By Mark Strotman | | 7 mins
NBA 2020 Win Totals Markets and Early Postseason Picture
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Oddsmakers have begun releasing over-under win totals for the 2020 NBA season. Here’s a look at how they see the NBA’s playoff picture shaking out prior to the start of the draft and free agency.
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1. Milwaukee Bucks: 55.5
It’s a crucial offseason in Milwaukee, as the Bucks must find the cap space to re-sign All-Star Khris Middleton, center Brook Lopez and budding star Malcolm Brogdon.
Even if Milwaukee retains only two of those three, they should be the favorites in the East after winning 60 games last season. Giannis Antetokounmpo still hasn’t reached his peak.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: 52.5
The 76ers went all-in last season in acquiring both Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, only to see their playoff dreams dashed by Kawhi Leonard and the eventual NBA-champion Raptors.
But Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will be a year older and there’s optimism that GM Elton Brand will retain Butler and perhaps Harris, giving Philadelphia a supremely talented core once again.
3. Toronto Raptors: 52.5
Where will Kawhi Leonard play next season? The reining Finals MVP will have no shortage of suitors this offseason and the Raptors will have to hope dreams of a repeat outweigh his desire to play closer to his hometown of Los Angeles.
Even if Leonard departs, Toronto should be an enticing spot for other free agents given their remaining core that includes Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka. This team will compete in the East, Leonard or not.
4. Boston Celtics: 48.5
It feels like Kyrie Irving has played his last game for the Celtics. That’s the bad news. The good news is they still have an outstanding core in Al Hoford, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward, as well as three first-round picks in this week’s NBA Draft.
Add elite coach Brad Stevens to the mix, and it’s clear the Celtics aren’t going away even if Irving does.
5. Indiana Pacers: 47.5
Victor Oladipo’s health is at the forefront of any discussion with the Pacers. He’ll likely miss the start of the season after tearing his quad muscle in January, but the Pacers are expected to bring back the majority of the roster that finished the year 16-15 after Oladipo’s injury. Assuming Oladipo returns to who he was pre-injury, the Pacers are a playoff team.
6. Brooklyn Nets: 47.5
The Nets won 42 games last season and can now acquire two max players in free agency this July. Oddsmakers are banking on that happening – Kyrie Irving anyone? – as well as the rest of the young core improving. Brooklyn is on the rise behind Kenny Atkinson, who has taken a franchise left for dead and in three seasons made them a playoff contender.7. Detroit Pistons: 36.5
Blake Griffin turned back the clock in 2019, posting numbers that earned him a spot on the All-NBA Second Team.
He and Andre Drummond will lead a Pistons team that finished the regular season 19-12 before getting swept by the Bucks in the first round. Dwane Casey feels like the right man for the job in Detroit and should keep them in playoff contention.
8. Orlando Magic: 36.5
Nikola Vucevic was named an All-Star last year just in time for him to hit free agency this summer.
Whether the center stays in Orlando or signs on with a contender could be the difference in Orlando, last year’s biggest NBA Playoffs surprise, returning to the postseason for a second year. After winning 42 games a year ago, oddsmakers expect from regression.
The Rest of the East
- 9. Miami Heat: 36.5
- 10. Charlotte Hornets: 34.5
- 11. New York Knicks: 34.5
- 12. Atlanta Hawks: 32.5
- 13. Chicago Bulls: 27.5
- 14. Washington Wizards: 27.5
- 15. Cleveland Cavaliers: 23.5
1. Los Angeles Lakers: 54.5
Prior to last season’s debacle in Year 1 with the Lakers, LeBron James-led teams had averaged 57.3 wins the past 10 seasons.
Anthony Davis is on board and the Lakers are fully expected to name a third star in free agency. Oddsmakers have pegged them as the favorites to win it all in 2020 for good reason.
2. Houston Rockets: 53.5
Whether the Rockets ever reach the mountaintop, they’re always going to be a lethal regular season team. Assuming cooler heads prevail and they bring back their core, Mike D’Antoni’s group should be a lock for 50 wins and a top-3 seed in the West like they’ve done each of the last three seasons. James Harden will again be the MVP frontrunner.
3. Utah Jazz: 52.5
It’s been a decade since the Jazz won 53 games, but they’ll bring back most of their core and have two legitimate stars in Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
They’ll need to make important decisions on free agent Ricky Rubio and Derrick Favors, who has a $17.75 million team option this summer. Utah is on the rise but does have question marks that need answering this summer.
4. Denver Nuggets: 50.5
The Denver Nuggets jumped from good to great in 2019, and now they’ll need to prove their 54-win campaign last season wasn’t just a flash in the pan.
If they’re able to rework Paul Millsap’s contract – he has a $30.3 million team option – they’ll bring back their entire core plus Michael Porter Jr., last year’s Lottery pick who missed the entire season after back surgery. All the pieces are there for the Nuggets to replicate last season’s successes.
5. LA Clippers: 49.5
The Clippers have enough cap space to sign a max free agent, and oddsmakers clearly think they’ll succeed in doing so.
After a magical 48-win campaign, the Clippers will bring back most of their core – retaining free agent Patrick Beverley will be a priority – and are the favorites to land Kawhi Leonard if he leaves Toronto.
6. Golden State Warriors: 47.5
We’re about to see just how far Stephen Curry and Draymond Green can carry the Warriors. Even if Golden State brings back free agents Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson – they’re expected to – neither will contribute much in 2020 after suffering an Achilles and ACL tear, respectively.
Still, Curry and Green is a heckuva 1-2 punch and they still have talented complementary pieces. But this won’t be your dynasty Warriors team that averaged 64.4 wins the last five seasons.
7. Oklahoma City Thunder: 46.5
The Thunder have $146 million in committed salary next season. That means that, outside of draft picks, they’ll essentially run it back with the team from a year ago that won 49 games.
Paul George was a legitimate MVP candidate and Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the third straight season a year ago. OKC again will rely on those two to do the heavy-lifting.
8. Portland Trail Blazers: 45.5
The Blazers exceeded expectations for a second straight season, winning 53 games and advancing to the Western Conference Finals.
But there are question marks for 2020: Jusuf Nurkic is still out with a broken leg, while Al-Farouq Aminu, Rodney Hood and Seth Curry are all free agents. It’s an important offseason in Portland as they look to maintain relevance in a difficult Western Conference.
9. New Orleans Pelicans: N/A
Oddsmakers haven’t posted win totals on the Pelicans just yet. They’re reportedly fielding calls for the No. 4 pick they acquired from the Lakers. That could turn into a significant veteran piece that ups their win total.
For now, we’ll say that a core of Jrue Holiday, Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball is a fringe playoff contender. That fourth pick – or the return for it – could tip the scales.
The Rest of the West
- 10. San Antonio Spurs: 44.5
- 11. Dallas Mavericks: 41.5
- 12. Sacramento Kings: 35.5
- 13. Minnesota Timberwolves: 34.5
- 14. Memphis Grizzlies: 27.5
- 15. Phoenix Suns: 25.5
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