NBA Tip-Off: Over/Under Totals for All 30 Teams, And How to Bet Them

VSiN senior NBA analyst Jonathan Von Tobel breaks down the odds, from the top-ranked Celtics to the Washington Wizards

October 24, 2023 6:56 am
Jayson Tatum blocks a shot from Miles McBride.
Jayson Tatum and the Celtics are favored to win the NBA title.
Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty

Despite chewing up and spitting out the rest of the NBA on their way to winning a championship last season, the Denver Nuggets are not favored to repeat as champions, In fact, they aren’t even second on the favorites list. The Nuggets, despite playing in a depleted Western Conference and having the league’s best all-around player in Nikola Jokić, are currently listed at DraftKings at +550 to repeat as champs, the third-best odds in the league.

Logically enough, at least in the minds of the oddsmakers, the Nuggets also have the third-highest projected win total in the league: 52.5. To help determine whether it’s a better bet to wager on the Nuggets winning at least 53 games (over) or 52 or fewer (under), InsideHook got a huge assist from VSiN senior NBA analyst Jonathan Von Tobel, the host of the Hardwood Handicappers NBA betting podcast, to break down Denver’s over/under total. For good measure, we asked him about the over/under totals of the rest of the 29 teams in The Association. Let’s hoop.

30. Washington Wizards, 24.5 wins, 2022-23: 35-47

“I’m kind of interested in what Washington has. They have some offensive upside. When you have Tyus Jones and Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Poole, those are some pretty talented offensive guys. The question is what this team’s motivation will be by the time you get to the end of the year. Will they be tanking for a good draft pick? At the end of the day, I think the front office will decide it’s better to look toward the future than to try to win as many games as possible. I lean toward the under.”

29. Detroit Pistons, 27.5 wins, 2022-23: 17-65

“Detroit is one of my guilty pleasure teams. I bet the Pistons’ over last year, but Cade Cunningham got injured and it fell apart. They have a good young core and Cunningham in his third season should be very, very good. He looked really good in 12 games last year and they’ve got pieces around him. Jaden Ivey was solid and he’s got a good frontcourt in Jalen Duren and Isaiah Stewart. I’m in on Detroit going over.”

28. Portland Trail Blazers, 28.5 wins, 2022-23: 33-49

“When you’re building around a rookie point guard, there’s a large gap between where he’s been playing and what the NBA is. I don’t think people account for that. I think Portland is going to go under their win total.”

27. San Antonio Spurs, 29.5 wins, 2022-23: 22-60

“I think this number is a little high. Victor Wembanyama is so popular I think it will cause San Antonio to have an overvalued nature as we head into the year. So, even though they’re one of the lower teams in terms of power rating and win total, I think they’re actually an overvalued team. I think their win total should be a bit lower. Under.

26. Charlotte Hornets, 31.5, 2022-23: 27-55

“This is a team that won about 40 games two years ago. That core is back, but with Miles Bridges not there, it does change the dynamic. Their talent outside of Bridges is still really good. LaMelo Ball is a dynamic player when he’s healthy and Brandon Miller has some really good upside as a three-and-D player for them. They still have Terry Rozier, who’s actually a really good player, Gordon Hayward and some other good veterans. I think the over is the way to go. I kind of like this team.”

25. Houston Rockets, 31.5 wins, 2022-23: 22-60

“I’m in on this team. They added a bunch of veterans including Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks and Jock Landale. Those guys will improve this team defensively and you’ve got a good head coach that should maximize their winning margin. On top of that, you’ve got a good young core with Jalen Green, Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore, who I bet to win Rookie of the Year. This is an organization that wants to win. They went out and got veterans for a reason and they’re not tanking the year. I would go over.”

24. Utah Jazz, 35.5 wins, 2022-23: 37-45

“Jordan Clarkson, Collin Sexton and Lauri Markkanen all had career years in multiple aspects last season. Now you’re looking at them to repeat those career years to get to 36 or 37 wins. The expectations are there for what’s probably going to be a hard season to replicate. They were one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA last year and that’s not going to change at all. Even their best offensive lineups had a really big negative net rating. I think they’re due for some regression and will take the under.

