Oddsmakers aren't high on the 2021-22 Portland Trail Blazers with PointsBet, the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports, giving them a win total over/under of 44.5 wins.
The Blazers went 42-30 in 2020-21, which was a 47.8 win pace over an 82-game season, and earned the sixth seed in the Western Conference. Next year, the oddsmakers have the Blazers with the eighth-highest win total over/under behind the Lakers, Jazz, Suns, Mavs, Warriors, Nuggets, and Clippers. Considering last season's seventh and eighth seeds (Lakers and Warriors) project to be much better next season, the Blazers being slotted into eight makes sense.
This line also has the possibility of a Damian Lillard trade occurring midseason built-in with the franchise star publicly saying he wants to compete for a championship and last year's roster didn't allow him to do so.
Rather than overhaul the roster, Neil Olshey has elected to run it back while replacing Carmelo Anthony and Enes Kanter off the bench with Tony Snell and Cody Zeller. The five-man starting lineup of Lillard, CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, Robert Covington, and Jusuf Nurkic all return with new head coach Chauncey Billups. That starting lineup finished last season with a net rating of +13.4, good for the NBA's 8th-best lineup after the NBA Trade Deadline.
Now, the team needs improvement defensively to reach contender status. Powell, fresh off a $90 million contract, told Brooke Olzendam he thinks "there's another level we can get to defensively."
"Be more physical, do different things throughout the course of the game, different coverages, different schemes, gettin' up into the ball, forcing and holding guys accountable on that end of the ball, not just offensively. So I'm really excited about that."
Powell even sees a championship as "very attainable this upcoming season" while the oddsmakers see Portland as a play-in team. Additionally, PointsBet has the Blazers title odds at +5000.
Which one will be correct?
Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.