NBA Win Totals 2015-2016

Steph Curry Warriors

Another NBA season is upon us and with it come a chance to look at NBA Win Totals! Each season the casinos in Las Vegas post numbers to where they think the NBA teams will finish in terms of wins come seasons end. Then the betting public gets a chance to wager whether they think the teams will go over or under that total. After examining all the totals, I picked my three favorite overs and three favorite unders.

Last season I went 3-3 in NBA Win Totals column. My goal is to improve on that mark this season.

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Golden State Warriors – 59.5

The reigning champions are back to defend their title. They broke out last season with an impressive 67 win season. The Warriors placed themselves in the conversation for one of the best teams in NBA history. This season their win total is placed at 59.5. They would need to be eight games worse this season in order to go under.

David Lee is gone from last years team. He was on a contract that did not make sense for a utility piece. He also took his shift from starter to bench piece better than many would. The Warriors traded him to a team where he would be utilized more. A trade that helped Lee and helped the Warriors in terms of the cap.

In his place this season is Jason Thompson who should be able to fill the role nicely. He always made sense as a guy who can contribute in short stints with high effort. He can fill bench minutes at both power forward and center. They still have a ton of depth on a team that loves to play together. Thompson just adds to that.

Steve Kerr will likely miss some time dealing with his back issues. He had off season back surgery and is still dealing with the effects of that. Luke Walton will fill in for Kerr in the short-term. It may sound weird but he was a big part of what they did last year. He would talk to Kerr and the team during time outs. While it’s not ideal, I think they can play well until Kerr is healthy.

I can’t imagine this team taking a eight game step back outside of an injury to Steph Curry. I think they will once again be in the low to mid 60’s in terms of wins.

Over 59.5

(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets – 54.5

I took the under on this team a season ago and regretted it early. There was a ton of questions surrounding the health of the team, the depth, and the coaching. James Harden produced an MVP caliber season and carried this team to 56 wins.

A season later their win total is set at 54.5 which seems a bit undervalued. If anything they should be at the same level as last season.

A season ago, Dwight Howard was only able to be on the court for 41 games. That should be much closer to 70 plus games this year. They also have Clint Capella who proved really useful in the playoffs a season ago. With Donatas Motiejunas and Montrezl Harrell who was added via the draft, the Rockets should have plenty of front court depth this season even with the departure of Josh Smith.

The back court should be much stronger. Patrick Beverly returns to play alongside James Harden. Beverly’s absence was huge down the stretch and into the playoffs for the Rockets. He is the defensive stopper that works really well next to Harden. They also added Ty Lawson who is a supremely talented point guard. I can imagine Lawson providing a huge spark off the bench for the Rockets and possibly playing crunch time. Lawson could be the game changer that helps Houston win the title.

I expect Sam Dekker to help provide outside shooting and help provide depth behind Trevor Ariza and Corey Brewer.

This should be an easy over for Houston who I think can compete for the top spot once again even with a Western Conference that is loaded.

Over 54.5

DeMarcus Cousins

Are the Sacramento Kings ready to take a step forward? (David Zalubowski/Associated Press)

Sacramento Kings – 34.5

The Sacramento Kings went through a full roster overhaul this season. They added a ton of depth that they severely lacked a season ago. Rajon Rondo is the name everyone seems to be talking about most. He doesn’t really move the needle for me. We haven’t seen a big basketball moment from him since 2010. The names that I care most about are Kosta Koufos, Marco Belinelli, and Willie Cauley-Stein.

They should have a healthy DeMarcus Cousins this season. He only played 59 games last season due to viral meningitis. Despite what you think of him off the court, he is a monster and a top 10 player. They should get close to a full season from Darren Collison this year as well. He was playing really well before his injury. He was only able to suit for 45 games last season. Collison and not Rondo should finish games for this team. He provides the scoring and more importantly the outside shooting this team desperately needs.

George Karl gets a full season with team and will have some interesting decisions to make. After when Rondo and Collson play he needs to decide how to pair his big men. Cauley-Stein adds defense and makes sense to pair with Cousins. Koufos should come off the bench and provide low post scoring and solid defense.
While there’s still some rotation questions and some haziness around what Rondo may bring, the Sacramento Kings will go over 34.5 wins. Some have gotten a little aggressive calling for a playoff spot for this team, 37-40 wins seems to be in play for this team, especially with the big steps back the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers made.