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23. Toronto Raptors, 36.5 wins, 2022-23: 41-41

“They have a new coach and they lost Fred VanVleet. What’s the status of Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby? Siakam is on an expiring deal and Anunoby has a player option for next year that he’s likely going to decline because he’ll get more on the open market. There’s a thought — and they should do it — Toronto could sell off Siakam and Anunoby before the trade deadline. That’s why the win total is so low. I think they’re a good candidate to rebuild and build around first-round pick Gradey Dick and Scottie Barnes. I think it’s worth going under.”

22. Orlando Magic, 37.5 wins, 2022-23: 34-48

“The market likes Orlando. Part of it is their young core. Paolo Banchero won Rookie of the Year. He is very good. Franz Wagner is a good young piece as well. They added a good guard in Anthony Black and Jett Howard too. Joe Ingles should help them with their shooting. This team looked like it was on a natural growth curve last season because they were so young and very competitive in stretches. I think if you’re assuming some natural growth from young guys, this is a team that could go over its win total. There’s a lot of thought this could be a popular team when it comes to the in-season tournament.”

21. Chicago Bulls, 37.5 wins, 2022-23: 40-42

“Chicago won 40 games last year and they’re essentially running it back. The only difference is they replaced Patrick Beverley with Jevon Carter and Torrey Craig too. The aspect that would change things for Chicago is similar to Toronto. DeMar DeRozan is on an expiring contract and if they’re 10 games under at the deadline, they may trade him off. For now, it seems like the Bulls are pretty stubborn and running this back. I wouldn’t bank on that. I’d lean to the over, but I think DeRozan could be in a new uniform by the deadline.”

20. Brooklyn Nets, 37.5 wins, 2022-23: 45-37

“Brooklyn’s an interesting case. They have the 17th-hardest strength of schedule and the third-most rest advantages. That’s going to be pretty beneficial to them. The problem is their offense wasn’t very good last year. They don’t really pressure the rim and that made their offense suffer quite a bit. But, looking at the East as a whole, I’d actually look toward the over. I think you’re going to find more unders at the top of the board than at the bottom. Brooklyn should be competing for the play-in tournament at the very least.”

19. Indiana Pacers, 38.5 wins, 2022-23: 35-47

“First off, Buddy Hield is going to be gone at some point as it’s already been reported they’re shopping him around because he doesn’t want to be part of the team anymore. This is a team that was really, really reliant on their transition offense. Their half-court offense is not very good and their defense is still going to be at the very bottom of the league. The market likes Indiana because they were the first team to go over their win total last year. Now you’re asking them to surpass that and I don’t know if that natural progression is coming for Indiana. I think the expectations are too high so I’d rather go under.”

18. Atlanta Hawks, 42.5 wins, 2022-23: 41-41

“The Hawks are going to be my darling this year. I bet them to win their division. After Quin Snyder took over last year, they were the fourth-best offense in the NBA. They really changed the way that they started to play and they improved on their offensive rebounding. Those things should really push them forward this year on top of having more time in Snyder’s system and allowing Trae Young and Dejounte Murray to excel as a backcourt. With Miami not getting Damian Lillard or Jrue Holiday, the season is set up for Atlanta to have a very successful year by their standards. I’ll go over.”

17. Dallas Mavericks, 43.5 wins, 2022-23: 38-44

“The market’s in on the under and you can’t really blame ’em. Kyrie Irving’s a wild card. He’s only played in 163 games since the 2019-20 season. A lot of those absences are personal choice as opposed to injury. I don’t think you can really blame anybody for wanting to go under on a win total. Grant Williams is a really good addition to help them. Josh Green is one of their young cornerstones who is a legitimately good on-ball defender. I think you’re going to get a better version of Dallas than what we saw at the end of the year last year. When you have an MVP-type guy like Luka DončIć and an offensive player like Irving, it’s gonna be worth something. I think over is the way to go for Dallas.”

