The next NBA season is less than a month away and drama is still building ahead of opening night. Wednesday's blockbuster Damian Lillard trade shifted the league's balance of power and could affect the ceilings of several teams in both conferences. Looking to find an edge with your NBA picks in the aftermath? Here are two win-total bets worth taking a look at.
Philadelphia 76ers U49.5 (-130)
James Harden appears to be set on getting out of Philly and isn't expected to attend media day. While the 76ers have gone 17-10 without Harden since he joined the 76ers in 2022, it's clear that he's not the only one upset in the City of Brotherly Love. The 76ers don't seem likely to get better without Harden and the road to a championship got more difficult following Lillard's team-up with Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee. Joel Embiid, who's never made it past the second round of the playoffs, will turn 30 during the 2023-24 season and has achieved everything but postseason success in his career. If you believe his removal of all things Philadelphia from his Twitter account is him trolling, bet the over. I personally think his championship window is closing and that he could seek a way away from a team whose process has failed. The last time Philly eclipsed 49 wins without Harden was 2018-19, in Ben Simmons' first All-Star season.
Sacramento Kings U44.5 (+105)
The 48-34 Kings finished third in the Western Conference and first in the Pacific Division last season, but don't look for them to duplicate that level of success. While Sacramento did retain its core from 2022-23, it will undoubtedly play in the NBA's toughest division this upcoming season. The Golden State Warriors likely won't repeat going 11-30 on the road, the Phoenix Suns added depth, and the Los Angeles Lakers found their winning ways down the stretch. It's why those three are among the league's top six betting favorites to win the NBA title in 2024. The Kings will play all of these teams multiple times. The Kings had the third-weakest strength of schedule last season but have the third-toughest this season, according to Positive Residual. I don't doubt that Sacramento will be a playoff team, but the deck is stacked against the Kings this time around. The beam will get lit, just perhaps not quite as often as it did last season.
What number will Damian Lillard wear for the Bucks?
Damian Lillard will wear No. 0 for the Bucks following the trade. New Damian Lillard Bucks jerseys are already available. Visit Fanatics to score all-new Damian Lillard hunter green and white jerseys right now.
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