NBA Win Total Picks: Over/Under Predictions for Every Team

NBA guru Keith Smith takes a look at every team's win total for the 2021-22 season and projects whether they will go over or under that total.
Keith Smith
Sun, October 24, 8:38 PM EDT

NBA Win Total Picks: Over/Under Predictions for Every Team

For the 2021-22 NBA season, things are relatively back to normal. An 82-game regular season with play out in front of relatively full arenas. It all tips off on Tuesday, October 19. That means it’s time to look at Over/Unders for regular season wins and to make some predictions. We’ll take a look at each conference and give you a prediction on if the team will go over or under their regular season win projection, and a little reasoning for that prediction.

Eastern Conference Picks

Atlanta Hawks – O/U 46.5 wins

Atlanta is deep and flush with young, improving talent. And the Hawks are coming off a deep playoff run. All the ingredients are there for another big season.

  • Prediction: Over 46.5 (-119)

Boston Celtics – O/U 46.5 wins

Boston missed more games due to COVID than any other team last season. That saw the Celtics drop to the bottom of the playoff picture in the East. This year, they almost have to be healthier. The depth is also better as well. This group should be in the top half of the conference at season’s end.

  • Prediction: Over 46.5 (-110)

Brooklyn Nets – O/U 56.5 wins

If the Nets projected to have Kyrie Irving, this would have been an easy over. Irving, along with Kevin Durant and James Harden, are capable of winning games almost by themselves. Brooklyn’s margin for error is just that much tighter now. The Nets also know they’re playing for a title, not regular season wins.

  • Prediction: Under 56.5 (-125)

Charlotte Hornets – O/U 37.5 wins

Charlotte is a sleeper team. They lost a couple of contributors, but rebalanced their roster nicely in the offseason. This team can shoot, pass and run the floor. The offense should be very good. If the defense is anything but horrible, the Hornets will be in the playoff mix.

  • Prediction: Over 37.5 (-110)

Chicago Bulls – O/U 42.5 wins

It was a splashy offseason for the Bulls. They added Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan, along with some veteran depth for their bench. The challenge is the fit of all the additions around Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic is a little wonky. They’re too talented to not be in the playoff mix, but that’s the ceiling.

  • Prediction: Under 42.5 (-105)

Cleveland Cavaliers – O/U 26.5 wins

Cleveland is trying really hard to turn things around. They’ve added a lot of talent over the last two years. The problem? The rest of the East got better too. But this Cavs group won’t be really bad. They’ll just be regular bad, and that’s an improvement.

  • Prediction: Over 26.5 (-105)

Detroit Pistons – O/U 25.5 wins

The Pistons are a year away from making the leap from terrible to average. The young talent is in place. This year is about figuring out how it all fits together. That’ll be messy at times, but will pay off long-term.

  • Prediction: Under 25.5 (-110)

Indiana Pacers – O/U 42.5 wins

Indiana is already battling injuries to some key players, as Caris LeVert and T.J. Warren are out to start the season. Missing players ruined last season for the Pacers. It’s hard to see that reversing this year, especially on a team with less veteran depth than previous editions.

  • Prediction: Under 42.5 (-104)

Miami Heat – O/U 48.5 wins

The Heat went all-in on veteran additions this summer. That should pay off in a big way come playoff-time. In the regular season, expect Miami to conserve their veterans with liberal rest days. It’s about competing in the spring for the Heat, not winning every game possible in January and February.

  • Prediction: Under 48.5 (+100)

Milwaukee Bucks – O/U 54.5 wins

The champs aren’t going anywhere. Giannis Antetokounmpo took a leap last season, especially in the playoffs. Milwaukee still has good depth. They may not push quite as hard for wins as they have in previous years, but the Bucks are still going to be the class of the East in the regular season.

  • Prediction: Over 54.5 (-104)

New York Knicks – O/U 41.5 wins

Many are wondering if the Knicks were a fluke last year. There’s probably some truth to that. Tom Thibodeau-coached teams tend to perform great early and falter in subsequent years. But New York added a lot of talent this offseason. That should help offset some expected regression from last year’s standouts.

  • Prediction: Over 41.5 (-110)

Orlando Magic – O/U 22.5 wins

Orlando is going to be bad. Bottom of the NBA bad. And it’s by design. They’re rebuilding around young players, most of whom have four years or less in the league. The Magic will defend and play hard though, and that will steal them a handful of wins throughout the year.

  • Prediction: Over 22.5 (-110)

Philadelphia 76ers – O/U 51.5 wins

It’s almost impossible to predict the Sixers right now. Is Ben Simmons going to play? Is he going to be traded for a star? If we knew those answers, we could more confidently project this to be a good team. With so much uncertainty, it feels fair to project some drop-off from Philadelphia.

  • Prediction: Under 51.5 (-110)

Toronto Raptors – O/U 35.5 wins

Toronto may have the most variance in the NBA. If they get healthy and some of the kids take steps forward, this could be a playoff team. If not, we could see Masai Ujiri start a selloff of sorts. It will be one of the other. The Raptors won’t sit in the middle. The guess here is they bottom out for ping pong balls after the trade deadline.

  • Prediction: Under 35.5 (+110)

Washington Wizards – O/U 34.5 wins

The Wizards could be a playoff team. They need some of their offseason additions to really click in support of Bradley Beal. The issue is there is a lot of overlap at certain positions in Washington. That could make for some messy lineups. Still, the Wizards should be in the mix to make at least the Play-In Tournament.

  • Prediction: Over 34.5 (-120)

Western Conference Picks

Dallas Mavericks – O/U 47.5 wins

The Mavericks went through an offseason of major upheaval. Out went the old front office and longtime coach Rick Carlisle. In their places came an inexperienced front office and Jason Kidd gets another crack at the top job on the sideline. The roster stayed relatively intact though. And Dallas made some good veteran pickups for depth. Oh…Luka Doncic is still there too. And he’s only getting better.

  • Prediction: Over 47.5 (-110)

Denver Nuggets – O/U 47.5 wins

The Nuggets are good. Some are predicting a slide without Jamal Murray, at least until late in the season. But Denver has really solid depth. And Nikola Jokic is the reigning MVP. They’ll be fine.

  • Prediction: Over 47.5 (-110)

Golden State Warriors – O/U 48.5 wins

It feels like some still value the Warriors as if they are the same team as five years ago. At the same time, it’s not the doom-and-gloom injured bunch of the last two seasons either. Golden State will be good, and they’ll be dangerous come playoff time. They just aren’t the dynasty Warriors anymore.

  • Prediction: Under 48.5 (-110)

Houston Rockets – O/U 27.5 wins

The Rockets are in the midst of a full-scale teardown. The handful of veterans in Houston are there as placeholders. The kids are the future here. After drafting four players in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft, those kids are going to play a lot. That’s great long-term, but will come with plenty of losses this season.

  • Prediction: Under 27.5 (-135)

LA Clippers – O/U 44.5 wins

The Clippers aren’t sunk without Kawhi Leonard, but they have no margin for error now. This is especially true in a deep Western Conference. They’ll still be in the playoff mix. However, unless Leonard gets back earlier than expected, it’ll be a struggle to stack regular season wins.

  • Prediction: Under 44.5 (+120)

Los Angeles Lakers – O/U 52.5 wins

The Lakers are going to be good…provided they stay healthy. That’s already at least somewhat of an issue, as several projected rotation players are dealing with minor injuries to months-long recoveries. Still, with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, the Lakers will always have a star on the floor to drive regular season wins.

  • Prediction: Over 52.5 (-110)

Memphis Grizzlies – O/U 41.5 wins

After a couple of years as the surprise upstart darlings of the NBA, Memphis is garnering some respect and recognition. That’s nice, but in the West, you have to be continually improving. This offseason feels like the Grizzlies spun their wheels a little bit. That’s going to keep them down in the Play-In Tournament for another year.

  • Prediction: Under 41.5 (+100)

Minnesota Timberwolves – O/U 34.5 wins

The Wolves are trying to get better. They added some veterans this offseason to help aid a push towards respectability. The main challenge is that this team still looks bad defensively. That will offset some of the better offensive play in the league. And that’ll keep Minnesota towards the bottom of the West.

  • Prediction: Under 34.5 (-106)

New Orleans Pelicans – O/U 38.5 wins

New Orleans may have the most disaster potential in the NBA. The Pelicans are already without Zion Williams for an undetermined amount of time. Brandon Ingram has been banged up. The depth is shaky and reliant on young players. Something just feels off in the bayou.

  • Prediction: Under 38.5 (-110)

Oklahoma City Thunder – O/U 22.5 wins

The Thunder are probably the worst team in the NBA. They are certainly the worst team in the Western Conference. That’s all by design though. The Thunder are still evaluating how all their young players fit together. That’s the smart play for the future, but for this season it will result in many, many losses.

  • Prediction: Under 22.5 (-110)

Phoenix Suns – O/U 51.5 wins

Phoenix has everything in place to make another Finals run. They’ve got solid depth, and addressed a couple of potential weak spots this offseason. The Suns are also built for the modern NBA, with switchable, versatile players across the board. One thing to keep an eye on: Phoenix was extraordinarily healthy last season. If that flips, they’ll slide some in the West.

  • Prediction: Over 51.5 (+105)

Portland Trail Blazers – O/U 44.5 wins

Just as cooler weather comes and leaves fall each Autumn, so come the Blazers with a good, but not good enough team. Portland will be in the playoff mix, but may have to survive the Play-In Tournament. That’s where the Trail Blazers perennially sit: just outside the West’s upper tiers of teams.

  • Prediction: Under (+104)

Sacramento Kings – O/U 36.5 wins

Eventually, the Kings are going to break through, and it’s going to be glorious. That’s probably not this year though. But they’ve got good starters and solid depth. That’s a recipe to be frisky. Look for Sacramento to make a push to the Play-In Tournament, with eyes on more next season.

  • Prediction: Over 36.5 (-104)

San Antonio Spurs – O/U 29.5 wins

Bet against the Spurs at your own risk. They aren’t a lock to make the playoffs anymore, but there’s more talent in San Antonio than many realize. This group will play hard every game, and that will steal some unexpected wins throughout the year.

  • Prediction: Over 29.5 (-110)

Utah Jazz – O/U 53.5 wins

Utah has become a regular season winning machine. The playoffs are a different story. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. Barring major injury, the Jazz are a lock to be at, or near, the top of the conference. That will come with a win total in the high-50s or low-60s.

  • Prediction: Over 53.5 (+104)

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