Numerous events can impact the total wins an NBA team will get in a regular season. Of course, our brains can only comprehend a handful. The online sportsbook is already offering the regular-season win totals for all 30 NBA teams. You can bet on any of them as we cover a few of the biggest reasons why you may or may not hit on these NBA betting lines…
Bad Breaks: Why Teams Will Win Fewer Games
Injuries and COVID
We can expect injuries to be a part of the game. But when and how the injuries impact the team is the tricky part. Last season, the Nets won 44 games, 12½ short of their 56½ total. That’s because players like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Joe Harris missed big parts of the season.
Not only were injuries to blame but COVID also caused some of these absences. Irving, who was not vaccinated, could not play in home games until late in 2022. COVID protocols can continue to cause important players to miss games.
Keeping up-to-date with the NBA’s COVID policies is one step. Finding the vaccination statuses of many players can be hard to ascertain and it does not make, them less or more likely to contract COVID. It’s a crapshoot.
Key Players Underperforming
NBA superstars will, for the most part, continue playing like one. However, there are cases where a superstar or another key member of the team will underperform and thus cost their team some wins. Julius Randle was one of the biggest underachievers in the 2021-22 season. As a result, his New York Knicks won just 37 of the 41½ games they were lined at.
Randle, who overperformed in 2020-21, was not expected to replicate his career season. But few also saw him playing as poorly as he did. And to make it more confounding, he was not playing with a major injury. The apparent randomness of his drop in production is why some teams can unexpectedly flunk on the NBA betting odds.
Lack of Chemistry and Locker Room Issues
One of the hardest things to quantify are things like “team chemistry” and the state of the “locker room.” A team could have everything on paper: top-tier talent, solid coaching, and a history of success, and still fall short. That happened with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers went from being the favorites to win the Western Conference to missing the playoffs. They won 33 games, which is not close to the 52½ they were lined with last season. While injuries hurt this team, Russell Westbrook’s bad fit also caused plenty of drama. It culminated in the firing of Frank Vogel and a near-endless stream of trade rumors.
Dennis Schroder to the Lakers was the outcome that made the most sense. If LA trades Russell Westbrook, there is a good chance they’ll need an experienced PG. You can get enough good PG minutes out of Patrick Beverley and Schroder to get by.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) September 16, 2022
Good Luck: Teams That Can Over Exceed Expectations
Young Teams Hitting Their Stride
One of the more fun teams to bet on are up-and-coming teams brimming with potential. Last season, the Minnesota Timberwolves took the next step by making the playoffs and exceeding their 35½ regular-season win totals with 46. Maybe it’s Patrick Beverley. Or maybe the team’s young stars just took the next step.
Anthony Edwards, the team’s super sophomore, improved on his efficiency. His shooting went from 417/329/776 in 2020-21 to 441/357/786 in 2021-22 on top of his better defense.
Karl-Anthony Towns also shot better with his .529 field goal rate being a stark improvement from the previous season.
Of course, Edwards and Towns also had to be available for Minnesota to benefit from their improved efficiency, which goes to the next point…
While some teams like the Nets and the Lakers were ravaged by absences, the Wolves and the Grizzlies were mostly healthy. Memphis was the most-improved team last season as it won 56 games, which is 14½ better than its 41½ preseason total. Ja Morant missed 25 games, but the rest of the team stayed intact.
The likes of Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, and Steven Adams, played 76 games or more. Other key contributors like De’Anthony Melton and Tys Jones played over 72 games as well. This allowed Memphis to win 20 of the 25 games they played without their best player.
New Players Either Hurt or Help a Team
Another major element that can go either way is how a new addition impacts the team. Last season, DeMar DeRozan and Scottie Barnes benefited the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors, respectively. Both teams went over their respective win totals.
And on the flip side, Westbrook’s and Kristaps Porzingis’ new teams seemed to get worse when they were on the court. The Lakers stunk and the Wizards’ winning percentage was a lot worse in the games Porzingis played.
Figuring out if a star player is a good or bad fit with the team seems simple. But extrapolating how many wins they add or subtract… now that’s a bet that’s hard to make.