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2023-2024 NBA Futures Bets: Season Win Totals - Central Division

Donovan Mitchell - NBA DFS Lineup Picks, Daily Fantasy Basketball

With the NBA Draft and a good chunk of free agency behind us, major sportsbooks have already begun releasing their season win totals for the 2023-2024 campaign. And since we're still more than two months away from televised hoops hitting our TVs, I thought it would be fun to take a closer look at how Vegas views each team.

That's exactly what we'll do here in this series. I will go division by division and share whether or not I would take the over or the under on each team's projected win total with some analysis along the way. Oh, and for the teams frequently mentioned in significant trade rumors (Miami Heat, Portland Trailblazers, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers), we'll try and save them for last.

So, for all you basketball sicko's still looking to consume content smack dab in the middle of hoops wasteland, this is for you. Let's kick things off over in the Eastern Conference with the Central Division.

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2023-2024 NBA Season Win Totals

The table below shows the highest current win totals at DraftKings Sportsbook for each team in the Central Division. I use DraftKings for odds to keep things consistent but definitely shop around to other books to find the best value when you can.

Team Win Totals
Milwaukee Bucks 52.5
Cleveland Cavaliers 49.5
Chicago Bulls 37.5
Indiana Pacers 37.5
Detroit Pistons 27.5

 

Milwaukee Bucks - OVER 52.5 Wins (-135 DraftKings)

Over the last five years, the Bucks have been an elite regular-season team. For context, they finished with at least 51 wins in four of the last five years, including a 60-win season in 2018-2019. This year, their 58 wins led the entire league. It wasn't all sunshine and roses, however, as a first-round exit by way of the eighth-seeded Miami Heat ultimately led to the firing of Mike Budenholzer. Former NBA player and longtime NBA assistant, Adrian Griffin, was named the successor back in June.

Coaching change aside, it's been a pretty uneventful offseason for Milwaukee. And for a team with a perennially impressive regular season resume, that should be considered a good thing. Brook Lopez resigned after fielding a competitive offer from the Houston Rockets and Khris Middleton restructured his contract and signed a three-year extension. They also added Malik Beasley, but he doesn't move the victory needle too much. All in all, keeping their core together was huge, and its influence on winning basketball games cannot be understated. For that matter alone, I can comfortably take the over at 52.5 wins.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers - OVER 49.5 Wins (-140 DraftKings)

Much like the Bucks, an impressive regular season for the Cavaliers was marred by a first-round collapse to the New York Knicks. While this may have left a sour taste in the mouths of fans, Vegas seems to think they can get right back to their winning ways next season. And so do I.

At first glance, Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland missed 14 and 13 games respectively. Their 51 wins could easily have been 55, and if that were the case, this prop would be higher. As for roster additions, they resigned Caris LeVert to a healthy (and tradeable) number while substituting Cedi Osman for Max Strus and Georges Niang to help with shooting. Sure, Strus and Niang alone don't automatically make you a contender, but they are both beefy wings with big game pedigree. That's something Cleveland lacked tremendously this season.

Defensively, they should be just as dominant. The Cavs led the NBA in opponent points per game (106.9) and defensive rating (110.6), which is always a possibility with Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley anchoring the paint and Isaac Okora haunting the perimeter. This, combined with better health, and added firepower on offense, could allow them to cruise past 51 wins in the regular season.

 

Chicago Bulls - UNDER 37.5 Wins (-110 DraftKings)

This may sound aggressive considering they were a 40-win team this season, but I'm taking the under on this one. Put simply, it's time we admit that this team just isn't good together. DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine are true number-two options at best on winning teams, yet here they are jockeying for alpha once again. And Nikola Vucevic will be 33 years old at the start of the season. Not to mention, this squad couldn't reach the playoffs in a year where their 'big 3' played in 94% of games. What are the odds that happen again?

Their offseason moves have been uninspiring at this juncture, with their moves being the re-signing of Coby White and the additions of Jevon Carter and Torrey Craig. Am I supposed to believe these are the guys who will help this year's 24th-ranked offense improve?

With LaVine's name slowly heating up in trade rumors, I wouldn't be surprised to see this team bottom out and miss the play-in altogether.

 

Indiana Pacers - OVER 37.5 Wins (-135 DraftKings)

Most people forget the Pacers were sitting at 23-18 at the beginning of January before Tyrese Haliburton went down with a knee injury. Unfortunately for them, they went 1-9 over the next 10 games and it curtailed their season.

By all accounts, Indiana is a team on the rise, and their off-season additions certainly move the needle forward. Bruce Brown will improve their perimeter defense. Obi Toppin will stretch the floor. And Jarace Walker showed in Summer League that he has all the tools to be effective defensively from day one. Not to mention Buddy Hield and year-two Bennedict Mathurin remain intact.

This is a frisky team, led by a 23-year-old ace and a proven coach. Not only will I smash the over here, but I will also predict that the Pacers are a play-in team next season.

 

Detroit Pistons - UNDER 27.5 Wins (+100 DraftKings)

Oooh, our first bet at even money! That means I am finally going against the public on one here.

I am really excited to watch the Pistons this upcoming season. I think the hiring of Monty Williams was wise and the selection of Ausar Thompson in the draft was spot-on. Oh, and getting a healthy Cade Cunningham back should help things a little too. That said, I still believe this team is still a year out from being competitive in the East. They finished with a 17-65 record this season, so at 27.5, you'd have to bet on an 11-win improvement. Is it impossible? No. Improbable? Yes.

Not to mention, I'm not exactly sold on this double-big lineup featuring James Wiseman and Jalen Duren that we've been hearing about. Ultimately, Williams is a good coach, but I believe it'll take him at least a season to scale this roster to 11 more wins. However, if Cunningham makes a big third-year leap, Bojan Bogdanovic can play 65 games, and they can cash in their Killian Hayes chips for something, it isn't outside the realm of possibilities.



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