The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook posted their initial over/unders for all 30 NBA teams on Sunday, and they’ve placed the opening line for the Sacramento Kings at 25.5 wins. This lines up with the 25 wins predicted by ESPN’s model. It’s also worth noting that last season Vegas set the Kings over/under at 28.5 wins. The Kings finished with 27. The only team with a lower over/under is the Atlanta Hawks, at 23.5 wins.
The over/under is based not so much on how many wins Vegas expects a team to win, but rather a number that will entice action on both sides of the line. 25.5 is low enough to get plenty of folks to bet the over, but high enough that the Kings could easily end up below it.
What’s more important about this line is what it says about expectations. In short, nobody outside of Sacramento thinks the Kings are going to be any good. Nobody outside Sacramento is betting the over if Vegas put it at 30. People expect the team to be bad. Plain and simple.
It’s not even that the Kings are dramatically worse than last season. Vince Carter and Garrett Temple are such huge losses as to eliminate any hope. It’s simply that the West, who the Kings will play the majority of their games against, got so much better. The Kings made minor changes to a roster that wasn’t very good, and they seem to be hoping to improve through the development of young players, while also hoping young players on other teams around the league fail to develop.
That’s the plan right now. And it isn’t impressing anyone.