It just feels like the Pacific Division in the NBA will be much more competitive this year. The Phoenix Suns won the division last season, earning 64 wins. They dominated on the road, defeated at home, and had plenty of success in conference play.
Meanwhile, the Warriors finished with 53 wins on the season. While they didn’t win the division, the Warriors won something more significant. They won the NBA Championship. I’d much rather win the championship than just win the division.
After those two teams, the Pacific Division was a bit of a mess. The LA Clippers were never able to pair Paul George and Kawhi Leonard last season. They went 42-40 and finished 9th in the division. Meanwhile, the Lakers didn’t make the playoffs with just 33 wins last season.
Last year felt like a wasted season for the Lakers, with LeBron James starting to get up in age. Finally, the Kings finished last in the division. That’s expected to happen again this year. They’ve got the longest playoff drought in the NBA and always make the wrong moves each off-season and trade deadline.
Let’s break down each team’s projected win total and see whether or not the Over or Under is the play for each team in the Pacific.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers are favorites to win the Pacific this year. The Clippers will have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George back in the lineup this year. They’ll also have John Wall as point guard to go along with Reggie Jackson, Nicolas Batum, Norman Powell, Marcus Morris, and Ivica Zubac.
Clearly, this team is intense. I didn’t mention Terance Mann, Amir Coffey, Luke Kennard, or Robert Covington. All three players averaged at least 9 points per game last season.
However, projecting 53 wins from a team that hasn’t played together in multiple years is kind of staggering. Leonard and George have played well with each other, but we can’t put too much stock into John Wall. We don’t even know if he’s still got it. Sure, he says he does, but that doesn’t mean much. Actions speak louder than words.
I’ll take the Under for my NBA futures picks.
The Suns are projected to win the same amount of games as the Clippers. But we know so much more about this team.
This is the same team that won 64 games last year. Not much has changed to the roster since last year. The Suns still have Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, and DeAndre Ayton in the starting lineup. Cam Johnson could be the forward starter.
Sometimes, many of us don’t realize just how deep the Suns are. They’re able to develop young talent and make them system players.
After winning 64 games last year and following these NBA odds, I like them to win at least 53 this season.
NBA Pick: Suns Over 52.5 (+105) at BetOnline
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are coming off an NBA Championship but are still projected to be third in the Pacific this season. Not so fast. With a healthy Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, the sky is the limit for the Warriors.
Kevon Looney returned to the team in the offseason. Jordan Poole is a significant threat off the bench. Meanwhile, Andrew Wiggins found a system that he could be consistent in.
Plus, the Warriors added Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green to the roster along with Ty Jerome. And we might even get to see James Wiseman in action this season. He’s a complete game-changer and a major threat to any offense on the defensive end.
The Warriors have plenty of momentum and should get over their total.
NBA Pick: Warriors Over 51.5 (-115) at BetOnline
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are fourth on the list to win the Pacific. Last year, the team couldn’t even make the playoffs with LeBron James on the roster. But if healthy, this team is headed in a solid direction.
James, Anthony Davis, and Russ Westbrook is a solid Big-3. The chemistry needs to get better but with Dennis Schroder and Patrick Beverley also on the roster, that could help.
I’ll take the Over for the Lakers. It won’t get worse than last season.
NBA Pick: Lakers Over 45.5 (+105) at BetOnline
The Kings look solid on paper. De’Aaron Fox, Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes, Chimezie Metu, and Domantas Sabonis are really not terrible starting five. Instead of Metu, it could be Keegan Murray getting the start there too.
So I mean, let’s be real. A starting five of Fox, Huerter, Barnes, Murray, and Sabonis is pretty lethal on paper. The bench still has Malik Monk. The depth is a bit weak but the starting lineup could be really good.
I like the Over for the Kings as well at one of our best sportsbooks.
NBA Pick: Kings Over 33.5 Wins (-120) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.