Before the 2021/22 NBA season got underway, we polled Hoops Rumors readers on the win totals for each of the league’s 30 teams, using over/unders from major betting sites. From the Nets (55.5 wins) to the Magic (22.5 wins), our readers made their picks for whether each team’s win total would land over or under the projected figures.
This is the fifth year we’ve run these polls. After finishing a little below .500 in each of the first three years, our voters broke through in 2020/21 with a 17-13 record. Did that success carry over to ’21/22? Let’s check in on the results and find out…
- Brooklyn Nets (Over 55.5 wins): ❌ (44-38)
- Philadelphia 76ers (Under 51.5 wins): ✅ (51-31)
- Boston Celtics (Over 46.5 wins): ✅ (51-31)
- New York Knicks (Over 42.5 wins): ❌ (37-45)
- Toronto Raptors (Under 36.5 wins): ❌ (48-34)
- Milwaukee Bucks (Over 54.5 wins): ❌ (51-31)
- Indiana Pacers (Under 42.5 wins): ✅ (25-57)
- Chicago Bulls (Over 42.5 wins): ✅ (46-36)
- Cleveland Cavaliers (Under 26.5 wins): ❌ (44-38)
- Detroit Pistons (Under 25.5 wins): ✅ (23-59)
- Miami Heat (Under 48.5 wins): ❌ (53-29)
- Atlanta Hawks (Over 47.5 wins): ❌ (43-39)
- Charlotte Hornets (Over 38.5 wins): ✅ (43-39)
- Washington Wizards (Over 34.5 wins): ✅ (35-47)
- Orlando Magic (Under 22.5 wins): ✅ (22-60)
Eastern Conference record: 8-7
Big misses on the Nets and the Raptors resulted in a sub-.500 record for our voters in the Atlantic division, despite a narrow win on the Sixers under.
The results were better in the Central and Southeast, where most of the misses were only off by a few games. The one big misstep in those two divisions was on the Cavaliers, who exceeded their projected win total by more than any other team in the East.
- Utah Jazz (Over 52.5 wins): ❌ (49-33)
- Denver Nuggets (Over 48.5 wins): ❌ (48-34)
- Portland Trail Blazers (Over 44.5 wins): ❌ (27-55)
- Minnesota Timberwolves (Under 34.5 wins): ❌ (46-36)
- Oklahoma City Thunder (Under 23.5 wins): ❌ (24-58)
- Los Angeles Lakers (Over 52.5 wins): ❌ (33-49)
- Phoenix Suns (Over 51.5 wins): ✅ (64-18)
- Golden State Warriors (Over 48.5 wins): ✅ (53-29)
- Los Angeles Clippers (Over 43.5 wins): ❌ (42-30)
- Sacramento Kings (Under 36.5 wins): ✅ (30-52)
- Dallas Mavericks (Over 48.5 wins): ✅ (52-30)
- Memphis Grizzlies (Over 41.5 wins): ✅ (56-26)
- New Orleans Pelicans (Under 39.5 wins): ✅ (36-46)
- San Antonio Spurs (Over 29.5 wins): ✅ (34-48)
- Houston Rockets (Under 26.5 wins): ✅ (20-62)
Western Conference record: 8-7
In 2020/21, our voters went 5-0 in the Northwest by picking the teams expected to be above .500 to go over their projected win totals and the sub-.500 teams to go under. The same approach this season resulted in an 0-5 mark in the division, with the Trail Blazers and Timberwolves representing the Northwest’s biggest misses.
In the Pacific, injuries played a part in the Lakers and Clippers falling short of beating their projected win totals, but even a fully healthy Lakers team likely wouldn’t have won 53-plus games.
We did well with the non-L.A. teams in the Pacific and crushed the Southwest, where all five teams met our voters’ expectations (whether over or under) by at least three games. That 5-0 Southwest record helped secure an overall winning record this season.
Overall record: 16-14
For the second season in a row, our voters finished above .500 in their over/under picks. That’s all the more impressive given how many teams were affected by injuries, not to mention the way rosters were turned upside down in December and January due to COVID-19 outbreaks across the NBA.
Looking back at the preseason projections, along with your predictions, which team surprised or disappointed you the most? Jump into the comment section below to share your thoughts!
3 thoughts on “Revisiting 2021/22 NBA Over/Under Predictions”
A .500ish record is to be expected when betting chalk, which is what these polls end up being.
Standings never stay the same. Teams are either trending upward/downward. A lot of people will now play the “Oh, I knew the Lakers were going to fall apart” card, for example. But the numbers show it. Not only did people not envision the Lakers collapsing, but the numbers show that they were voted to have at least the 2nd most wins in the NBA. Just like the gambling bookies laid out … the preseason favorites were Brooklyn and LA. (Coincidence that those have mass fan bases?) They got more support than Milwaukee and Phoenix, which are both young teams that showed no signs of chinks in their armor. But most follow where the money is going.
I can’t say I’m surprised that my hometown Grizzlies did well – love the way the roster is constructed (and it doesn’t hurt to have Ja to build around) and I think Coach Jenkins is among the best in the league. I AM pleasantly surprised at how far above the over/under the team played this year. Excited for the playoffs and for the next several seasons to come.
Over: 5-5 wc, 4-4 ec
Under: 3-2 wc, 4-3 ec
Lesson: under does a bit better
Recency bias: in effect
Stakes: quite minimal in this venue