On this week’s Bleav in Wizards podcast, I took the Over-Under totals from DraftKings and gave my predictions for each team’s win totals for the upcoming season. The numbers I used were from September 12th so they could have changed somewhat by the time you read this.
Boston Celtics - 55.5 - UNDER
I took the under because I think there’s likely some regression and they finish in the low 50s. Losing Danilo Gallinari hurts and Al Horford has to get old eventually.
Milwaukee Bucks - 52.5 - OVER
I just trust this group the most. They lost a lot of key players to injury last season and still 51 games. Seems like a safe bet they can improve on that by 2 wins with even minimal improvements on the health front.
Philadelphia 76ers - 49.5 - OVER
I like what they did this offseason and I think Joel Embiid is due to win an MVP at some point. Side bet: if you’re going to bet on who wins MVP, I like Embiid’s chances assuming James Harden doesn’t steal any of his votes.
Miami Heat - 48.5 - UNDER
I’m always going to take their under and I’m likely always going to be wrong. I just can’t help myself though. Kyle Lowry aged rapidly last season and they’re asking a lot of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
Atlanta Hawks - 46.5 - UNDER
Trae Young and Dejounte Murray both had the ball in their hands as much as anyone last season. Their fit together offensively seems clunky and I’m not sure Murray can do enough on his own to boost the defense enough to counter that.
Brooklyn Nets - 45.5 - OVER
On September 6th, this number was 50.5. Last year was a total and complete circus and they won 44 games. I actually like their roster more this season and I think their pieces fitting together better is worth at least 2 more wins over last year. Plus, Kevin Durant is still pretty good at basketball.
Toronto Raptors - 44.5 - OVER
For whatever reason, I just had 46 as the number in my head for them. This feels like one of those “greater than the sum of their parts” teams. Plus, they added NBA Champion Otto Porter Jr. so there’s that.
Chicago Bulls - 43.5 - UNDER? I think? Maybe?
This was hard for me. I really don’t like this team. I think DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic are a clunky fit. I’m lower than consensus on almost all of their guys. And yet, largely the same group won 46 games last year despite being decimated by injuries and COVID-19 cases. Common sense would probably suggest taking the over which is exactly why I’m going to play a hunch and take the under.
Cleveland Cavaliers - 46.5 - OVER
This group won 44 games last year and I like their roster a whole lot better this season. If Jarrett Allen can stay healthy (he was the key to their defense last season) and/or Evan Mobley takes a leap, they could blow way past this win total.
New York Knicks - 39.5 - UNDER
That number feels about right when looking at their team on paper. However, I’m going to take the under purely based on the chance that this may be the season that Tom Thibodeau finally wears out his welcome and the players actively mutiny.
Charlotte Hornets - 36.5 - UNDER
I have no faith in this roster. I would feel very confident betting your money on this one.
Washington Wizards - 36.5 - OVER
I might as well just light my money on fire but I can’t help but take the slight over every year. I fully realize that Las Vegas knows all but this just feels low if Bradley Beal plays a whole season and Kristaps Porzingis plays like half of one. I’m ready to be hurt!
Detroit Pistons - 28.5 - OVER
Cade Cunningham. That’s it. That’s the rationale.
Orlando Magic - 25.5 - OVER
Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr., and a decent crop of guards seem like enough to get into the high-20s.
Indiana Pacers - 24.5 - UNDER
If they trade Myles Turner and Buddy Hield they could get really bad really fast.