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FanDuel NBA: Best Over/Under Win Futures Bets

This week I went through the NBA team over/under win total lines on FanDuel and Draft Kings and was able to pinpoint the best values on each site. This is the best time to place your bets, as the lines will move toward the consensus as we get closer to the start of the season.

Here are the lines and bets I like the most on FD:

The Hawks may have the deepest roster in the entire NBA. That alone is a good reason to bang this over, as they are better prepared to withstand injuries and/or COVID-related absences than most teams in the league. Additionally, this team was on a 46.7-win 82-game pace last year despite dealing with significant injury issues in the first half of the season. They also got a coaching upgrade midseason. So why would they be worse this year? I know the Eastern Conference will be better, but the Hawks should also be better, as De'Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic, specifically, should play more games than they did a season ago. Lou Williams will be here for a full season and they upgraded from Kris Dunn to Delon Wright, while last year they had to rely on the bad version of Rajon Rondo for 27 games at backup point guard.

Boston Celtics over 45.5 wins (-110)

Brad Stevens is a good coach, but he had clearly lost the team to some extent. Ime Udoka is unproven as a head coach, but I'm very bullish on him being able to hit the ground running with this roster. If you can find a place to bet on Udoka to win coach of the year, I'd consider that depending on what the odds are. I'm not the biggest Dennis Schroder fan, but they got him on a very team-friendly contract, and he should play well after getting a big slice of humble pie on the open market this summer. The Al Horford/Robert Williams center rotation should be excellent, and moving on from Tristan Thompson is addition by subtraction. The Celtics should be able to defend at a very high level, and it's a versatile defensive roster, capable of matching up with almost any team. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are ascending All-Star caliber wings, and Tatum could even ascend to a second-team All NBA level. The pieces just seem to fit better than they did last year, and there's even an outside chance the Celtics trade for Bradley Beal in season without giving up Tatum or Brown.

Chicago Bulls under 42.5 wins (+100)

This line has already come down from 43.5, but I'm OK with that since you can now bet the under for even money and I expect the Bulls to finish below .500. I loved the Lonzo Ball contract and like his fit with Zach LaVine a lot. I also like Alex Caruso's fit as the third guard. However, the rest of the roster doesn't fit well at all. DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic are good fantasy players and they've undeservedly made some All-Star teams, but they are not winning players in the NBA. LaVine might actually be the best defender of the LaVine/DeRozan/Vucevic trio, which is a scary proposition. Billy Donovan is not some defensive wiz, and relying on guys like Caruso, Ball and Patrick Williams to prop up a defense is completely unrealistic. They will probably be something like the fifth-worst defense in the league, and would probably need to be a top-five offense to have a winning record in that scenario. They could maybe be the seventh- or eighth-best offense with good health, but LaVine would need to ascend to a Nikola Jokic or Stephen Curry level of offensive dominance to get them any higher than that, and I don't see that happening.

Denver Nuggets over 47.5 wins (-105)

This line oversells Jamal Murray's regular-season impact and undersells Nikola Jokic's ability to singlehandedly lift a team during the regular season. They were on a 53.6-win 82-game pace last season, and while they may not get anything from Murray this year, they will get a full season of Aaron Gordon. The trio of Gordon, Michael Porter and Jokic fits very well, and they've even got nice depth behind those guys with JaMychal Green, Jeff Green and Zeke Nnaji. The backcourt obviously leaves a lot to be desired, but less offensive creation is required from this backcourt than most backcourts, as Jokic operates as the offensive hub and top passer anyway. Michael Malone (another decent coach of the year bet) is the exact type of motivator to get this team to over-perform outside expectations.

Golden State Warriors over 47.5 wins (-118)

This line has come down from 48.5 (I liked that over) and the vig has gone up, which is unfortunate. However, that -118 shouldn't scare us away from pounding this over. The Warriors were a significantly better team when they stopped trying to shoehorn James Wiseman into a significant role — they were 3-12 in games where Wiseman played 25-plus minutes. I wouldn't expect him to play 25-plus minutes in any scenario this season that doesn't involve injuries to other players or garbage time. Unlike last season, winning a championship is a legitimate possibility, and they don't have the luxury to try to develop Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga andcomfortably get a top four or five seed. I like the additions of Otto Porter and Andre Iguodala, and I think Jordan Poole, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Moses Moody could help in smaller roles. Stephen Curry at +850 for MVP is a decent bet — he should have been the consensus runner-up this past season — and if they get anything close to the old Klay Thompson they'll cruise to 50-plus wins.

