The Washington Wizards have undergone quite the makeover during the offseason, and that will lead sports bettors to ask one major question before laying their money down: Will that makeover make the Wizards prettier?
Washington hired a new head coach and made one major trade in the weeks following the 2020-21 season that saw it sneak into the playoffs with a 34-38 regular-season record.
Linemakers at sportsbooks throughout the United States have released various futures odds for the 2021-22 NBA season. Let’s take a look at what those odds are for the Wizards and examine which sides of those numbers have the most value.
What Are The Odds?
Several sportsbooks have listed odds for regular-season win totals, NBA champion, Eastern Conference champion, and whether a team will make or miss the playoffs. Here are those numbers for the Wizards from four books.
|Sportsbook||Regular-season wins||Make/Miss Playoffs||Eastern Conference Champion||NBA Champion|
What Changed In The Offseason?
The first domino to fall came in June when Scott Brooks was fired as head coach. In July, the Wizards announced former assistant Wes Unseld Jr. as the new head coach.
What followed was a major shakeup in the roster that included sending point guard Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a five-team trade. The trade netted a handful of new players general manager Tommy Sheppard said will improve the Wizards’ defense, shooting, and athleticism — all of which were shortcomings last season.
The most noteworthy addition is Spencer Dinwiddie, who came to Washington after a sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets. Washington also added Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope from the Lakers.
How To Measure The Impact
It’s always a big deal when a team trades away such a big name like Westbrook because it’s difficult to win in the NBA without superstars.
But because the Wizards were hampered by Westbrook’s rich contract, they didn’t have much room to build around him and high-scoring guard Bradley Beal. That left too many holes for the Wizards to become a serious contender in the Eastern Conference and their sub-.500 record was proof of that.
Washington will miss Westbrook’s elite playmaking ability, but his departure might mean a bigger boost from Beal. Beal opened as the favorite to win the NBA scoring title next season.
Dealing a season win total of 34.5 and odds to make the playoffs at +290, PointsBets is on the high end of the Wizards market.
“The Wizards are short on high-end talent outside of Bradley Beal, but we think they have enough capable depth around Beal to make them a fringe playoff/play-in team,” PointsBet Director of Trading Jay Croucher told Maryland Sharp in an email. “(They’re) in the same tier in the East as Toronto and Charlotte.”
DraftKings, meanwhile, isn’t as bullish on Washington, with a win total of 32.5 and +500 odds to make the playoffs.
“It’s a big hit on the offensive side to lose Westbrook, and Bradley Beal, who is an outstanding player, must stay healthy for Washington to have a successful season,” DraftKings Director of Race and Sports Operations Johnny Avello said in an email. “On paper, it appears the Wizards have a solid foundation with the acquisition of Spencer Dinwiddie and acquiring Kuzma, Caldwell-Pope and Harrell from the Lakers, but it may take a while for that foundation to take shape. Wes Unseld gets his first head coaching job so there’s most likely some growing pains ahead.”
Bets To Consider
Improving depth can make a big impact in the NBA, and it could have the Wizards in a great position to improve their record from last season and move up the standings.
If you can get past the uncertainty of a new head coach and the loss of Westbrook, betting ‘over’ 32.5 wins at DraftKings seems logical. In fact, a win percentage of 40.2 (33 wins in an 82-game season) cashes tickets for ‘over’ bettors. Their 34 wins last season came in a 72-game regular season (47.2 percent).
If you believe in the Wizards this season, there is also value in betting on them to make the playoffs at as long as 5/1 odds.
With sportsbooks varying in prices for Wizards futures bets, as always, shop for the best number to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck.