Obviously, I have never gambled on sports except in Vegas because doing so would be illegal; but, if I did, Season Over/Under bets would be my favorites. Every game is important when you have a season-long bet, so you can get that thrill of the gamble with every game, up until the end of the season gets closer and you realize that you’re not going to win because, let’s face it, nobody ever wins at gambling. As my father always told me, they don’t keep building new casinos in Vegas because the house is losing. Notwithstanding, with the NBA season upon us, and here are my 5 favorite Over/Under bets of the season (in no particular order), and of course, none of these are recommendations to gamble on any of these lines because I don’t want to get sued. Thanks.
1. Philadelphia 76ers OVER 23.5 Wins
Betting against the 76ers has been a fool-proof system bet for the past few years. Their 5-year plan has been playing out even worse than the guy with the old balls in Big Daddy’s plan. However, this year, I think they get out of the cellar and approach 30 wins with Joel Embiid. He will command double teams and create easy looks for an offense that needs them.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder OVER 45 Wins
I am very high on this team. I know you’re supposed to be winning from behind the 3-point arc, and I know that they lost some guy named Durant, but how are other teams’ backcourts going to score down the stretch with Westbrook and Oladipo guarding them? Moreover, if you don’t think that Westbrook is going to demand 100% effort from his squad night in and night out to prove that he can win as the alpha-dog, you are sorely mistaken. Bet against this team at your own peril.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves OVER 42.5 Wins
Certainties in life: Death, taxes, and overachieving teams coached by Tom Thibodeau –Benjamin Franklin. Oh, and by the way, this dude plays for them:
4. Orlando Magic OVER 36.5 Wins
I like this young team unencumbered by expectations. I am also a Frank Vogel fan and let’s not forget Serge Ibaka, who could surprise some people emerging out from under his third wheel role. Speaking of which, is there any situation worse than being the third wheel?
Auto-response to the jerk who emails with some Debbie Downer response like, “Being in Aleppo is worse than being the third wheel”: Don’t be that guy.
5. Denver Nuggets OVER 37.5 Wins
Call me crazy, but I like this roster. They’re going to push the ball, have long guys that can shoot, European guys down low who will annoy Charles Barkley, and also may have the steal of the draft in Jamal Murray. 40 wins seems like a more appropriate line.
1. Los Angeles Clippers UNDER 54 Wins
We live in a world now where the Cubs and Indians are playing each other for the World Series, so I don’t think there is enough of that Cinderella mojo to go around for everybody. The Clippers, as currently constructed, are a team built to win around 49-51 games and lose in the second round this year.
2. New York Knicks UNDER 40 Wins
To be perfectly honest, I’d probably be better off just saying I like this one five straight times than trying to pick four other teams. Even if they stay healthy, someone’s going to have to explain to me how their offense isn’t a complete nightmare. The Knicks’ offense, as long as Carmelo’s there, eventually turns into this.
3. Boston Celtics UNDER 52.5 Wins
This is hard because I actually like the Celtics this year and I’m all about everything Brad Stevens. I may even dress like him for Halloween! Tell me I can’t pull this off. But 53-29 is a little much. I have them around 48-34, which is still a solid season. They remain a star away and lack enough outside shooting to truly contend.
4. Milwaukee Bucks UNDER 36 Wins
Let’s just say that I don’t consider Matthew Dellavedova to be a difference maker as far as additions go. This team is pretty identical to last year’s 33-49 team. I see a pretty identical result.
5. Golden State Warriors UNDER 66.5 Wins
Every ounce of reason tells me that this is an over. This is strictly a Vegas knows what it’s doing play. The only real sensible argument I came up with for the under is that the Dubs will rest their stars down the stretch of the regular season give what happened last year.
Note: As a Lakers fan I wanted to include them, but the line is set at 25.5 wins, which is more or less right on the money. Top-3 protected baby!