for them.
Chicago Bulls – 37.5 wins: Over
Shocker! The Bulls blogger is picking them for the over. I stand by it though. Whether you like the direction of this franchise or not (you probably don’t), it’s hard to argue that the team has played above this line the past few seasons. Last year the Bulls’ point differential had them as a 44-win quality team, even a decent step back could still have the Bulls clearing this over.
Cleveland Cavaliers – 50.5 wins: Over
The Cavs are coming off a disappointing playoffs and I still have some concerns about how this team will fare in the playoffs this season even with the additions of Max Strus and Georges Niang. I still believe this team will be an awesome regular-season team. I could even see this team contending for the #1 seed in the East.
Dallas Mavericks – 44.5 wins: Under
Another under pick that could make me look stupid. Luka and Kyrie could score their way into the high 40s. I just think their center play and Kyrie’s durability will hold them back in the regular season. They could make for a nightmare scenario for a high seed in the playoffs even with a bad regular season for their standards.
Denver Nuggets – 52.5 wins: Over
The defending champs sometimes coast through the regular season. I don’t think that will be an issue for this team. Jamal Murray will want to push for an All-NBA spot and the contract that comes with it and I bet they will continue to value having home-court advantage in the playoffs.
Detroit Pistons – 27.5 wins: Over
I’m still all in on Cade and I like the veterans they have brought in. Monte Morris and Joe Harris will make them more difficult to deal with on a night-to-night basis. This is a big season for the Pistons and I think they will push to win to see what they really have in this Cade-Ivey-Thompson-Duran young core.
Golden State Warriors – 48.5 wins: Under
Part of me wanted to take the over and just bet on Steph Curry and reasonable depth and I might have if it weren’t for this Draymond Green injury. Even though he won’t miss much time, I think the Warriors will start slow and have an uphill fight to get this over.
Houston Rockets – 31.5 wins: Over
Similar to the Pistons, I don’t expect the Rockets to pull the plug down the stretch. They also brought in veterans with the hope of getting more out of their young core and truly seeing what they have. Fred VanVleet will give them a solid point guard and watch out for a Jalen Green leap. He finally has a guy with him in that backcourt that can help get him easier looks.
Indiana Pacers – 38.5 wins: Under
A trendy pick to climb up the standings in the East, I think this squad might still be a year away and could be a Haliburton injury away from really struggling. Which is what happened last year. Ultimately I trust the more veteran teams in the lower part of the East to be better than the younger ones and I also just expect the veteran teams to have less willingness to pull the plug in favor of pursuing another high draft pick.
Los Angeles Clippers – 45.5 wins: Under
This is probably a make-or-break season for the Clippers, where this pick could come back and bite me. I don’t trust Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to stay healthy and I also don’t trust their depth as much as I have in past seasons with Nic Batum, Robert Covington, and Marcus Morris all starting to show their age.
Los Angeles Lakers – 47.5 wins: Over
Austin Reaves is coming off a promising showing for Team USA over the summer, at least offensively, and he should carry that over into the regular season and give the Lakers a legit 3rd option that could even level up just fine to the #2 if LeBron James or Anthony Davis has to miss time. I also like their depth, watch out for Max Christie as a bench piece for this team.
Memphis Grizzlies – 45.5 wins: Over
The real question is how will this team fare without Ja Morant for the first 25 games. This would be an easy over if Ja was a little more safe with how he handled his Instagram account. I trust Marcus Smart, Desmond Bane, and Jaren Jackson Jr. to hold down the fort. I think Bane is taking another step and pushing for an All-Star spot this upcoming season. This should be a monster defense that will give them a high enough floor through Ja’s absence even if Bane and JJJ fail to effectively carry the offense without Ja.
Miami Heat – 45.5 wins: Under
The Heat found themselves in the play-in last season and despite making the Finals, it’s fair to ask if they might be even worse in the regular season without Gabe Vincent and Max Strus walking out of the door. This team might just be much better suited for playoff basketball and I wouldn’t want to go up against Jimmy Butler and Coach Spo in a postseason setting, but this is a regular-season exercise and the Heat might be in trouble there.
Milwaukee Bucks – 54.5 wins: Under
Similar to the Celtics, I expect this team to be much more focused on the playoffs than the regular season. Lillard and Giannis might already be the best duo in the league but this team will need Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez to stay healthy and I expect that to show itself in the regular season. I also think figuring out the 5th starter with Lillard, Middleton, Giannis, and Lopez might take them longer than they will be comfortable with.
