Believe it or not, the start of the 2021-22 NBA regular season is less than two months away, and Caesars Sportsbook has released win totals for every team. The league expects to return to a normal 82-game season, and teams must play at least 79 games for any win total wager to be valid. The star-studded Brooklyn Nets are +225 NBA title favorites at Caesars and to no surprise have the highest win total at 54.5. The Oklahoma City Thunder, meanwhile, have the lowest win total number of 22.5.
If the Nets can keep Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden healthy for all 82 games, they probably destroy the Over 54.5 wins and could approach 70 as perhaps the greatest offensive team ever. However, why would anyone think even one of those guys plays even 70 games with their various injury histories? The Nets won't care about the regular season; it's all about getting to the playoffs healthy.
Irving played 54 games last season – not missing all due to injury but also personal reasons – with Harden at 44 games split between Houston and Brooklyn and Durant 35. Only Durant played in all 12 postseason games, with Irving and Harden each limited to nine. The Nets' NBA franchise record for regular-season wins is 52 set in 2001-02 while in New Jersey. The club won more than that a few times while the New York Nets in the ABA.
At full strength, the Nets will be favored in all but a few games – although they have opened as very slight underdogs for their Christmas Day mega-showdown with the LeBron James/Anthony Davis/Russell Westbrook Lakers. The first game of the 2021-22 regular season is Oct. 19 with the Nets visiting the Bucks and that's currently a pick'em.
Champion Milwaukee is set at Over/Under 53.5 wins, the second-highest total. The Bucks opened the 72-game shortened 2020-21 campaign at 51 wins, the only team with more than 50. They finished at 46-26. Utah had the highest win total of 52 and is set at Over/Under 51.5 this season along with the Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers. Philly's could change if/when the team trades Ben Simmons.
The team with the highest win total that missed the playoffs is Golden State at 49.5, obviously presuming the healthy return of All-Star guard Klay Thompson after missing the past two seasons – although Thompson might not quite be ready by opening night.
Oklahoma City, meanwhile, finished with the fourth-worst record last year at 22-50 and the Thunder are given just a half-win additional despite the added 10 games. Other than Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, it's a very unproven roster. Hey, the Thunder do have around 429 first-round draft picks over the next five years or so.
OKC is likely to "battle" for the NBA's worst record with Orlando (24.5 wins), Houston (24.5), Cleveland (25.5) and Detroit (26.5). The Pistons' Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick this year, remains the +260 favorite to win Rookie of the Year. His debut will be Oct. 20 vs. new-look Chicago.
Caesars Sportsbook NBA win totals
Golden State 49.5
LA Clippers 45.5
LA Lakers 51.5
New Orleans 39.5
New York 42.5
Oklahoma City 22.5
San Antonio 29.5
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