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Vegas sets Raptors’ win total over/under at 36.5

The Toronto Raptors enter the 2021-22 season with extremely low expectations.

Washington Wizards v Toronto Raptors Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The all-knowing oddsmakers have set the over-under on the Toronto Raptors 2021-22 win total at 36.5 games. If you’re a sports gambler, that means you need to decide whether the best bet is the Raptors winning 37 or more games — or losing 46 or more.

That’s the fifth-lowest win total amongst Eastern Conference teams, ahead of only Orlando, Detroit, Cleveland and Washington. The Raptors are, accordingly, a longshot to make the playoffs:

I have to say, an over-under of 36.5 seems about right in my mind, given where the team is at. In fact, I expected the over-under to be lower, given how, historically, the Raptors have been underrated in these sorts of exercises. I figured we’d see a 32.5 and be subjected to days of Twitter rage about an otherwise meaningless number. Thankfully, said rage has yet to materialize.

The question then becomes: what’s the best bet here? While I remain high on this team’s potential, I’m leaning on betting the under. Not necessarily because I think the Raptors will be that bad, but more because I think the team will approach this season with a lot of caution and a serious eye towards the future. We know Pascal Siakam will miss the start of the season as he recovers from shoulder surgery; I don’t expect the he’ll be rushed back. If other injuries pop up amongst the more veteran players, or if COVID strikes again, I think you’ll see players held out a little longer than they otherwise might have been. And I think as we get into the second half of the season, you’ll see more and more minutes allocated to young players and projects, much like last season.

Given those expectations then, does 34 wins sound about right for this team? It does to me. Maybe I’m a pessimist! But then again the Raptors only won 27 games last season — or 31 games, adjusted for an 82 game schedule — and that team had Kyle Lowry. The added bonus of playing in front of (hopefully!) fans at Scotiabank Arena, and of (hopefully!) not losing weeks to health and safety protocols, should give them a few more wins — but winning probably isn’t this team’s top priority.

What do you think? How many games will the 2021-22 Toronto Raptors win?