Best Bets: NBA Western Conference over/under projections

Best Bets: NBA Western Conference over/under projections

As we officially put the finishing touches on “Bet Week” here on, 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 Western Conference. All odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.

Phoenix Suns: Over 52.5 (-110)

Even if the Suns don’t acquire Kevin Durant, they remain in an advantageous position to finish near the top of the Western Conference standings. Phoenix still has a stacked rotation, with the biggest difference being Dario Saric’s return to the backup big role in place of JaVale McGee. If Devin Booker and the Suns’ formidable young core continue taking steps forward, it’s hard to envision much of a drop-off occurring in the win-loss column.

Phoenix’s postseason exit was one of the ugliest we’ve seen in recent memory, but a loss like that could rattle this group enough to come back similarly to the team's Finals experience in 2021. I’m hammering the over here, as the Suns remain one of the most dangerous squads in the Association. If Durant comes, that’ll be the ultimate cherry on top.

Los Angeles Clippers: Over 52.5 (-110)

A fully healthy Clippers squad with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will always stay in the conversation among the league's elite tier. Last season, we were all robbed of seeing this dynamic duo in action together, but all the time off leads me to believe we should see them play more than usual. If so, the over/under of 52.5 wins is one I’m comfortable placing the over wager upon.

Los Angeles not only has a loaded rotation similar to Phoenix, but it has a historically potent wing tandem ready to go on a revenge tour. As one of my favorite bets in the West, lock in the Clippers’ over with the utmost confidence.

Golden State Warriors: Over 51.5 (-115)

The defending champions check in third in the West, which feels like an undersell of what they just accomplished. Stephen Curry is still playing at an all-time level, and Klay Thompson began to find his footing throughout the Warriors’ run to a championship.

Feeling confident in the over also has to do with the development of the team's younger, up-and-coming players. Though dependent upon how much more Golden State will go into the luxury tax long-term, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins look to be entrenched long-term pieces. Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody and James Wiseman are the ultimate wildcards for Golden State. Even if only one takes off from a development perspective in 2022-23, 51.5 wins is a number to hit the over on.

Denver Nuggets: Over 49.5 (-140)

Nikola Jokic enters this season as a trendy dark-horse selection for MVP as the back-to-back award winner, which is incredible to even think about. The Nuggets have stayed competitive amidst their countless injury issues because of Jokic’s greatness.

Now, with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. eventually expected back at 100%, Denver is a team many bettors are hammering the over on with -140 moneyline odds on 49.5 wins. Frankly, I’m in lockstep with the sportsbooks because Denver was a team that sneakily improved on the margins this offseason. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was an underrated acquisition from the Washington Wizards, and he’s earned a new multi-year extension upon his arrival.

If Murray and Porter’s health cooperate alongside the all-world talent that is Jokic, 50 wins for the Nuggets just feels right to say. Even above that mark is an appropriate projection, because Jokic elevates the floor that much on his own.

Memphis Grizzlies: Under 48.5 (+105)

Ja Morant qualified as our under-the-radar MVP selection during “Bet Week,” but the loss of Jaren Jackson Jr. early on looms large for the Grizzlies. Although he flies under the radar a little bit too often, JJJ is an anchor to a defense that’s done a complete 180 over the last year.

A lot will be on the plate of Morant, which he won’t have a problem with, but what about the rest of the West? The Clippers and Nuggets are healthy now, plus the Suns and Warriors will remain in the title race as well. If Morant can carry the Grizzlies in similar territory without JJJ, his MVP argument could become very valid.

I’m going to tread lightly on Memphis and select the under here with plus-money value. Morant will put up spectacular numbers once more, and Desmond Bane should continue to emerge in the backcourt. For my current projection, the Grizzlies will slot in as a No. 5 or No. 6 seed.

Dallas Mavericks: Under 48.5 (-105)

The argument against the Mavericks is almost identical to the one I just presented for Memphis. Luka Doncic enters as the heavy betting favorite for MVP, but will he alone be enough to lift Dallas into truly elite territory? That’s one of my biggest questions entering 2022-23, because players like Doncic and Morant fit the billing of talents who can lift teams all on their own.

