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NBA Opening Night Betting Preview

What bets should you make between Sixers-Celtics and Lakers-Warriors??

NBA: Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

It’s finally here!! The 2022-23 NBA Season is finally here!! The opening slate will tip-off on Tuesday, Oct. 18 on TNT, beginning with the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers, capped-off by the Los Angeles Lakers against the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Let’s dive into some bets you should make, via the DraftKings Sportsbook!

DraftKings Odds:

Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics (-2.5):

The Celtics, who made it out of the Eastern Conference at the expense of our very own Miami Heat, will host the Sixers, who had one of the best offseasons across the league. Philadelphia nabbed P.J. Tucker away from Miami, traded for De’Anthony Melton while adding Danuel House and Montrezl Harrell in free agency. The Celtics, however, had a poor end to an offseason that began with trading for Malcolm Brogdon and signing Danilo Gallinari (who tore his ACL and is out for the year).

Favorite Bet: Under 214.5 (-110)

I’m not confident in betting the spread because I’m not 100 percent certain what I will get *to begin* the season with a new-look Sixers team, or a Celtics team coached by Joe Mazzulla. With opening night tip-offs in general, I usually default to the under because I’m expecting “first game of the season” jitters from both teams early in the game, lowring the ceiling for points scored. It’s also worth mentioning that Boston had the league’s best defense last season, added Brogdon and didn’t lose any key rotation players; The Sixers were the 12th-best defense, but its additions of Tucker, Melton and House should elevate that mark in the long run. I’d play the under to 212.

Favorite Prop Bet: Marcus Smart steals O 1.5 (+160)

Smart averaged 1.7 steals last year — pickpocketing at least two steals in 32 of his 71 games, including in two of his three games against Philadelphia. At great value, I’m banking that he does it again in a game that could feature some disorganized basketball.

Other Bets to Consider:

  • James Harden O 2.5 3-pointers made (+150)
  • Jayson Tatum first basket (+550)
  • Joel Embiid PTS + REB U 37.5 (-105)
  • Jaylen Brown turnovers O 2.5 (+105)
  • Celtics to score 25 3Q points first (+115)

Los Angeles Lakers @ Golden State Warriors (-6):

The night caps off with the Juan Toscano-Anderson bowl! Wait, is it not called that? What about the Damian Jones bowl? No? Well, regardless, it will feature another bout between LeBron James and the reigning-champion Warriors. Let’s just say that it’s been quite the last week or so for Golden State, who had a solid offseason otherwise after they captured their fourth NBA Title in eight seasons. They substituted Donte DiVincenzo, JaMychal Green and Patrick Baldwin for Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr. and Toscano-Anderson, among others moves (with James Wiseman back!); the Lakers hired a new coach, kept Russell Westbrook and added players such as Patrick Beverley, JTA, Troy Brown Jr., Lonnie Walker IV, Thomas Bryant while planning to have a healthy Kendrick Nunn (old friend!). It was an active offseason for both teams, for better or worse.

Favorite Bet: Warriors -6 (-115)

This really doesn’t mean anything, but the Lakers have yet to win an opening night matchup in the LeBron James-era. They’ve lost each by at least six points, too. If you’re looking for any trends to piggy off of, this is certainly one of them. The Lakers were a bottom-third defense and 3-point shooting team in 2021-22, while Golden State was 8th in 3-point shooting and second in defense. On the road, unless the Lakers somehow muck things up in the halfcourt combined with James and Anthony Davis having big nights, I don’t see the Lakers keeping up with the Warriors on the road.

Favorite Prop Bet: Andrew Wiggins PTS, REB & AST O 25.5 (+105)

The Lakers were a below average rebounding team last season, and I don’t expect them to light the court on fire, which ups Wiggins’ rebounding potential. Plus, on any given night, he could give Golden State 16-20 points per game with 2-3 assists. We saw Wiggins the most comfortable he’s ever been in the NBA Finals mere months ago. While that doesn’t always translate to the following regular season — especially in the first game — I still love the number of 26 at +105. That’s good value.

Other Bets to Consider:

  • James and Jordan Poole to make four 3s each (+650)
  • Klay Thompson first basket (+650)
  • Stephen Curry to score more points than James (+115)
  • Wiggins 20+ points & 4+ assists (+1100)
  • Warriors O 116.5 PTS (-110)

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