Houston Rockets under 27.5 wins (-110)

I'm a huge fan of Jalen Green long-term — he's my favorite prospect in this draft class — but even I know he won't help the Rockets win games this year. The same can be said of basically every player on this roster. They will be a lot of fun to watch, but they won't win many games. Houston has every incentive to try to get another top-five pick, and they are one of only two teams in the conference (Oklahoma City being the other) that will be actively tanking. If 13 teams in a conference are trying to win and two teams are not, it just becomes a math problem.

Indiana Pacers over 41.5 wins (-110)

I don't know why, but this line has come down from 42.5. I liked the over on 42.5, and at 41.5, it's one of the best bets on the board. Whenever we get a massive coaching upgrade for a talented roster, it's an easy bet that the team will hit its over. Additionally, T.J. Warren's importance to this team can not be overstated, as he is the only two-way wing on the roster. They've just got a rock-solid rotation of quality players, and now that they have a top-five head coach in Rick Carlisle, they could get to 45-plus wins.

Philadelphia 76ers under 51.5 wins (-110)

The line and the vig have stayed the same since Ben Simmons announced he would not show up to camp and would sit out games until he gets traded. It's probably not a line to really hammer, but I just think there's so much dysfunction going on here that the under is a bet I'd like a piece of. Even if the Sixers are able to trade Simmons before the season for a player who fits really well, like CJ McCollum or De'Aaron Fox, they'll cruise to this under if Joel Embiid misses significant time, which can never be ruled out. The last we saw of Embiid, he was playing through a significant knee injury in the playoffs, and now he's got 82 games to get through in an improved Eastern Conference. They got the obvious bump last year from going from a coach (Brett Brown) whose messages had stop resonating with players to Doc Rivers, but the honeymoon with Rivers might be over after last year's playoff collapse. It just seems like there are more ways they can go under than over.

Phoenix Suns over 50.5 wins (-110)

Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson were all good last season and all four could be even better this season. In fact, I'd expect Booker and Johnson, specifically, to be noticeably better based on how they played in the playoffs. To me, those improvements outweigh expected age-related regression from Chris Paul and Jae Crowder. Last year, there was a feeling out period with Booker and Paul, but this year it's clearly Booker's team, and even Paul knows that. They were on a 58.1-win 82-game pace last year, and there was nothing flukey about that, so a lot would have to go wrong for them to be even five or six wins worse, let alone the eight wins it would take for this under to hit.

Portland Trail Blazers over 43.5 wins (+100)

On paper, this team is better than it was last year, when they were on a 47.8-win 82-game pace, even with CJ McCollum missing significant time. The Larry Nance acquisition specifically is a perfect fit, as he brings a defensive presence and versatility that they lacked at the forward spots. It basically comes down to whether we think Damian Lillard gets traded in season. If he sticks it out for Year 1 with Chauncey Billups, they could win 50 games. Even if Lillard got traded for something like Ben Simmons plus Tyrese Maxey, there's a non-zero chance they could hit this over. I don't really see Lillard asking for a trade before next offseason unless they get off to a rough start, and I don't see that happening, so I'm comfortable betting this over.

Toronto Raptors over 37.5 wins (-105)

This is my favorite bet on the board. I suggest basically throwing out everything that happened with this team last year. They were used to playing in Toronto and had to instead play home games in Tampa Bay, without their normal support structures. They ended up tanking hard down the stretch, which was the right move, but it's not something they'll be doing again. Pascal Siakamhad a very unstable year, but I think that was rock bottom for him and for coach Nick Nurse, who is still one of the five best tacticians in the league. Siakam (shoulder) will miss the start of the season, but this team should be a defensive juggernaut from day one. They go from having perhaps the worst center rotation in the league to unheralded competency in Khem Birch and Precious Achiuwa. I particularly love the Achiuwa addition, as he fits this team's identity of athleticism, length and energy perfectly. They won't have to overstretch Chris Boucher out of position — he is simply too skinny to hold up against starting big men. It is a downgrade to go from Kyle Lowry to Goran Dragic, but it's not a massive downgrade. I think the Raptors win 42-45 games this year.

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