Months away from it now, it’s still stunning to think back to the Mavs’ Game 7 shellacking of the Suns in the West semifinals. Once Doncic figured out Phoenix’s defense, it was game over. Could Doncic do this to the rest of the league? There’s no doubt he will put up monster numbers, but the Mavericks fit into the same tier as the Grizzlies right now around 47-48 wins.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Over 47.5 (-140)

I’ll continue to bang the Minnesota drum until proven otherwise because I’m all-in on the Timberwolves taking a huge step forward. Anthony Edwards checks every box for a young superstar, and their new addition in Rudy Gobert will augment a talented rotation. Karl-Anthony Towns being flanked by Gobert makes up one of the most unique frontcourt combinations we’ve ever seen in the modern NBA, but this type of move is a risk an organization like Minnesota must take. Towns and Edwards are ready to win big soon, so adding an elite rim-protector like Gobert allows those gifted scorers to focus on that end.

Bookmark this if you want, but here’s perhaps my biggest hot take: Minnesota will win the Northwest Division and become a top-four seed. With how everything stacks together for Minnesota, this is a team well-positioned to take a leap similar to the one we’ve seen from Phoenix and Memphis in recent years.

Los Angeles Lakers: Under 45.5 (-105)

Unless Kyrie Irving is walking through the door anytime soon, I’m taking the money and running as quickly as possible on the Lakers' under here. LeBron James and Anthony Davis will do their usual damage, but this roster is nowhere close to being finished. Also, there’s no way anyone can truly believe the Lakers are a Finals contender with their ongoing saga surrounding Russell Westbrook. From the very beginning, Westbrook’s fit was super clunky alongside LeBron and AD. Now, the triple-double king continues to be the main target of trade rumors, many of which are linking him to the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs as a pure salary-dump option.

Indiana is offering the Lakers a lifeline to fix the Westbrook situation. The Pacers are willing to take on the $47 million owed to Westbrook while also sending Los Angeles back two starters in Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. The current hold-up in trade negotiations reportedly is draft pick compensation. Los Angeles refuses to offer its 2029 first-round pick on top of the 2027 selection, which the Pacers believe is more than a fair price to pay.

In the meantime, I’m going to take the Lakers under 45.5 wins while it remains at plus value. Until any resolution is reached on the roster, I’m betting against L.A.

New Orleans Pelicans: Over 44.5 (-140)

Compared to almost any other team in the NBA, New Orleans projects supremely well long-term if Zion Williamson’s health cooperates. Williamson and Brandon Ingram have each shown on separate occasions they can be the No. 1 option for New Orleans. CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas are ideal veteran pieces in the starting unit as well. Well-balanced on both ends of the court, the Pelicans have completely bought into what head coach Willie Green brought over from Monty Williams in Phoenix.

With Williamson, Ingram and McCollum, the Pelicans should be a team projected closer to 50 wins. I absolutely love the over here on 44.5 wins, so don’t be surprised if New Orleans finishes as a playoff lock instead of a Play-In Tournament competitor.

Portland Trail Blazers: Under 40.5 (-110)

Kudos to Damian Lillard because he will not leave the Blazers hanging anytime soon. He’s all-in on winning in Portland, which reminds me so much of Reggie Miller with the Pacers a few decades back. Portland re-signed Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons, but two notable splashes occurred this offseason. Jerami Grant is the Blazers’ first true wing threat in years, and the ultimate wildcard from the 2022 NBA Draft fell into their laps at No. 7 overall. What if Shaedon Sharpe hits his ceiling? That’s something Portland has in their back pocket, because Sharpe’s scoring prowess forecasts very well alongside Lillard. They'll just have to hope he can get healthy and stay healthy.

The West remains a tough customer though. So, with that being said, the Blazers fall into the category of a feisty team that’s competitive most nights on their way to a sub-40-win campaign. It's certainly not the outcome Blazers fans hope for, but there’s a large number of teams ahead of them at the moment.

Sacramento Kings: Over 32.5 (-120)

The Kings actually had a good offseason. Yes, you’re reading that right. Keegan Murray at No. 4 overall looks to be a lights-out scorer with an extremely high floor. Ideally, Murray can become the third piece to a long-term trio in Sacramento alongside De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. Also, don’t forget about the Kings adding much-needed help on the perimeter with Kevin Huerter via trade and Malik Monk via free agency.

I had to double-take upon finding this fact, but the Kings have only exceeded 33 wins once over the last 14 years (2018-19 was that season).

Luckily for Sacramento, I’m projecting them to finish with at least 33 wins for 2022-23. If the Kings underachieve once more, I wonder what the future looks like for an organization that stays in topsy-turvy mode.

