The oddsmakers in Vegas released their over/under projections for the upcoming season this week, and the Nuggets came in at 34.5, which, in my opinion, is easy money.

So, if you’re heading to Vegas in the near future, make sure to put a few bucks down on the Nuggets’ over, because they’re not winning fewer than 35 games in 2016.

Here’s why:

It’s the second year of the Malone regime

Last season, the Nuggets managed to win 33 games in the team’s first year under head coach Michael Malone, a season that had many bumps in the road but provided an exciting glimpse into the future. This year, though, the learning curve won’t be nearly as steep as it was in 2015, as the players will have a better grasp on the style of play Malone wants to install on the court. From everything I’ve seen and heard, players love playing for Malone, and that should be critical for the success of the team moving forward.

Mudiay, Harris and Jokic all have another year under their belt

Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris and Nikola Jokic may not be veterans, but they’re not green behind the ears, either, and that should translate on the court. At this time last season, we had no idea the potential that both Jokic and Harris possessed, but they each stole the at times last season. Throw their production in with the evolving game of Mudiay and that is a solid core to build around.

A healthy, trim Jusuf Nurkic

This is a big one. This offseason Jusuf Nurkic hit the gym hard and the results have been made public. Nurk looks significantly slimmer, which is something Nuggets management has been pushing hard for since he was drafted by two years ago. Maybe it was spurred by the emergence of Jokic as the team’s starting center, but the “Bosnian Beast” looks ready to gain back some of the adoration he earned during his rookie season. If Nurkic elevates his game and remains healthy, that gives Malone another European wrecking ball down low for the Nuggs.

Healthy Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari

Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari will be big parts of the Nuggets success in 2016 — at least, that’s the plan. Chandler missed all of last season with a hip injury but has worked tirelessly to get ready for a comeback season in 2016. Chandler’s perimeter defense and ability to run and space the floor is something the Nuggets could have used last season. If Chandler played last year, I’m a firm believer that the Nuggets could have won 40 games. Getting him back is bigger then people think. The same goes for Gallo. Once he went down last year, things seemed to get out of wack. Gallo’s career year was interrupted with injury, but he’s healthy and ready to start the season. His ability to score from all over the court and get to the line helps elevate the players around him, giving his teammates open looks, resulting in more scoring opportunities. A lot of people hate on Gallo, but his ability to be a catalyst at times makes him a critical part of the Nuggets offense.

Three rookies that will bring fire off the bench

While the rookies will hopefully play starring roles with the team a few years down the line, they’ll have an impact off the bench as rookies. Jamal Murray and Juancho Hernangomez will see a decent chunk of playing time this season and will provide a nice punch off the bench that could ultimately turn into a starting role. The Nuggets were extremely happy with the rookies they snagged in the draft, and their talent will be flaunted in due time.

Of course, there are a few things that could derail the Nuggets season — mainly injuries to Gallo and Chandler or stagnation from Mudiay, Harris or Nurkic — but the way I see it, there is WAY too much talent and potential on this roster for them not to win at least 35 games.

The youth mixed with seasoned vets and a respectable coaching staff should boast the Nuggs’ chances of winning a game and a half more then they did last season.

I also talked about the question at hand on a Tuesday night edition of Press Box Insider, check out what I had to say:

See you in a month, Nuggets fans!