Online sportsbooks released their over/under NBA win totals for the 2016-17 regular season last week, and there is value to be had across the betting board. Here are three teams we predict will stay under the total due to some questionable offseason moves.
With the start of the season right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about NBA picks but not before checking SBR's Rating List of the best sportsbooks where you will find the best bonuses they offer too. Now let's focus on these three teams and some very interesting predictions.
New York Knicks
The Knicks sailed over its 29.5 win total in 2015 going 32-50 in the regular season, yet they are asked to do a lot more this year seeking 40 wins. New coach Jeff Hornacek is looking to speed up the triangle offense with Carmelo Anthony still the feature piece. General manager Phil Jackson brought in a bevy of new backcourt free agents to help, including Derrick Rose, Brandon Jennings, and Courtney Lee. But none of them are impact-performers, just role players put in place to improve Anthony's game. Shooting guard Lee offers the most out of the bunch. He's a great ball handler and makes smart decisions on the court. His 1.9 WAR based on FiveThirtyEight's Career-Arc Regression Model Estimator (CARMELO) tops the new faces.
Anthony is 32-years old and put in near career-lows in many scoring categories last season, including a 21.8 point per game average and 43.3 percent shooting mark. Having Anthony pick up the pace and run a little more to find open shots with Jennings and Rose bringing the ball up court isn't a recipe that sounds too tasty at this point in his career. Injury and general fatigue late in the season is a big concern. Look for the Knicks to stay UNDER 39.5 wins.
O/U Win Total: 39.5 at PaddyPower
There are a couple of up-and-coming teams in the West many bettors are high on, including the Minnesota Timberwolves. The franchise brought in head coach Tom Thibodeau. He presents a hard-nosed defensive system that allows teams to stay just about in any a game against any opponent. But will he have all the pieces he needs to uncover 14 more wins than last season (29-53)? Doubtful.
Including the strike-shortened seasons of 1998 and 2011, only 19 of 127 teams (15 percent) in the last two decades have accrued a winning percentage of 52 percent or greater the following season after a year in which they won 35 percent or fewer games the prior year. That's the number the T-wolves need to hit to go over 42 wins. Tons of young talent make up the roster, but the additions of C Cole Aldrich, C Jordan Hill, and SF Brandon Rush isn't going to lift the franchise too much, too quickly. Thibodeau needs a bit more time. UNDER 42 wins is the wager.
O/U Win Total: 42 at William Hill
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers can't attract any big names to L.A., left with defensive specialist C Timofey Mozgov and F Luol Deng as their big offseason signings. Deng is worth about 5 or 6 wins above the average player, but is his arrival enough to hit the 25-win plateau? Probably not. This team won 17 games last season. Kobe Bryant was well past his prime, but he didn't hurt the team too badly. In fact, in the 16 games he sat out, the Lakers played a point lower (-2.2 ATS margin) than the betting market's prediction than when suiting up (-1.0 ATS margin). Chemistry will likely be a problem this season, and scoring a challenge. Go UNDER.
O/U Win Total: 24.5 at Paddy Power