The NBA season win total over/under lines are out for 2018-19, and as usual, most of them feel like something of a coin flip. The Pacers at 46.5 wins? The Jazz at 49? The Spurs at 44.5? Good luck calling those. 


However, there are a few win totals that look at least a bit clearer on one side or the other — six, by my count, that barring major injury you can feel pretty confident in taking. Here they are:

Boston Celtics

OVER 58.5

It’s a high number, and yet somehow it still seems low for a Boston team that is without question the cream of the Eastern crop. Last year the Celtics won 55 with Gordon Hayward missing the whole campaign, and Kyrie Irving sidelined 22 games of his own. Throw in the expected leap of budding stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and this team is completely stacked. Barring another Hayward-type blow on the injury front, I cannot see Boston winning less than 60 games at a minimum, with 65 feeling very much in play. 

Philadelphia 76ers

UNDER 54.5  

Two things that concern me with Philly: One, the loss of Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli, while not the sexiest of names, is going to hurt the Sixers. There were times that those two flat-out carried them in the playoffs, and without them, the spacing on this team could be a problem given its sudden lack of collective shooting. Two, Ben Simmons was exposed a bit in the playoff loss to Boston last season. For all his talent, he still can’t shoot (unless he’s pulled off some kind of summer miracle), and that’s still a big problem that teams will look to hammer on even more after Boston rendered him nearly unplayable in crucial stretches of that series. 

Finally, Philly got to 52 wins last year on the strength of a crazy run to end the season, winning their final 16 games. Problem is, only three of those wins came against playoff teams. Half of the wins came against the Hawks, Nets, Hornets and Knicks. Somewhere in there, I’m smelling a regression, or at the very least I don’t see them making a three-win improvement from the 52 they won last season. Take the under. 

Oklahoma City Thunder

OVER 49.5

This is my stone-cold lock. Just book it right now. Last season the Thunder won 48 games with Carmelo Anthony and without Andre Roberson for the final 33 games. Melo, who was not helping this team in any way, is out, Roberson is back, and with Paul George and Russell Westbrook having a year under their belt together, this team is going over 50 wins easily. The defense is going to be a monster. 

And think about this: Last season the Thunder had two games absolutely robbed from them by the officials, first when Giannis Antetokounmpo went out of bounds before finishing a game-winner that shouldn’t have counted, then again when Denver’s Nikola Jokic traveled, and also took more than five seconds, before inbounding the ball to Gary Harris for a game-winning three. The NBA admitted both were missed calls after the fact. 

Throw in the half-court buzzer-beater Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins banked in to stun OKC in the first week of the season. That’s three wins that would almost certainly go their way this upcoming season. That’s 51 before you even consider that this figures to be a much better team than last year with a healthy Roberson and Melo gone. Barring a major injury or a bunch of little ones that pile up, this is a 55-win team. At a 49.5 over/under, there is value everywhere. 

Los Angeles Lakers


The Lakers won 35 games last season. Does LeBron make a 15-win difference in the Western Conference? He’s definitely capable of that kind of impact, but let’s remember that the Cavs only won 50 games in the East last season with LeBron playing all 82. Chances are he’s not going to do that again, and even if he does play north of 75 games, there is no overstating how much more difficult the schedule is in the West. 

Plus, you know the Vegas sports books are inflating this line by at least a few wins because they know the suckers will take the over on the excitement of LeBron alone. Realistically, the line should probably be somewhere between 46 and 48, so you’re getting value right away there. 

Moreover, I’m not as sold as some people seem to be on Brandon Ingram or Lonzo Ball, and the additions the Lakers made after LeBron make no sense other than that they all come off the books next summer, which does little for them this season. One two- or three-week absence for LeBron and this under is a stone-cold lock. Either way, the Lakers winning 50 is hard to see. 

Memphis Grizzlies

OVER 33.5

People are sleeping on the Grizzlies. That’s not to say they’re going to win 50-plus games and threaten for a top-four seed, but 34 wins? Come on, man. With Mike Conley back and Marc Gasol still patrolling the paint, that’s a 40-win team at least. Granted, we don’t know about Conley’s durability (he hasn’t played in 70 or more games since 2014-15), but people I’ve spoke with inside the Grizzlies’ front office love where Conley is at and are fully expecting him to be back to his old self. 

Former Spur Kyle Anderson was also a nice under-the-radar signing. He doesn’t help the Grizzlies’ lack of shooting (are they ever going to figure this out?), but he gives them another ball-handler and is an elite, versatile defender as the Grizzlies try to get back to their Grit N’ Grind ways. If No. 4 overall pick Jaren Jackson Jr. develops into an impact player by midseason, and Gasol and Conley stay healthy, forget about 34 wins — this team will be fighting for a playoff spot. 

Again, the injuries are a real concern. Conley’s health is No. 1 on the Grizzlies’ internal list of things that need to go right for them to have a solid season. But 34 wins is not very many. You can feel pretty good about this over. 

Toronto Raptors

OVER 54.5

I’m not sure people realize how good the Raptors are going to be defensively. With Kawhi Leonard and OG Anunoby, they have two guy who can legitimately guard the best perimeter scorers in the league without help. Kyle Lowry remains a bulldog at the point, and with long, athletic defenders like Delon Wright, Danny Green, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka, they are going to have all kinds of versatility in terms of switching everything and being able to run out a host of different lineups. 

Look, the Raptors won 59 games last season, and they’ve significantly upgraded from DeMar DeRozan to Leonard. The only reason this number is this low is the uncertainty around Leonard’s health, but the guy passed his physical and we should assume he’s ready to go with a lot to prove. I have the Sixers winning in the low 50s, and in the depleted East, there are going to be at least two teams that get over the 55-win mark. Boston will be one. Barring injury, I would be shocked if the Raptors aren’t the other. 

At SportsLine, a feared pro gambler breaks down seven more best bets to win big money on the NBA entering this season.


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