At the beginning of the NBA regular season, over/under win totals for each team is posted. Additionally, throughout the regular season, these over/under win totals are usually updated, depending on the sportsbook, or closed after the commencement of the regular season. Over/under win totals are set up Vegas oddsmakers and are usually shown as:
Toronto Raptors Over/Under 48.5 Wins
What this means is that you have the option to either bet that the Raptors will finish with under 48.5 wins on the regular season or over 48.5 wins on the regular season, both options with a payout of -110 or 1.91.
In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips on betting on the NBA regular season win totals.
Change In Team Composition
When assessing whether a team will fall under or exceed their win totals, it’s important to analyze whether the players on the team have changed from year to year. For example, if a team posted 55 wins last year but lost two of their starters, you must assess how this will impact them moving forward and how the lines have reflected this change. On the other hand, if a team only posted 30 wins last year but was able to make a huge splash in free agency in adding key contributors, this factor must be taken into account. As team composition will likely change from year-to-year, it’s important to understand how this will impact their potential to win games for the next season.
Overperformance Or Underperformance Last Season
There are always teams that will overperform or underperform. As a result, oddsmakers will also identify these teams and try to construct the win totals to reflect this information. A team that has overperformed last season will likely regress the following season, which means that their win totals should be lowered. How this affects your decision to bet on the over or under will depend on the combination of other factors as well. On the other hand, if a team significantly underperformed last season, they may be a lot more motivated to improve upon their standing last season. This fact may be undervalued by the oddsmakers when setting the lines and if you’re able to identify this, you’ll be able to take advantage of the line mispricing.
As always during the regular season, the schedules of some teams will be easier or more difficult than others. For example, some teams travel much longer total distances than other teams over the course of the regular season, which would contribute more so to the wear and tear of the players’ bodies. Additionally, if a team has a string of games where they’d have to play three powerhouses consecutively (e.g. Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers), you can bet that this team’s schedule is much more difficult compared to a strong of games where the team would play the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and Chicago Bulls. The combination of games matter quite a bit in terms of where and when games are played.
Relative Strength Of Other Teams
One last factor that should be taken into account when deciding on the win totals of teams is the relative strength of other teams, especially the teams within their division and their respective conference. Since they’ll be playing these teams the most, if a team is in a stacked division, their record may not be as strong at the end of the season. On the other hand, if a team is in an extremely weak division, you can bet that most of these games (e.g. 75% or 80%) should result in wins.