NBA Season Preview: Southeast Division Win Total Predictions


Oct 20, 2023

The Miami Heat are the reigning Eastern Conference champions, but after missing out on Damian Lillard and losing Gabe Vincent and Max Strus to free agency, they are much worse on paper than many thought they would be. Luckily for them, the rest of their division isn’t anything to write home about, but some teams could threaten.

Here are our breakdowns and predictions for each team’s win total. 

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  • Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks embody what it means to be a completely average basketball team. Trae Young hasn’t blossomed into the superstar many thought he once would become as trade speculation starts to swirl around him, Dejounte Murray didn’t mesh like many thought he would, and guys like De’Andre Hunter and Onyeka Okongwu haven’t developed as hoped. On the bright side, I have a ton of trust in Quin Snyder as the head coach, who now has the benefit of an entire offseason to integrate his system. I won’t be betting on this total myself since I could also see the bottom falling out, but I would lean to the over slightly as I envision them winning 43-44 games, given my faith in Snyder.

Win Total Pick: OVER 41.5 Wins (-114)

  • Charlotte Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets are one of the league’s more exciting teams, but I don’t think they’ll be as bad as everyone says they will be. Last year, they only won 27 games, but LaMelo Ball was out 46 games, Mark Williams was sidelined for 39 games, and Gordon Hayward missed 32. Now, they add in second overall pick Brandon Miller, who was rather consensusly the best college basketball player last season, and newly reinstated Miles Bridges. This team will be fun and electric, so I could see them challenging for a play-in spot if the injury bug doesn’t derail their year.

Win Total Pick: OVER 31.5 Wins (-110)

  • Miami Heat

Betting under on the Miami Heat feels like a bad idea, as they’ve only had three losing seasons since 2009 and haven’t lost fewer than 37 games in a season in that span. Still, I don’t see it with this year’s Heat squad. Yes, they are always dangerous in the playoffs, yet I can see them falling apart this year. Regular season Jimmy Butler and playoff Jimmy Butler are two completely different people. I don’t think Bam Adebayo is the great player many want to make him out to be, and I don’t trust Tyler Herro to elevate into the role he’s needed to fill. Around those three, what else does this team have? Will we rely on guys like Kyle Lowry, Josh Richardson, and Duncan Robinson to carry a big load? As incredible of a coach as Erik Spoelstra is, I don’t see the talent being there this year.

Win Total Pick: UNDER 44.5 Wins  (-114)

  • Orlando Magic

Seeing the Orlando Magic with a win total of 37.5 feels odd, given how horrible they’ve been in recent years, but the jump and expectations are entirely warranted. This team won 34 games last year and has one of basketball’s best young cores that should take a leap this year. Paolo Banchero is on the verge of becoming a superstar after averaging 20 points per game as a rookie. Franz Wagner is developing into a high-caliber player, fresh off a dominating showing in the FIBA World Cup, with plenty of other young players like Anthony Black, Jett Howard, Jalen Suggs, and even a healthy Markelle Fultz ready to contribute. I see this team threatening for a play-in spot, but at 37.5, it’s not the ideal number I’d be looking to back. Still, lean to the over.

Win Total Pick: OVER 37.5 Wins (-104)

  • Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards are projected to be the worst team in basketball, with an ugly 24.5-win total projection, but I have more faith in them than I probably should. I believe Jordan Poole will significantly benefit from having a change of scenery in a smaller market en route to a solid bounce-back season, Kyle Kuzma is still an above-average player in this league, and I think people will quickly learn how talented of a basketball player Tyus Jones is. The Wizards will still stink, but I think they’ll be much closer to 35 wins than 20. 

Win Total Pick: OVER 24.5 Wins (+100)

All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

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Thumbnail photo via David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

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