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The Christmas Day and opening day schedule for the 2021-22 NBA season was released last Wednesday. Then, the full schedule for the upcoming season was released this past Friday. Sportsbooks have also now published their win total projections for all 30 teams for next season. The win total is based on a full 82-game traditional schedule, unlike last season’s 72 games. According to PointsBet, the Brooklyn Nets are projected to finish the 2021-22 season with the highest win total (55.5) in the league.
Ranking second, the Milwaukee Bucks are expected to conclude their season with 54.5 total wins, followed by the Utah Jazz (52.5), Los Angeles Lakers (52.5) and Philadelphia 76ers (51.5). On October 19, 2021, the Bucks host the Nets on opening day. The Bucks are a one-point favorite over the Nets. This game is also a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Semifinals series. In Game 7, the Bucks won 115-111 in an impressive double-overtime conclusion.
Last season, while the Lakers ended their regular season with a record of 42-30 (.583), the bigger disappointment was getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns. Brooklyn’s Big Three, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, will be returning as healthy players this time around.
In the offseason, the Lakers added Kent Bazemore, Chaundee Brown, Mac McClung and Russell Westbrook after trading away Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma. Plus, on August 3, 2021, Carmelo Anthony agreed to a one-year deal with the organization. Moreover, the Utah Jazz finished 52-20 (.722) last season, ranking first in the Northwest Division and first overall in the Western Conference.
Notable dark-horse competitors
The New York Knicks are expected to win 40.5 games. Last season, they finished 41-31 (.569) and ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference. That was the first time the Knicks made the playoffs since the 2012-13 season. After snapping a seven-year streak of failing to qualify for the postseason, head coach Tom Thibodeau won Coach of the Year. On August 17, 2021, as part of a sign-and-trade agreement with the Boston Celtics, the team acquired Evan Fournier. He signed a four-year, $78 million contract. Taking the over for the Knicks seems to be a great bet.
Additionally, another up-and-coming Eastern Conference competitor bettors should keep an eye on are the Chicago Bulls. Despite their 31-41 (.431) disappointing closure to last season, missing the playoffs, the Bulls made all kinds of interesting offseason moves. On August 3, 2021, in a sign-and-trade with the San Antonio Spurs, the team acquired DeMar DeRozan.
He signed a three-year, $85 million contract with Chicago. In another sign-and-trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, Lonzo Ball was traded to the team. The agreed deal is a four-year, $85 million contract. Both trades could work out great for the organization. Now, Zach LaVine has more help. 39.5 wins for Chicago? Think about picking the over.
2021-22 Win Total Projection
Last Season Projected Win Total
|Golden State Warriors||48.5||(-110o/-110u)||39|
|Los Angeles Clippers||44.5||(-110o/-110u)||48|
|Los Angeles Lakers||52.5||(-120o/+100u)||48|
|New Orleans Pelicans||38.5||(-120o/+100u)||34|
|New York Knicks||40.5||(-110o/-110u)||21.5|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||23.5||(-110o/-110u)||21|
|Portland Trail Blazers||44.5||(-110o/-110u)||40.5|