Washington Wizards 2021 NBA Win Total Odds & Pick: How Many Wins is Russell Westbrook Worth?
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards.
Wizards Win Total Odds
The Case for the Over
Before the Russell Westbrook trade, this was 28.5. Is Westbrook worth four wins per 72 games? They’re projected for 10 more wins per 82 games than last season. Is that reasonable?
Considering this team openly tanked the bubble, yes. Both Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans bailed on the Orlando experiment, ending any playoff hopes.
I liked the Wizards last year. They couldn’t defend, but their offense was surprisingly inventive for a Scott Brooks team. They used weird mechanisms like Bertans-Moritz Wagner pick-and-rolls, moved the ball, and played fast.
They added Robin Lopez, who will help defensively, but the biggest difference is that this team will be fully committed to winning. Westbrook sets a tone, and his teams usually rally. You can knock Westbrook for his playoff foibles chasing triple-doubles, but there’s no questioning his effort and commitment in-season. There will be nights he wins the Wizards some games.
Washington has a fairly balanced schedule and two legit stars, with some shooters. In the East, this is a team closer to .500.
The Case for the Under
In the preseason, Westbrook said he remarked to Brooks “Hey, this is all stuff we used to run (in OKC).” That’s a bad sign.
Brooks broke out of his conventional models last season and the Wizards’ offense benefitted, but it’s easier to do those things when you only have one star and your aspirations are lower. With Westbrook, a hierarchy forms, and in that hierarchy, a more rigid structure.
If you take away the dynamism of this team’s offense, they become sub-mediocre pretty quickly.
Westbrook has never really played with these kinds of shooters before, but at this point, we have enough to suggest that Westbrook simply isn’t a plus player. His defense is a non-factor at best, he’s ball-dominant and can only really play one way. Yes, the supporting personnel of Washington suggests they can mold to that, but is that team all that good?
The Wizards had the second-worst defense in the league last season. Is adding Westbrook and Lopez really going to make that significantly (or any) better?
Washington Wizards Win Total Bet
The Wizards were a bad team that mostly just tried stuff last year. This line suggests they’ll be competing for a playoff spot. In the East? That seems reasonable.
Let’s say they go .500 vs. the East. That gets them to 21, needing just 11 of 30 West wins. That’s doable.
If you don’t want to get tied to a number, you can get the Wizards to make the play-in (7-10) at -110 at most spots.