The Brooklyn Nets have high expectations going into 2021-22 with an over/under win total set at 54.5 at Caesars Sportsbook, per David Purdum of ESPN.
It's the highest win total in the NBA heading into next season, followed by the Milwaukee Bucks at 53.5.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz each open at 51.5 wins following Friday's schedule release.
Brooklyn is the current favorite to win the 2022 NBA title at +230, per FanDuel, returning an exciting trio of James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
The Nets went 48-24 in 2020-21 during the shortened 72-game season, which extrapolates to 54.7 victories based on the same 66.7 percent win percentage. They have a chance to be even better next year with added chemistry between the three stars.
Injuries were also an issue with both Durant and Irving limited to just half the regular season, providing upside of a better record.
On the other hand, the Nets might not be worried about producing the best record with a championship the only goal.
"That's why you see the highest total at an unusually low 54.5," said Adam Pullen, assistant director of trading for Caesars Sportsbook. "All that matters is keeping players healthy. Just no reason to go all out in the regular season anymore. Load management is the name of the game."
The same could be said about the Bucks, who won the NBA title last year as the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. They had the best record in the league in each of the previous two years but failed to reach the NBA Finals.
Utah could be the safest bet after topping the projected over-under last season in 10 fewer games. The 52-20 squad returns most of its rotation, including stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, and could be ready for a big 2021-22 season.
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