NBA: Which Teams Can You Trust in 2018?

NBA Win Totals - 5 Best Bets

The 2018-19 NBA season offers up plenty of opportunities for bettors to win big. That understandably comes with daily basketball betting, but if you commit to some teams before the season even starts, you can see solid returns at the end of the year.

That’s specifically referencing win totals, which can be seen at a number of NBA betting sites like, BetOnline and several others.

This is a very good wager to attack, seeing as we have years of history as far as where most teams tend to rest in the standings. We also can accurately gauge which teams are likely to see a dip or some positive regression in terms of wins.

For instance, the Los Angeles Lakers added LeBron James this summer, so they are almost certainly going to win quite a few more games than they did a year ago. The big issue, of course, is you’re tasked as a bettor to decide just how many games the Lakers and other teams will win.

That’s hard enough, but the second aspect to figure out is which prices are actually worth going after. A lot of this is going to come down to personal preference, how you view teams and just how much you trust certain franchises.

I’ve got a few I love for the new season, however, so let’s take a look at which win totals might be best before Tuesday night’s opening tip:

Atlanta Hawks LogoAtlanta Hawks

I’ll admit I like what I’ve seen from rookie point guard Trae Young and guys like Taurean Prince and John Collins give the Hawks some nice talent to work with. But this team is going to be bad.

Atlanta shipped off a much more proven point guard in Dennis Schroder and by all accounts, this is not a roster that will compete for many wins this year. Their over/under is set at 23.5, which feels mildly ambitious considering an arguably superior Hawks team won just 24 games a season ago.

The Hawks are a very good bet to be competing for the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. I’m betting the under here and the -130 price really isn’t that awful.

Dallas Mavericks LogoDallas Mavericks

Looking the other way, I actually like the betting value associated with the Mavericks topping 33 wins. Dallas was a very banged up team last year, yet good coaching, solid veteran leadership and competitive play got them 24 wins.

Dennis Smith Jr. is only going to be better going into his second season as a pro and he alone is going to add 4-5 wins for Dallas. The Mavs also got nastier down low, as this time around they actually secured a contract with elite big man DeAndre Jordan, who can clean the class, block shots and defend with the best of them.

Dirk Nowitzki may no longer be a selling point for the Mavs to get wins, but he’s a solid depth piece and he’s going to be on hand as Dallas starts over with a new era. That’s the Luka Doncic era and early signs indicate his scoring and play-making is absolutely going to translate.

I don’t know for sure if Dallas can crack the playoff race in a loaded Western Conference, but I do think they’re talented enough to get close. The Mavs for 34+ wins feels like a good bet.

Cleveland Cavaliers LogoCleveland Cavaliers

I also see value with the Cavs, who seem to initially being left for dead by bettors just because LeBron James left town. That’s about as big of a loss as any franchise can endure, but Cleveland is not barren.

Kevin Love just signed a long-term deal and the team drafted Collin Sexton, who flashed brilliance in the summer and during the preseason. Add in solid young talent like Larry Nance, Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson, as well as proven veterans like George Hill, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson and Kyle Korver, and Cleveland actually has a pretty underrated roster.

I’m not here to say the Cavs will be better without King James, but in the east, I’m not sure they’ll be headed for the steep regression many will be predicting. The playoffs aren’t a lock and they will have a tough time cruising to 40+ wins, but I think they’ll be competitive.

Cleveland to crack 32 wins isn’t asking that much and the value at -110 is comparable to any of your other favorite NBA win total bets.

Houston Rockets LogoHouston Rockets

Most of the teams on this list are bad to average teams that a lot of bettors will be betting against, but the Rockets make the cut as an elite team I think Vegas is under-selling a bit.

I will be the first to admit that a repeat of their #1 seed and 65 wins won’t be easy. However, and other basketball betting sites are only putting their win total around 56.5 games.

Houston did lose Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute this offseason, but they also brought in Carmelo Anthony to hopefully give their offense a boost. I’m not sure any of that matters, though, as this team is 99% about James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela.

That elite trio remains very much intact and Houston’s offensive system is also one of the best in basketball. The west is no cakewalk, but the Rockets will still be a top-three team at the very worst.

To me, that puts them in the neighborhood of 57-60 wins again.

New York Knicks LogoNew York Knicks

Lastly, we have the Knicks, who won just 29 games a year ago and get a similar line going into the new season.

That seems like a tough sell to me, seeing as how Kristaps Porzingis was on hand for over half the season last year and this year he may not be.

Not having your franchise player to start the year is never great, but potentially not having him for a good chunk of the season – if not all of it – could be a death blow.

Zinger wasn’t enough to keep the Knicks in the playoff hunt even when he was healthy, so try factoring in his impact on their ability to win when he’s out, limited or potentially simply not himself.

Please Note:
Instead of leaning on their franchise player, New York will be confiding in rookie Kevin Knox and a bunch of spare parts like Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr. They might be competitive, but they’re no locks to push for 30 wins.

You’ll still need some things to go wrong for the Knicks to deliver this under, but judging by their history (and this sweet price), this doesn’t feel like some crazy reach.

My Picks
Atlanta Hawks: Under 23.5
Dallas Mavericks: Over 33.5
Cleveland Cavaliers : Over 31.5
Houston Rockets: Over 56.6
New York Knicks: Under 27.5