As teams around the NBA are finalizing their rosters for the next season, sportsbooks are releasing their odds and lines based on their expectations from the regular season. In most sportsbooks that offer future bets for the number of regular season wins for each team, the Washington Wizards are expected to have the fewest wins out of every team in the league.
DraftKings Sportsbook released their over/under lines for regular season wins for the 2023-24 season. They set the line at 24.5 wins for the Washington Wizards. This means that if you bet the over and the Wizards win 25 or more games, you win, but if they win 24 or fewer games then you lose.
The line of 24.5 wins is the fewest win expectation for any team in the NBA. Washington is followed by the Detroit Pistons at 27.5 wins, the San Antonio Spurs at 30.5 wins, the Houston Rockets, and the Charlotte Hornets at 31.5 wins. The line for the Portland Trail Blazers hasn’t been released yet because of uncertainty surrounding Damian Lillard, but it’s hard to imagine that it will be fewer than 24.5 wins.
This means that the overall sentiment from Las Vegas is that the Washington Wizards are going to be the worst team in the league. It’s still early in the offseason to know how each team is going to look in the season, but this line makes sense.
There were only four teams last season that won less than four games; San Antonio, Houston, Detroit, and Charlotte.
All four of those teams are trying to take a step forward next year as they made significant additions to their roster through the draft or free agency. They are trying to be competitive and win more games than last year, which should presumably push them ahead of the Wizards.
Washington has the advantage of zigging while others are zagging. If every team in the Eastern Conference is trying to win, the path to the worst record, thus a higher chance at a top draft pick, will be clearer.
There will be injuries that set a few teams back, and some will pull the plug and trade away their veterans. Chicago and Toronto are good candidates for that, but it will be hard for them to fall behind Washington.
The reason for that is the fact that the Wizards will presumably prioritize developing their young players like Bilal Coulibaly and Johnny Davis over winning games. If they play their veterans like Delon Wright, Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, and Kyle Kuzma a lot of minutes with the hopes of racking up wins, the Wizards can easily win over 24.5 games.
Yet, every sign indicates that developing Coulibaly, Davis, Ryan Rollins, and Patrick Baldwin Jr is more important to the Wizards. So, they will likely play them plenty of minutes even if it costs them some wins.
The number of wins couldn’t matter less to the Washington Wizards in the 2023-24 season, but it will be fascinating to see whether being counted out to this degree sets a fire under the team.