The Westgate sportsbook posted 2020-21 NBA season win totals Saturday after the NBA Players Association approved a plan for a Dec. 22 start to the season that includes a reduced 72-game schedule.
The Milwaukee Bucks have the league’s highest win total at 49½, followed by the Boston Celtics and defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers at 46½. The LA Clippers are at 45½ and the Miami Heat 44½.
The Bucks finished with the best regular-season record in the league the last two seasons but failed to reach the NBA Finals each time.
“We’ve seen what they’ve done in the postseason but the last couple years they’ve looked like the (best) regular-season team,” Westgate sportsbook vice president of risk Jeff Sherman said. “You won’t see much personnel change going into this season. There’s not a strong free agent class and there’s not that many impact players in the draft.
“For the most part, you’re going to see the same teams out there.”
The two notable exceptions will be the Brooklyn Nets (43½) and Golden State Warriors (42½).
Brooklyn, which will finally feature Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant together this season, is the 10-1 fifth choice to win the NBA title behind the Lakers (+350), Clippers (+500), Bucks (+700) and Warriors (+800).
Golden State, which finished with the league’s worst record (15-50) last season following five straight trips to the NBA Finals, is expected to contend again with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green back healthy together.
“One thing to take into account is the Warriors have the No. 2 pick in the draft and Andrew Wiggins on the team,” Sherman said. “I think they’ll make moves based on those two. So it’ll be Curry, Thompson, Green and somebody else. But who’s that going to be?”
The Lakers are leading the NBA title futures ticket count at the Westgate, followed by the Warriors and Nets.
“Right now, really the only two liabilities are on the Warriors and Nets,” Sherman said. “Those were the two teams we knew people would be targeting to bet.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets are tied for the lowest win total at 22½.
The totals were posted with stipulations that teams must play at least 69 regular-season games and no more than 72 for action. Forfeitures are deemed a non-played game, wagers don’t include the postseason and bets are action despite relocations.
“Everything has been so fluid, we’re just trying to cover what these numbers are based on,” Sherman said. “The Raptors might not play in Toronto and we gave some flexibility in case some games aren’t recovered.”
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at [email protected] Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.
2020-21 NBA win totals
Trail Blazers; 37½