The offseason madness has mostly subsided, and while several big moves may yet happen, sportsbooks are looking ahead to next season.
NBA win totals are a popular futures bet heading into a new season, providing a variety of sweats for basketball bettors and fans of any team.
As the offseason winds down, we bring you NBA regular-season win totals odds for the 2021-22 season, with teams returning to the standard 82-game schedule.
NBA Win Total Odds
|Golden State Warriors||48.5|
|Los Angeles Clippers||45.5|
|Los Angeles Lakers||52.5|
|New Orleans Pelicans||39.5|
|New York Knicks||42.5|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||23.5|
|Portland Trail Blazers||44.5|
|San Antonio Spurs||28.5|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, August 23, 2021.
NBA most projected wins in 2021-22
The Brooklyn Nets (56.5 wins) rightfully top the projected win totals for 2021-22. After assembling an overwhelming surplus of offensive talent, the Nets were plagued by injuries last season. They trudged through the playoffs with Kyrie Irving sidelined and James Harden severely neutered, and still came within literal inches of knocking off the eventual champs.
The Nets re-upped Kevin Durant (who flat-out looks like the best player on Earth right now) long-term in the offseason, while bolstering their bench, most notably with the additions of Patty Mills and James Johnson. If they can remain healthy this season, they're the league's best team on paper, and the current NBA championship odds favorite. Fully unleashed, this roster could push for 65 wins, but count on rest games for their stars, as preservation for May/June is their strict priority.
Second on the win totals board are the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks at 54.5. The Bucks quieted their playoff naysayers by outlasting the 2021 title field, and have always been regular-season studs under Mike Budenholzer.
Milwaukee lost valuable defensive cog P.J. Tucker in free agency, but bolstered its backcourt by returning George Hill and swiping the underrated Grayson Allen from the Memphis Grizzlies. They'll also benefit from the eventual return of Donte DiVincenzo – who missed virtually all of their playoff run – and a likely confidence boost from exorcizing their playoff demons.
In third are the revamped Los Angeles Lakers at 52.5 wins. GM LeBron had a busy summer, recruiting a squad of current and former All-Stars worthy of a "getting the gang together" movie montage.
But the structural fit of adding Russell Westbrook to any LeBron-centric squad presents its own set of challenges. And at an average roster age of 31.2 (tops in the NBA by over two years), there are legitimate questions about whether mileage will outweigh their experience.
NBA fewest projected wins in 2021-22
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Orlando Magic (22.5 wins), who finally detonated their middling unit at 2021's trade deadline. The carcass of a roster left behind went 6-22 post-deadline, and returns many of the same pieces.
Magic rookies Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner can contribute, but likely not enough to move the needle for such a shallow team. Elsewhere, Orlando is praying for health from three massive question marks – Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz and Wendell Carter Jr. – to keep them afloat this season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder sit right behind them at 23.5 wins. Still methodically hoarding future equity, the Thunder return largely the same roster as last season after acquiring, then buying out, Kemba Walker. While their roster reeks of fringe-player hipster upside, OKC is painfully light on top-end talent behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but has more than enough assets to swing on a midseason deal to improve the current rotation.
And rounding out the win totals basement's Top 3 are the Detroit Pistons at 24.5 wins. In the midst of a full-on rebuild, Detroit had a dismal 2020-21 campaign. They added No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham, but are still one of the league's least-talented teams on paper, and will be relying heavily on mostly unproven youth.
How to Bet NBA Regular Season Win Totals
Season win totals are somewhat self-explanatory: betting on how many wins a team will have that regular season.
Oddsmakers set a projected number of wins for each team - based on past success, returning personnel and a variety of intangible factors - and offer Over/Under betting options, allowing you to wager on if a team will exceed that win total (Over) or fall short of it (Under). This total includes regular-season games only.
For example, if oddsmakers calculate TEAM A to win around 35 games this upcoming season, they would set the Over/Under at 35.5. Thus, if TEAM A wins 35 or fewer games, they cash the Under. If TEAM A wins 36 or more games in the given season, they cash the Over.
OVER 35.5 WINS (-110)
UNDER 35.5 WINS (-110)
On top of the season win total itself, some oddsmakers may set an assigned cost to the Over and Under bets – also known as vig or juice – depending on the implied probability of the team winning more or less than that total.
Season win totals are considered futures betting odds and sportsbooks will take action on season win totals from the time they post the odds until the start of the season. Futures bets are then graded at the end of the season, when all results are final.
Keep in mind for the 2021-22 NBA season that teams will be returning to the typical 82-game schedule after playing just 72 games due to last season's adjusted format following the COVID-19 hiatus.