NBA Season Preview: Northwest Division Win Total Predictions


Oct 23, 2023

The reigning NBA champion Denver Nuggets have a firm grasp on the Northwest Division and are expected to run with it again, but can anyone come close?

Here are our win total predictions for each team.

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  • Denver Nuggets

Everything went perfectly for the Denver Nuggets last season, culminating with their championship, but they did not improve leading into this upcoming season. Losing Bruce Brown is a massive blow as he was their sixth man and spot starter who did everything for them, and the Nuggets did nothing to replace him. Christian Braun is expected to side in seamlessly, yet I think that would undersell how valuable Brown was to winning the championship. Still, the Nuggets deserve to be one of the frontrunners in the conference, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they take their foot off the gas pedal a tad. After only winning 53 games last regular season, all the other West contenders improved, and the Nuggets got worse, making this an easy under bet.

Pick: Under 52.5 Wins

  • Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves didn’t do anything sizable this offseason. Still, I’m a believer in Anthony Edwards. We could see him take the leap into the upper tier of NBA stars this season. Around him, I don’t think Rudy Gobert can be any worse than he was last year, with the hope that he and Karl-Anthony Towns will gel more. Still, this all comes down to Edwards, and if he elevates his game as I project, this team could approach 48-50 wins. 

Pick: Over 44.5 Wins

  • Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder have one of the best young cores in basketball, and this is the season where they are supposed to take the leap into being bonafide playoff contenders. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a top-ten player in the sport whose status would be much larger than it is if he played in a bigger market. Chet Holmgren is healthy, with guys like Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams being key pieces who should continue to develop. This will be a fun team, and like the Timberwolves, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see them approaching 48-50 wins. 

Pick: Over 44.5 Wins

  • Portland Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers have embraced the tank, so we should bet this team as such. Yes, some fun and exciting players are on this roster, such as Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons, and Shaedon Sharpe, but they are far from impact players. Malcolm Brogdon will be a deadline target for contenders, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them flip DeAndre Ayton for draft picks if he can rebuild his value in the market. Their total of 27.5 is a low number, but I’d lean to the under as this team will be using this season to build an identity.

Pick: Under 27.5 Wins

  • Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz got off to a 10-3 start last season but went 27-42 the rest of the way, and not much has changed heading into this season. They added some nice rookies in Keyonte George and Taylor Hendricks, but they still need time to develop. John Collins highlighted the veteran acquisitions, but as we saw in Atlanta, Collins doesn’t translate to wins. Lauri Markkanen was an all-star last year, so it will be worth watching if he can sustain his success. Still, I tend to lean to the under here, given my higher expectations for Oklahoma City and Minnesota and the Western Conference still being a gauntlet. 

Pick: Under 35.5 Wins

All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

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Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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