NBA Opening Night has a Christmas Day Lite feel to it with two heavy hitter matchups, naturally involving four high profile teams, tipping off the 2022-23 regular season on Tuesday night on TNT.
Two of the top teams in the East (don’t worry, we see you Milwaukee) get things started at 7:30 p.m ET when the Boston Celtics host the new look, or at least newly tweaked, Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers not only added P.J. Tucker and De’Anthony Melton to fortify their key role players, but James Harden almost looks like a new player, appearing to get in shape for the start of the new season.
The nightcap at 10:00 p.m. ET has the defending champion Golden State Warriors hosting the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers will certainly be happy to focus on a real game with LeBron James and Anthony Davis (assuming AD gets to the tip healthy) instead of what type of role Russell Westbrook will play. That doesn’t mean Westbrook’s every move, eye dart, smirk, smile and frown won’t be analyzed, but others on the roster will likely impact the outcome on the court.
OK, so for those of us not caring about the four opening night squads, a little wager or three is a nice way to enhance the experience. Acording to DraftKings. the Sixers, who are many national media analysts’ darling to win the East, are +2.5 underdogs (continue refreshing for updated odds) against the Celtics at home. The C’s have had plenty of turmoil, but the addition of Malcolm Brogdon should also help stabilize their role player strength.
This type of game requires some conviction one way or the other to wager on, but another way to enjoy the action is via the player prop. Personally, I’m fond of the combined Points, Rebounds and Assist props, particularly for players who can have big rebound and/or assist numbers from night-to-night.
James Harden may be done and even if his svelte look helps him recapture his quickness getting to the hole, his days of drawing way too many fouls shots are likely over. Still, he can shoot, score and pass, so I like the over on his P+R+A at 33.5. I also don’t mind Jayson Tatum at over 35.5 and Joel Embiid at over 40.5 just because both to those guys can hit that number with points alone on a good night.
As for the Warriors and Lakers, DraftKings has the Dubs at -6 favorites to win their ring ceremony game. Speaking of which, it often seems the teams, particularly the home team, start ring ceremony games a little flat thanks to the different environment before the tip. Take a peek at the first quarter line just prior to the game and if it is close to 60 points, the under may be the call.
I’m also usually a sucker for a Same Game Parlay involving three pointers when the Warriors play. Just too fun to watch those guys shoot, particularly when they pay off by halftime. Oh, and don’t forget LeBron James. His number for my favorite P+R+A is over 41.5. Might be more fun to put a smaller stake on LBJ’s triple-double odds which are +1600.
These are just a few of many, many, many betting options for opening night. BTW, the Pacers open against the Wizards with the rest of the commoners on Wednesday night at the Fieldhouse and are currently +2 underdogs against the Wiz.
Please feel free to share you tips, angles and locks on opening night, and as always, bet responsibly!
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