16. Oklahoma City Thunder, 44.5 wins, 2022-23: 40-42

“You look at the last two years and they actually covered 60% of their games and surpassed their win totals as well. The big difference is, this team had win totals of 23.5 and 22.5 over the last two years. Now you’re all the way up to 44.5. The expectations have increased in a very awkward way. This is not a team that the market really respected, but now it does. With those expectations comes an overvalued nature. To look at this team and expect they’re going to take a leap to 45 wins is a lot to ask. The under is the way to go. I think they’re going to be good, but that’s a lot.”

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15. Minnesota Timberwolves, 44.5 wins, 2022-23: 42-40

“Karl-Anthony Towns played fewer than 30 games last year so I think they want to see what this team is going to be if everybody’s healthy. They’re going to be elite defensively. They get a full season of Mike Conley, who came over at the trade deadline. He’s a defensive-oriented guard and with Rudy Gobert, Towns and Anthony Edwards, this should be one of the best defenses in the NBA. The question is where’s the offense going to come from? They only averaged 106.4 points per 100 possessions. It’s really bad. I would lean toward the under. I think their offense is going to continue to be a problem.”

14. New Orleans Pelicans, 44.5 wins, 2022-23: 42-40

“At one point last year when this team was healthy, they were in control of the top seed in the Western Conference. Zion Williamson is the poster child of it, but this team has injury concerns everywhere. Zion, CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram only played a total of 10 games together last season. Trey Murphy III, who should be in their starting lineup, is already out for 10 to 12 weeks. Jose Alvarado is dealing with an ankle injury that’s expected to keep him out through the preseason. History tells me Williamson is not going to play this full season. I’m gonna go under.”

13. Sacramento Kings, 44.5 wins, 2022-23: 48-34

“The Kings are a big regression candidate for me. They won the third seed, but they got at least 73 games from all eight of their top players. That’s insane injury luck for an NBA season. They had a winning record in games within five points with five or fewer minutes left to go. They shot 50% in those clutch minutes. Factor in some natural regression in those categories on top of playing in a Western Conference that got better and I think it’s a team that’s going to fall off. I think they’ll still be competing for the playoffs, but 45-plus wins is a little too strong for them. Under.”

12. New York Knicks, 45.5 wins, 2022-23: 47-35

“I really like New York’s core and what their offense is built on. Quietly, they were the inverse of typical teams last year. They were a really good offensive team, but they were 19th or 18th in defense. A lot of it had to do with their ability to offensive rebound. Mitchell Robinson, Jericho Sims, Isaiah Hartenstein, all of these guys are really good on the offensive glass and give them second-chance opportunities. They have good guard play and can get up and down the floor if they need to. I think they’re going to be pretty competitive this year, especially in the top-heavy East. I think New York’s got a really good shot to go over.”

11. Memphis Grizzlies, 45.5 wins, 2022-23: 51-31

“You know Ja Morant’s going to miss 25 games and, on top of that, he’s consistently been injury-prone. There’s no guarantee you’re getting the rest of those games once Morant comes back from the suspension. You should also throw in that he hasn’t shown the ability to stay out of trouble. You also don’t know how good they’re going to be from a shooting standpoint. They only shot 35.7% last season. Under.”

10. Miami Heat, 45.5 wins, 2022-23: 44-38

“Miami barely got into the postseason, but they made it to the Finals. If you filter out their hot shooting series against the Bucks, their numbers from the second round onward were in lockstep with what they were as a regular-season team. They didn’t shoot the ball particularly well and were very inconsistent on offense. Their defense was average. They lost pieces while the Eastern Conference was getting better. I think that’s a cause for concern. Jimmy Butler really saves himself for the postseason. I think the Heat will take a step back this season. Under.”

9. LA Clippers, 46.5 wins, 2022-23: 44-38

“This is the lowest win total in the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George era in Los Angeles. This is really a buy-low spot for LA. This roster is the same as last year. This year, because of what happened last season, the market decided it couldn’t do it anymore and dropped their win total. I think you’re going over.”