Over 34.5

Can Dirk do enough to get the Mavs to hit the over?  (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Can Dirk do enough to get the Mavs to hit the over?
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Dallas Mavericks – 37.5

The Mavericks seemed like they would be poised for an improvement with all signs pointing to DeAndre Jordan signing with the Mavericks to play Alongside Dirk Nowitzki. This would have provided tremendous balance on both ends of the court. Instead it will be a lot of JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachouli, something that will never be said about a playoff team. They also have Wes Matthews slated to start in the opener despite tearing his Achilles late last season. While I hope Matthews can play well, the odds aren’t in his favor at least to start. He will need redevelop the strength in that leg. They will also have a lot of Deron Williams, who did have a monster playoff game last season for the Nets but did little outside of that.

My biggest fear in going with the under for the Mavericks is Rick Carlisle. He is a top five coach in this league has done more with less at many of his coaching stops. I still feel this may be too much for even him to overcome. They will need to stay healthy to approach 40 wins. The Mavericks are in need of talent

Under 37.5

Lebron James

Can Lebron get the Cavs to hit the over? (Getty Images)

Cleveland Cavaliers – 57.5

I’m going to preface this by saying the Cavaliers are my pick to come out of the Eastern Conference. I still think they’re really good, however there are a few things that will keep them under 57.5. A season ago they won 53 wins and a year later that number feels like a really good one. Kyrie Irving suffered a knee injury in the playoffs last season. There is still no return date for irving but sometime before January is the expectation. Kevin Love will be in uniform for the opener but is still recovering from having his arm yanked out of the socket. Tristan Thompson finally had his contract situation taken care of. How soon he can contribute early will be interesting to see. He can be in shape but game shape is a different story. It likely will take 15-20 games before he can get to the hyperactive player that makes a huge difference for this team. Iman Shumpert will miss the start of the season due to a wrist injury. All of this without mentioning the number of minutes Lebron James played last season especially with the amount effort he had to put out in the playoffs without Kevin Love and eventually Kyrie Irving.

Combine the injury concerns with this team and the improvement of the middle of the Eastern Conference and you get a Cavs team that will win 57 or fewer games. It will likely be an impressive mark that puts them as a top 2 team in the Eastern Conference.

Under 57.5

(Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

Is regression coming for the Hawks? (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

Atlanta Hawks 49.5

The Atlanta Hawks were incredible last year. They filled the Eastern Conference All Star team with talent. A year later they have some serious questions with this team. Demarre Carroll is gone to fellow Eastern Conference rival Toronto Raptors. Carroll was huge for this team last season. He could play multiple spots and do the little things that mattered. I have serious questions about how they replace his minutes.

They still have Al Horford who may be the best player people don’t talk about enough. The question becomes how they play their three big men. Tiago Splitter was brought in to join Horford and Paul Millsap. I like the idea of Horford being able to play power forward and not center. That lineup would require Millsap to play the wing or come off of the bench. They also have Kyle Korver who is older than some may think and seemed to slow down the stretch last season.

I also feel like the middle of the Eastern Conference improved. The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers are much improved. The Raptors are better after taking talent from Hawks. The Hawks should still be in the mid to high 40’s in terms of wins.

Under 49.5

The Rest
Boston Celtics – 44.5
Brooklyn Nets – 27.5
Charlotte Hornets – 33.5
Chicago Bulls – 49.5
Denver Nuggets – 27.5
Detroit Pistons – 36.5
Indiana Pacers – 41.5
Los Angeles Clippers – 56.5
Los Angeles Lakers – 28.5
Memphis Grizzlies – 50.5
Miami Heat – 46.5
Milwaukee Bucks – 44.5
Minnesota Timberwolves – 27.5
New Orleans Pelicans – 47.5
New York Knicks – 29.5
Oklahoma City Thunder – 56.5
Orlando Magic – 34.5
Philadelphia 76ers – 21.5
Phoenix Suns – 36.5
Portland Trailblazers – 27.5
San Antonio Spurs -57.5
Toronto Raptors – 46.5
Utah Jazz – 42.5
Washington Wizards – 46.5

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