Yesterday, we covered the best NBA win-total bets
to hammer the over on and now it’s time to flip the script and
discuss the most intriguing under options available. With so many
teams pushing the chips in for a 2021-22 playoff run, it'll be
tougher for teams to separate from the pack. Which squads will
ultimately regress or fail to meet preseason expectations?
Without further ado, let’s dive into the five-best under bets to
make entering this season.
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: UNDER 51.5 WINS
The Sixers currently find themselves in a tricky situation. The
Ben Simmons drama has reached a new boiling point, as the 2016 No.
1 overall pick has officially requested a trade from Philadelphia.
Although Simmons' offensive struggles are well-documented, his
defense helped him finish second in the
Defensive-Player-of-the-Year race behind Rudy Gobert last
Just now entering his prime years at age-25, Simmons has shown
unicorn-like tendencies as a jumbo playmaker who can defend five
positions on the basketball court. Simmons’ impact will be missed
in Philadelphia, and it'll be interesting to see what the Sixers
receive in return for him.
With the Simmons rumors reaching a fever pitch, plus the
inconsistent availability of Joel Embiid over the years, taking a
swing on the under at 51.5 makes sense to me. Do we trust Tobias
Harris to carry an Embiid-less team on the nights he eventually
sits out? Especially with a more jam-packed Eastern Conference than
ever, I expect a small step back from the Sixers. Fifty wins feels
like the ceiling to me, which means I'm hammering the under
ATLANTA HAWKS: UNDER 47.5 WINS
Atlanta caught fire last season when they moved Nate McMillan
over to the head-coach seat with Lloyd Pierce’s midseason firing.
However, will that mojo continue over a full 82-game schedule? The
Hawks have built a great infrastructure of talent around their
superstar Trae Young. However, I feel like Las Vegas might be
overestimating Atlanta after this recent run.
Maybe I’m too pessimistic when it comes to the Hawks, but I need
to see this success continue to fully buy-in. Reaching the
near-50-win mark is a huge milestone for an organization that has
been stuck in the lottery for years. Atlanta added more young
talent in the draft, but didn’t add any veterans into the
I’m going to play it safe and roll with the under on Atlanta. If
Trae lights up the NBA in his fourth season, plus other pieces of
their core take steps forward, I would be happy to be proven wrong
here. There’s a real possibility that their late-season run was
lightning in a bottle, and that their win total will be in the
mid-40s. In my opinion, 47.5 is a steep over to hit.
INDIANA PACERS: UNDER 43.5 WINS
The Pacers were dealt potentially the NBA's worst hand last
season with injuries. T.J. Warren only played four games. Malcolm
Brogdon and Myles Turner dealt with various ailments. Caris LeVert
had to sit out an extended period of time following his arrival
(via the Victor Oladipo trade) because a cancerous tumor was
discovered on a physical.
With Rick Carlisle back in Indiana as head coach, will the
Pacers’ talented nucleus finally put it all together? I have my doubts, especially
considering how much the East has improved. No longer will a team
comfortably make the playoffs with a record around .500.
Indiana also feels like the most obvious team to hit the reset
button midseason, especially if they get off to a slow start.
Outside of Domantas Sabonis and LeVert, everyone could be on the
table in trade talks. Warren is on an expiring contract, while
Brogdon and Turner have been floated in trade discussions over the
last calendar year. If Indiana floats around .500 or below, the
Pacers would be wise to sell-high on those players at their last
opportunity to receive positive value.
Although Indiana had only one down year, the East is now a
beast. It might be too little, too late for this core to make a
run, which leads me to feel comfortable hammering the under on
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: UNDER 41.5 WINS
Coming off their first playoff appearance since the Grit-n-Grind
era, Memphis is bubbling with excitement to see if the Grizzlies
can take the next step forward. Led by Ja Morant, Memphis has done
a fantastic job of building around their young star point
However, with the Golden State Warriors now back to full health,
plus other young teams hoping to take a leaps (such as the New Orleans Pelicans and
Minnesota Timberwolves), Memphis
will have to work even harder to return to the play-in spot they
secured last season.
With how the Grizzlies have operated this offseason, it feels
like they’re content waiting to make a move — not getting antsy off
of their early success after making the No. 8 seed. The Grizzlies’
main offseason additions were Steven Adams and No. 10 overall pick
Ziaire Williams (plus they acquired Kris Dunn and Carsen
I’m betting on a slight regression form Memphis, especially if
they get off to a slow start. With Dillon Brooks recently floated
in trade talks, it makes me wonder if we see the Grizzlies emerge
as sellers at this year’s trade deadline, which further pushes me
to hit the under on 41.5.
SACRAMENTO KINGS: UNDER 35.5 WINS
After officially bowing out of the Ben
Simmons derby due to the 76ers' asking price – which is
disappointing since Simmons would've been a perfect fit on the Kings –
Sacramento seems destined for another disappointing season.
Buddy Hield was nearly traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on draft
night for Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell, so who knows how long he
will remain a member of the Kings? Sacramento re-signed Richaun
Holmes and drafted one of the most NBA-ready prospects in Davion
Mitchell, but is that enough to really make a big leap in the West?
I doubt it.
The Kings have a solid young cored led by De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese
Haliburton and Mitchell, but everyone else could be moved down the
road. Hield and Harrison Barnes stand out as obvious candidates to
be moved to contenders at the trade deadline, especially if
Sacramento falls out of the playoff race before the All-Star
I’m hammering the under on 35.5 wins for the Kings, and feeling
pretty comfortable doing so, which would unfortunately extend their
playoff drought to an incredible 16 consecutive seasons.