Minnesota Timberwolves – 44.5 wins: Over
A disappointing start to the Edwards/Towns/Gobert era won’t bring me down. I’m still high on the Wolves. Towns being back and healthy will be a big help. Even if you’re down on Towns, it’s hard to argue that he wouldn’t help a team that finished 23rd on offense last season. Also, who isn’t in on Ant Edwards? Especially after that summer he just had with Team USA.
New Orleans Pelicans – 44.5 wins: Under
Another team I have a hard time buying is that they will be healthy. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram being healthy could have them fly past this line, I just have to see it before I fully buy-in. This team also already took a hit health-wise with Trey Murphy expected to miss the beginning of the season.
New York Knicks – 45.5 wins: Over
This is a bet on Jalen Brunson. I’m worried that Randle might take a step back which could take it down to the wire with this line. I’m just banking on Brunson (who should be a first-time All-Star this season) and the overall depth of this team. As a Bulls fan, I also know to count on Coach Thibs grinding out regular season wins despite some of his flaws.
Oklahoma City Thunder – 44.5 wins: Under
I know everyone is high on OKC’s bright future, and so am I! I just don’t know how much more they can get from SGA and I think they might still be a year away from jumping way up the standings. The West is loaded and getting to 45 wins will be very tough. The addition of Chet could make this pick look very silly on the other hand though.
Orlando Magic – 37.5 wins: Under
Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero have their eyes on the playoffs and they do have the potential to get there. I don’t trust their guards at all though and think both of them will be relied on too much for creation. Another year away for me. Franz and Paolo both will likely be multiple-time All-Stars and if they get there sooner rather than later, this bet could look stupid.
Philadelphia 76ers – 48.5 wins: Under
This is an incredibly hard bet to make. Might be the best example of a “stay away” line. A motivated Harden could have them fly past this line with weeks left in the season. I just feel a disaster season coming. I would not blame anyone for betting on Joel Embiid (a top 3 regular season player) and Tyrese Maxey to get them to around 50 wins even without getting much from Harden.
Phoenix Suns – 52.5 wins: Under
I hate the amount of teams that I keep saying this for, but I don’t trust these guys to be healthy or to care about the regular season much. I also don’t like the Ayton trade for the regular season or the playoffs for them. The trio of Beal, Booker, and KD could shoot their way to mid-50s in wins. I’m not confident in their defense and do think that lowers their ceiling when it comes to a win total. This team should be a monster in the playoffs if they’re healthy.
Portland Trail Blazers – 28.5 wins: Under
I’m predicting that Jerami Grant, Robert Williams, and Malcolm Brogdon will all be traded during the season and that the Blazers will have their eyes set on the lottery. They have shown the last couple of seasons that they can tank at a very high level down the stretch as well. I like the Scoot and Sharpe duo moving forward but they are years away from carrying this team to wins.
Sacramento Kings – 44.5 wins: Over
A big regression candidate with their clutch time performance and with how healthy they were last season. I’m going the other way, I’m all in on Fox being a legit All-NBA guy and Keegan Murray will continue to get better for them as well. This team will be out to prove that last season was no fluke.
San Antonio Spurs – 28.5 wins: Under
Similar to the Blazers, I think this team will eye the lottery as we get close to the end of the season. Also, in the West, someone has to lose games. I’m a big fan of Vassell and maybe phenom Victor Wembanyama will get them past this number, I think this team will continue the slow build.
Toronto Raptors – 36.5 wins: Over
Similar to the Bulls, the Raps underperformed their point differential last season. They had the point differential of a 45-46 win team last season so even if they fall off some without Fred VanVleet, the over should still very much be in play. I also think Dennis Schröder and a full season of Jakob Poeltl could upgrade this defense into a legit top 10 group, which would give them a high floor.
Utah Jazz – 35.5 wins: Under
This one is simple, Mike Conley and Malik Beasley both carried a fair amount of weight before the trade deadline for this team and they keep their pick if it lands in the top 10, otherwise, it goes to OKC. I think they will be focused on keeping that pick down the stretch of the season. I do love some Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler though.
Washington Wizards – 23.5 wins: Over
I could see the Wizards getting close to this line even before the trade deadline which could be very active for them. They just have a lot of solid players and Poole and Kuzma could get hot on any given night. I think after the trade deadline they will start losing much more often but they will win enough in the early season to get to that over.
Top 5 Best Over/Under Bets for the 2023-24 Season (in no particular order)
- Atlanta Hawks – Over 41.5 wins
- Milwaukee Bucks – Under 54.5 wins
- Minnesota Timberwolves – Over 44.5 wins
- Sacramento Kings – Over 44.5 wins
- Utah Jazz – Under 35.5 wins