If you missed out on my three overs in the Eastern Conference, make sure to check them out here, as well as my three unders here! Today I want to dive into three overs in the Western Conference I will be playing as we head into the NBA season. We are just under two weeks away, so now is a great time to take advantage of the futures and season prop markets. Let's jump right in!
S/O Sports Illustrated for the photo.
New Orleans Pelicans: Over 44.5 Wins (-130) - 2 Units
The Pelicans were a big surprise to NBA fans during the end of the regular season and into the playoffs. This team may have only gotten 36 wins last season, but it does not tell the full story of the progress this squad has made. A 1-12 start had many writing off the Pelicans to start the 2021 NBA season, but I am ready to explain why this team will once again surprise many fans in 2022 and beyond.
The Zion Williamson factor is obviously a clear factor on its own that you can make the case for why the Pelicans should outperform their record last season. I do not need to explain to you the benefit he adds to this team when healthy. What I am more interested in is the squads continued growth under head coach Willie Green and the system and mentality he has begun to instill in his team after one season.
Willie Green and company did not have the easiest start as the Pelicans really struggled at times last season. However, as the season went along they continued to figure themselves out. New Orleans saw the emergence of Herb Jones as an elite defender as just a rookie, and the leadership of trade deadline acquisition CJ McCollum come to fruition as the veteran they needed. Jonas Valanciunas and Brandon Ingram really led the charge with their offensive production, and JVal was the 8th highest rebounder per game last season which helped the Pelicans in Zion's absence.
This team has a tall task ahead with most of the West healthy again and retooled for the new season. I have a special feeling that the addition of a healthy Zion into this already well-established and strongly bonded roster is just going to skyrocket what many were excited about toward the end of last season. You add in one of the most dominant scorers and rebounders who had all of last season to rehab and prepare for this year, and you are looking at a promising team. Not only this, but when your best four players are Zion, CJ, Ingram, and JVal, paired with Herb Jones, Larry Nance Jr, Trey Murphy, and rookie Dyson Daniels, you are talking about a serious squad with decent depth and several different ways to play the game.
This type of roster is built for Zion to come back and succeed right away, and I think this could be a special season for this team. People seem to have forgotten about the Pelicans while the Lakers rumors about Russ continue to steal headlines, or the Suns being in "turmoil" makes a nice story. Give me Phoenix over on wins, and better yet an incredible Cinderella Story and value on winning the Western Conference at +2000.
I had someone on Reddit asking me why I was only playing season totals (I will have futures too, don't worry), so here you go, my friend.
Additional Play: Pelicans to win the Western Conference (+2000) - 0.25 Units
H/T to Brandon Dill/Associated Press for the photo.
Memphis Grizzlies: Over 49.5 Wins (-115) - 1.5 Units
I fully understand that we will not see Jaren Jackson Jr. back on the court until after New Years. JJJ was a key piece in helping the Grizzlies go from the new kids on the block to legitimate title hopefuls. I am not ready to say Memphis are title contenders yet, but after winning 56 games last season I am not seeing a lot of reasons to believe this squad regresses unless you think JJJ's 27 minutes a game that will be gone means the Grizzlies lose out on 7 wins or more.
Ja Morant and company still have a lot to prove this season. Vegas has the Suns and Warriors over Memphis in win totals, as well as the Nuggets and Clippers who I don't necessarily agree with. Memphis proved to everyone that their scrappy mentality was enough to grind out games til the end or blow the roof off your favorite team's arena on a weekly basis. Desmond Bane is coming off of a breakout sophomore campaign in the NBA, which partially was more welcomed due to Dillon Brooks being out for a large portion of the season. Brooks, Morant, and Bane only shared the court for 150 minutes last season and knowing that Brooks is a ball hog makes me curious about how this dynamic works.
I am not too concerned about how the Grizzlies will fare in Jaren Jackson Jr.'s absence. He will surely be missed, but Steven Adams has shown us over the years he is more than capable of picking up the slack, and Brandon Clarke has consistently been a reliable piece for this team that can step up while JJJ is out. Let's see the gritty Grizzlies run it back again this season, and keep an eye out on if their 1Q Overs are once again one of the most profitable bets in the NBA like it was last year.
S/O ESPN for the photo.
Sacramento Kings: Over 33.5 Wins (-130) - 1 Unit
This is a gross team to be betting a win total to go over on. I get it if you don't have an appetite for committing your hard-earned cash toward the Sacramento Kings, but let me at least give you my case.
Believe it or not, the Kings came close to hitting this number last season, totaling 30 wins out of 82 games. The Kings will play the Jazz, Rockets, Spurs, four times each this season, as well as the Thunder three times. What do all four of these teams have in common? They are tanking. What has Sacramento owner Vivek Ranadive commanded his franchise to do this season? Make the playoffs.
Now, Vivek may not be the greatest owner (understatement), and his wishes will probably not be granted, but the motivation is there for the Kings. Adding Iowa Hawkeye and Summer League superstar Keegan Murray into the fold will certainly be helpful, and having a full offseason for Fox and Sabonis to continue to become acquainted is also a plus. Keegan adds another facet of scoring to a team that desperately needed it last season and got an additional sharpshooter in Kevin Huerter from Atlanta this offseason.
The weirdest trend I was able to find for Sacramento is that they were 10-17 last season straight up as home underdogs. This is good for a 37% success rate of winning at home as the dog, which actually ranked 12th in the league last season. Let's say that regresses closer to 33% which is around the middle of the pack, and that they don't actually win all 15 games against the teams battling for Victor Wembanyama.
Considering the Kings have the eighth lowest win total this season, I would say that it is safe to assume they'll be dogs in at least 30 of their 42 home games. If they only win 10 of those (they won 16 home games last season), along with 12 of the games against Western Conference tanking teams, plus two wins versus the Pacers (sorry again, Indy), you are looking at 24 wins. Do you think the Kings can win 10 games on the road? They are going to have to in order to achieve Vivek's wish, and my final Western Conference season win total over!
I know that the NFL has just gotten started, but let me know what you all think of these NBA win totals by tweeting @AndyHHSports on Twitter, or leaving a comment below! I will be putting out more and more basketball content over the coming weeks as we are only a couple of weeks away from the first tip. We also will have plenty of NFL and College Football reactions, best bets, and more headed your way as the season moves along, including DJ's new podcast "Sharpen the Public" linked below! Finally, don't miss out on any of our UFC, baseball, or soccer to keep you entertained during the week! We appreciate your support, and thanks for reading.
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