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Oklahoma City Thunder

Vegas Picks Thunder to Finish Third in West

Zachary Low

zacharylow88

Oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook came out with their latest over-under numbers for wins for the upcoming season for each team in the Western Conference, and they picked the Oklahoma City Thunder to finish third in the West with a line of 50.5 wins.

The Thunder has finished with at least 51 wins four times in the franchise’s decade of existence, and since the departure of Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City has come close to that mark with 47 and 48 wins respectively. While 51 wins seems like a favorable bet, it may not be as easy as it sounds.

Despite returning a solid core from last season, along with losing Carmelo Anthony, which could mean better chemistry overall for the team, picking up 50-plus wins in the Western Conference is easier said than done.

Last season only two teams, the reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets (who had the best record in the NBA), finished above that mark, while seven teams had at least 46 but no more than 49 wins.

The Thunder struggled last season primarily due to chemistry issues and a handful of injuries, but Oklahoma City should see an uptick in wins this upcoming season. If Billy Donovan can sort out a solid roster rotation early in the season, the Thunder could easily flirt with a win total pushing 60.

Some other interesting notes from the SuperBook’s predictions:

  • Golden State’s line is set at 62.5 wins, an increase from their 58 wins a season ago.
  • Houston’s line is set at 54.5, a significant decrease from their league-leading 65 wins a season ago.
  • Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are picked at 48.5 wins. The Lakers haven’t made the playoffs since 2013, but Lebron James’s teams have averaged 52.5 wins in his 15-year career, and he hasn’t missed the playoffs since his second season.
  • The San Antonio Spurs are predicted to miss the playoffs at 43.5 wins. The Spurs haven’t missed the postseason since 1997.
  • The Portland TrailBlazers are picked to miss the playoffs at 41.5 wins, despite winning 49 games and earning the three-seed in the West a season ago.

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