8. LA Lakers, 47.5 wins, 2022-23: 43-39

“When you look at the pieces they added, I think it’s really good. But, when you look at guys like Gabe Vincent, Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves, they’ve actually been subpar 3-point shooters throughout their careers. I think there’s a reality where these guys regress to what they’ve been their entire careers. Then you’ll just get another version of what the Lakers were last year, which is a team that can’t really shoot particularly well and has issues with spacing. On top of that, you have to assume missed time from LeBron James and Anthony Davis. I think under.”

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7. Golden State Warriors, 47.5 wins, 2022-23: 44-38

“First off, there are questions about the bench. Draymond Green’s injury doesn’t help. He’s probably going to miss the games to start the regular season. The bench has some questions outside of Chris Paul. Who’s going to be the primary scorer off the bench? Paul, who’s coming off of a career-worst 13.9 points per game, could be the same guy he was last year. I think the fact that Steph Curry has missed 44 games over the last two seasons and Green has been inconsistent with his availability equates to a team that’s going to go under.”

6. Philadelphia 76ers, 49.5 wins, 2022-23: 54-28

“We don’t know if James Harden is going to get moved or not. If you could guarantee me Harden will be there and buy in with a full effort, I’d think this was an over team. You just don’t know if he is going to be there or if he’s going to give that effort. They surpassed this win total last year and were one of the best offensive teams in the NBA. I think you’re looking at the under given Harden’s unknown status.”

5. Cleveland Cavaliers, 50.5 wins, 2022-23: 51-31

“I like Cleveland a lot. I like what they did in the offseason. They needed shooting and spacing, so they added Max Strus and Georges Niang. This team is really going to benefit. I liken it to what Denver did last year when they added Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown. Those moves didn’t really move the needle, but they were integral parts of winning a championship. This is my dark horse team to get out of the Eastern Conference. I went over. I think they’re going to be very good this year.”

4. Phoenix Suns, 51.5 wins, 2022-23: 45-37

“I love what Phoenix did. Given their cap status, I think they knocked it out of the park by adding Eric Gordon, Yuta Watanabe, Grayson Allen and others. They did an awesome job building their depth as well as they could. I think it just works. I have a bet on Devin Booker at 22:1 to win MVP. I think he’s going to be great. With Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal, there are going to be times when they miss time. As long as one of them is there with Booker, I think this team’s set to be very good during the regular season. I think they can go over their win total.”

3. Denver Nuggets, 52.5 wins, 2022-23: 53-29

“Denver has the best starting five in the NBA. There’s no question about that. But their bench has really changed. Bruce Brown is gone. Jeff Green is gone. Now you’re going to rely on some different faces. Zeke Nnaji and Peyton Watson are penciled in as their primary backups in the frontcourt and Reggie Jackson is their primary scoring guard off of the bench. I think they’re going to take their lumps in the regular season. Denver is going to get guys who didn’t have big roles last year ready for bigger roles in the postseason. I think that’s going to lead to a record that falls below what we expect. I bet the under.”

2. Milwaukee Bucks, 54.5 wins, 2022-23: 58-24

“I love Milwaukee. If you go back to last year, I think they outperformed their expectations by about six wins. This is a team that takes the regular season very seriously. I think Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the best pick-and-roll duo in the NBA. I think Milwaukee is the best team in the Eastern Conference. I think you’re going to get maximum effort from Milwaukee to push for the No. 1 seed and go over their win total.”

1. Boston Celtics, 55.5 wins, 2022-23: 57-25

“Kristaps Porziņģis has to stay healthy. That’s one of the things that worries me about Boston. If they stay healthy, they’re going to be awesome. Much like Denver, I think this team will be really dangerous once we get to the postseason. But, asking Boston to win 56 games is a big ask given the makeup of the roster and some of the key guys who have injury histories, including Porziņģis. Al Horford is in there too. Under.”

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