Utah Jazz: Under 31.5 (-110)

Assuming Donovan Mitchell is eventually traded, this number will crumble down into the 20s. Utah is in the midst of a full-scale rebuild attempt for the first time in over a decade, and all signs point to Mitchell’s exit soon enough from Salt Lake City. Gobert being dealt within the division to Minnesota for a historic amount of draft capital shook up the trade market for good, as it’s holding up potential blockbusters revolving around Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Mitchell.

Moving forward, there’s no reason why you should feel confident about betting the Utah over unless Mitchell keeps them above water staying around until February. If not, you’re putting an awful lot of faith into the hands of Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson to carry the roster. (If they're there.)

The smart route is to go with the under for the Jazz. Lock in with extreme confidence that Jazz executive Danny Ainge eventually tears it all down within a few months.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Under 26.5 (+100)

Until the Thunder stop their tanking ways, I can’t willfully bet an over on them. Following their aggressive draft night — obtaining three lottery picks headlined by No. 2 overall selection Chet Holmgren, who many viewed as the best overall player — maybe that "tanking" buzzword is in their rearview mirror.

OKC’s roster is young, but the talent screams out as a team that could propel itself forward in a huge manner. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey profile as a super fun long-term backcourt pairing. Luguentz Dort is a pitbull defender who continues to improve his outside shot, which earned him a lucrative five-year extension.

The Thunder could easily make me look foolish selecting the under, but something along the lines of 25 or 26 wins feels spot on. Can Sam Presti resist the temptation of not tanking for Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson in 2023?

Houston Rockets: Over 23.5 (-125)

The Rockets have one of the most interesting young cores to monitor heading into next season. Jalen Green began to turn the corner over the last month of the season, averaging 22.3 points on a 59.9% True Shooting percentage. Jabari Smith Jr., Houston’s No. 3 overall selection from the 2022 draft, projects as a score-first wing/big hybrid who should excel alongside Green and Kevin Porter Jr. Alperen Sengun, a throwback Turkish big man, is an underrated prospect with an unlimited ceiling once the small aspects of his game are figured out.

Houston is nowhere close to being competitive, but that’s totally okay. The team controls the Brooklyn Nets’ draft for the next season years, so the Rockets are set up arguably as well as anyone right now with the chaos surrounding that whole situation. If the youth jells together and the organization obtains another top pick in next year’s draft, be on the lookout for this core to ascend.

For the over/under, 23.5 wins feels a little low, in my opinion. I’m projecting the Rockets with 25 victories, so give me the over at -125 odds on DraftKings.

San Antonio Spurs: Under 22.5 (-110)

Once Dejounte Murray was traded to the Atlanta Hawks, it sounded the alarm that the Spurs are finally waiving the white flag on competing for wins effective immediately. San Antonio obtained three future first-round picks for Murray, a haul for a team pressing the reset button at the perfect time.

Las Vegas projects the Spurs with the worst over/under for next season, and there’s no real reason to go against them there. Keldon Johnson will put up numbers following his long-term extension, but inexperience is the main theme for San Antonio. The Spurs should be on their way to 20 wins or less, so hammer the under.

Kids KN95 Masks
KN95 Masks
Stem Cell Therapy Mexico - Puerto Vallarta
Latest Injuries
Goran Dragic
Dragic is questionable for Monday's (Jan. 23) game against Atlanta.
Chimezie Metu
Metu is questionable for Monday's (Jan. 23) game against Memphis.
Immanuel Quickley
Quickley did not play in Sunday's (Jan. 22) game against Toronto.
Michael Porter Jr.
Porter Jr. did not play in Sunday's (Jan. 22) game against Oklahoma City.
Deandre Ayton
Ayton did not play in Sunday's (Jan. 22) game against Memphis.
OG Anunoby
Anunoby did not play in Sunday's (Jan. 22) game against New York.
Kristaps Porzingis
The Wizards announced that Porzingis is week-to-week with a sprained left ankle.
Landry Shamet
Shamet did not play in Sunday's (Jan. 22) game against Memphis.
Nikola Jokic
Jokic did not play in Sunday's (Jan. 22) game against Oklahoma City.
Dalano Banton
Banton did not play in Sunday's (Jan. 22) game against New York.
Kids KN95 Masks
Sexy Lingerie
Subscribe to our newsletter
Follow Us
Download Our App!
Stay up-to-date on all things NBA
Download the App on the App Store
Download the App on the Google Play Store
Copyright © 2020. All Rights Reserved.
NBA News & Rumors