The Utah Jazz finished the 2020-21 regular season with the NBA’s best record at 52-20, good for a .722 winning percentage. But as the NBA shifts back to an 82-game regular season in 2021-22, could the Jazz bounce back from a disappointing second-round playoff exit to claim the league’s best record once again?
Our partner PointsBet recently released their projected win totals for this upcoming season, and the Jazz were near the top of the list. But they were bested by two Eastern Conference squads.
The Brooklyn Nets, who are +225 favorites to win the NBA title, have the highest projected win total at 55.5. Despite Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving all missing at least 18 games last regular season, the Nets still went 48-24 (.677 winning percentage). A 56-26 record (.683 winning percentage) would be a slight improvement from last season.
The Milwaukee Bucks dropped to seventh-best overall last season (46-26) after recording the best regular-season record in 2018-19 and 2019-20. That didn’t really matter though, as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co. finally got over the hump and won the NBA championship. PointsBet isn’t expecting a championship hangover either, projecting the Bucks to win 54.5 games with shorter odds of going over (-120) than under (+100).
Who is leading the NBA’s Western Conference in 2021-2022 win totals?
The Jazz are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the West’s best projected win total, and third-best overall, at 52.5. While 53 wins (.646 winning percentage) would be a step back from their 2020-21 pace, Utah does have shorter odds to top its projected win total than not (Over -120, Under +100). The Jazz would need to win 60 games to best last season’s winning percentage.
The Lakers got 81 combined games out of LeBron James and Anthony Davis last year as they finished in the first Play-In Tournament spot at 42-30 (.583 winning percentage). With Russell Westbrook and several other new veterans now in the mix, it’s easy to see how the Lakers could make a jump to at least 53 wins this season.
Where are the Sixers projected to finish in the Eastern Conference?
The Philadelphia 76ers and reigning Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns are tied for fifth at 51.5 wins. A .634 winning percentage (52-30 record) would be a worse pace than last season for both teams.
Philadelphia posted an East-best 49-23 record (.681 winning percentage) behind Joel Embiid’s MVP-caliber season in 2020-21. The Sixers are mostly returning the same team from last season, but their 2021-22 outlook is a bit cloudy due to the Ben Simmons situation still being unresolved.
Who has the best chance to finish as the worst NBA team in 2021-22?
Bringing up the rear is a pair of rebuilding franchises -- one from each conference. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Orlando Magic picked up 22 and 21 victories respectively last season, and both are projected to win a league-low 23.5 in 2021-22.
Here’s a complete look at the 2021-22 season win totals:
Brooklyn Nets: 55.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Milwaukee Bucks: 54.5 (Over -120, Under +100)
Philadelphia 76ers: 51.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Miami Heat: 48.5 (Over -115, Under -105)
Atlanta Hawks: 47.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Boston Celtics: 47.5 (Over -130, Under +110)
Indiana Pacers: 43.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Chicago Bulls: 41.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
New York Knicks: 40.5 (Over -140, Under +120)
Toronto Raptors: 37.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Charlotte Hornets: 36.5 (Over -130, Under +110)
Washington Wizards: 34.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Cleveland Cavaliers: 28.5 (Over +120, Under -140)
Detroit Pistons: 25.5 (Over -115, Under -105)
Orlando Magic: 23.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Los Angeles Lakers: 52.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Utah Jazz: 52.2 (Over -130, Under +110)
Phoenix Suns: 51.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Dallas Mavericks: 48.5 (Over +115, Under -135)
Golden State Warriors: 48.5 (Over +110, Under -130)
Denver Nuggets: 47.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Los Angeles Clippers: 44.5 (Over -140, Under +120)
Portland Trail Blazers: 44.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Memphis Grizzlies: 41.5 (Over -106, Under -115)
New Orleans Pelicans: 38.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Sacramento Kings: 35.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Minnesota Timberwolves: 34.5 (Over -105, Under -115)
San Antonio Spurs: 28.5 (Over -130, Under +110)
Houston Rockets: 25.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Oklahoma City Thunder: 23.5 (Over +110, Under -130)
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