Picking regular season over/under prop bets in the NBA’s Western Conference takes some skill this season. You have unbelievably stacked teams like the Warriors, Thunder and Rockets, but you have to factor in the chances teams will rest their stars in a few games this season. A team that has already ‘been there, done that’ like the Warriors and Spurs, will probably rest their guys. The Thunder who legitimately look like they are having fun this preseason, have something to prove and may not rest as many stars.
Can rookie Lonzo Ball push the Los Angeles Lakers to 34 wins?
Here are our over/under season wins total picks for the NBA’s Western Conference.
Dallas Mavericks – 35 1/2 Wins – OVER
The Mavs won 33 games a season ago, even after many of their impact players missed time due to injuries. They had to sign PG Yogi Ferrell from the D-League and actually struck gold with the young man. Many expect rookie PG Dennis Smith Jr. to contend for the Rookie of the Year award. He will have every opportunity since he is their starting point guard. I expect Dallas to win 37 games or more.
Denver Nuggets – 45 1/2 Wins – OVER
Denver C Nikola Jokic became a superstar last year. He had a monster year and looks like he could be a guy to build around. They also have big men PF Mason Plumlee and C Juan Hernangomez. They also added Paul Millsap this offseason. They will be a beast in the paint. SG Gary Harris and PG Jamal Murray should continue to improve and become stars in this league.
Golden State Warriors – 67 1/2 Wins – UNDER
A team winning 68 games in a season is beyond rare. The fact that the Warriors are expecting by Vegas to win that many games shows how insanely stacked the Warriors are this season. That being said, Golden State knows what it takes to win a championship, this squad has won it twice in three seasons. The one season they lost, they went after the Bulls 72-10 record. I’m sure many blame going into the playoffs tired. They will rest their guys more than expected. They will win, at most 67 games.
Houston Rockets – 56 Wins – UNDER
The Rockets added PG Chris Paul to a 55-win team. Paul has been in this league for a long time, but he’s still a All-Star level player. SG James Harden played nearly every game last season. He also put up monster numbers in the second-half of the year. Everything will have to be near-perfect for them to once again hit 55 wins. I expect Harden and Paul to get rest down the stretch this year. They will still be a 50+ wins, but I don’t see them hitting 57, which will be needed to get paid.
Los Angeles Clippers – 44 1/2 Wins – OVER
Losing/trading Chris Paul was a huge blow to the Clippers, but they added some nice complementary pieces this offseason. PGs Patrick Beverley and Milos Teodosic will be sharing Paul’s old responsibilities. Teodosic is a passing artist and should be fun to watch. I’m also curious to see how well SF Danilo Gallinari, PF Montrezl Harrell and C Willie Reed will do on their new team. Many expect the Clippers to drop 7+ wins without Paul. I expect they will finish around last year’s win total of 51.
Los Angeles Lakers- 33 1/2 Wins – UNDER
I’m not on the PG Lonzo Ball bandwagon. The kid is really good, but he’s not going to be a game changer right away. They will need points this season since PG D’Angelo Russell and SG Nick Young are no longer on the team. It might be too soon for SF Brandon Ingram to be ‘the man’ in Los Angeles. He is still putting on weight to his spindly frame. The Lakers are just running down the clock until next offseason when they hope to entice SF Paul George or even SF LeBron James to suit up in the purple and gold.
Memphis Grizzlies – 37 1/2 Wins – UNDER
The Western Conference is stacked this season. Many more players arrived from the East to get away from LeBron. This team was built around C Marc Gasol, PF Zach Randolph and PG Mike Conley for so many years. Randolph bounced out of town and the Grizzlies haven’t found a replacement. They will also miss the defense and leadership of SG Tony Allen. Memphis is a team in transition and I don’t see them hitting the 38-win mark.
Minnesota Timberwolves – 47 1/2 Wins – OVER
The Twolves are a fun team to watch. I actually liked them last year, but that team only won 31 games. The additions of SG Jimmy Butler and PG Jeff Teague cranks this team up a few notches. They did have to give up some young assets for Butler, but they needed someone with playoff experience like Butler. This one will be close, but I’m taking the slight over, which would mean the Timberwolves would be a 4th or 5th seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
New Orleans Pelicans – 39 1/2 Wins – UNDER
I would love to pick the over here cause I love PF Anthony Davis and C DeMarcus Cousins…but they lack depth in about every other position. They’ve made some bad signings like SF Solomon Hill last offseason, but I do like the addition of SG Tony Allen. They need a lot of help to be a playoff team.
Oklahoma City Thunder – 53 1/2 Wins – OVER
The Thunder added SF Paul George from Indiana and SF Carmelo Anthony after he accepted a buyout from the Knicks. They will be added to MVP PG Russell Westbrook and C Steven Adams. I would have loved for them to added a couple more shooters this offseason, but I think they should be all right. The Thunder have something to prove and they will be gunning for the Warriors, so I don’t expect the stars to rest many games this season.
Phoenix Suns – 29 Wins – UNDER
The Suns have a lot of young talent. You can just go on and on about the expectations of certain players. PF Marquese Chriss impressed me a lot last season. I also like what PF Alan Williams brought to the table. I am interested in how much SF Josh Jackson will improve this team. He’s already an NBA-level defender, but the offensive skills are’t quit there yet for the rookie. This will be another of experience for the Suns, but I don’t see them cracking 30 wins.
Portland Trail Blazers – 42 1/2 Wins – OVER
The midseason addition of C Jusuf Nurkic breathed life in the Blazers. They went from a perimeter-based offense with a lot of three-pointers to a physical style. They didn’t have anyone that could do that in the paint. I absolute believe this will be a 43+ win team this season.
Sacramento Kings – 28 Wins – UNDER
The Kings won 32 games last year, but they had C DeMarcus Cousins for most of those games. They added PG George Hill, PF Zach Randolph and EuroLeague champion SF Bogdan Bogdanovic, which all three should play major roles this season. I’m sure the under pick is popular, but I really, really like Bogdanovic. Teams will sleep on them and I think they’ll squeak out a few extra wins.
San Antonio Spurs – 53 1/2 Wins – OVER
The Spurs are a nearly an automatic 54+ win team. They added SF Rudy Gay and have faith coach Pop can motivate Gay for the first time since his college days. Also, PF LaMarcus Aldridge had a rough shooting season last year. I heard he has been working on it this offseason. I have little worry that the experienced veteran and fix that issue.
Utah Jazz – 41 Wins – OVER
The Jazz lost SF Gordon Hayward and PG George Hill to free agency and that stung quite a bit. They added PG Ricky Rubio to take over as point guard and went internally to find Hayward’s replacement with SF Rodney Hood. The Jazz won 51 games last year and a ten win decrease could happen without Hayward and Hill, but let’s not forget that they still have C Rudy Gobert. I’m pegging them for 42 wins and fighting for the 8th spot in the West.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.