The brand-new NBA season is set to tip-off on Tuesday, December 22nd! There are just two matches on opening day but both are as juicy as they come. Check out our best picks for both games below and good luck to everyone following us this season!
NBA Betting Picks: Tuesday, December 22nd
Golden State at Brooklyn
Barclays Center, 7pm ET
Kicking off the new season is a battle between two new-look teams in the Warriors and the Nets. The Warriors were forced to make some changes to their roster with Klay Thompson going down with another serious leg injury – they’ll be hoping that the addition of Kelly Oubre Jr will fill some of the void. 2x MVP Steph Curry is back to full fitness after only playing a handful of games, while Andrew Wiggins and #2 pick James Wiseman will be key cogs in the Bay this season.
Identifying viable playmakers for this roster outside of Curry is tough, so we’re expecting him to carry a bit more of the ball-handling duties than perhaps we saw during their championship runs. With more of the ball in his hands, we can see Curry eclipsing his points + assists line, which is set at 32.5.
The Nets are probably the most intriguing team heading into this season and have every chance to be contenders in the Eastern Conference providing their stars stay healthy. We’ll finally get to see the superstar tandem of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in action together, while Caris LeVert will be relied upon as the third option on offense.
Kevin Durant looked like his old self in the pre-season games, which is a fantastic sign for Nets fans and basketball fans as a whole. KD is likely to spend more time as pure scorer for the Nets as he gets back into full swing, so it’s unlikely we’ll see too much playmaking from him early in the season, particularly with ball-dominant players such as Irving and LeVert in the starting line-up.
This is an extremely difficult game to call considering we haven’t seen what these two new-look rosters are capable of in a competitive setting. What we do know however, is that both teams have multiple guys that can score at a high clip, and that team defense always take a bit longer to successfully execute compared to offense for these new-look teams early in their campaign. All things considered, playing the ‘overs’ looks the best way to play this season-opening game.
LA Clippers at LA Lakers
Staples Center, 10pm ET
The second and final of the opening day games sees the Clippers and Lakers go to battle at Staples Center. The Clippers will be looking to atone for their embarrassing exit in the bubble where they blew a 3-1 lead to the Nuggets in the Western Conference semi-finals. They’ve made a whole host of changes to their star-studded line-up, bringing in Serge Ibaka and Nicolas Batum, both of whom are possible opening-day starers, whilst losing reigning sixth man Montrezl Harrell to the Lakers.
If there’s one guy that this season couldn’t have come around any quicker for its Paul George. He had a nightmare playoff run that had even his biggest fans struggling to excuse as he shot his Clippers out of the second round. That said, superstar talent doesn’t vanish overnight and we’re expecting a big comeback year from PG13. He looked in decent touch in the pre-season and we’re expecting him to come out firing on opening day.
The Lakers may have won the bubble championship in emphatic fashion, but they certainly didn’t fall asleep at the wheel in the off-season. They made valuable additions including the likes of Montrezl Harrell, Dennis Schroder, and Marc Gasol, while letting go of big-man duo Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee, as well as Rajon Rondo.
Another guy coming off an underwhelming season that will be looking to bounce back is Lakers forward, Kyle Kuzma. He struggled with his role off the bench at times but has recently inked a 3-year extension with the Lakers, which shows he still has a big role to play in their future. Kuzma got plenty of reps in the pre-season game averaging over 17 points a game and should be able to eclipse his low points line in this one.
Another very tough game to get a read on here between two teams destined to go deep in the playoffs. The Lakers were obviously the better team in LA last year with wins in their final two games against the Clippers, while obviously also winning the championship. However, like in past seasons, we’re not expecting to see LeBron James at full throttle as he likes to gradually ramp up his intensity as his team edges close to a playoff run. On the other hand, we’re expecting to see a desperately hungry Clippers team on opening-day that comes out with a point to prove after their humiliating playoffs expect last campaign. It could very well go down to the wire, but we have to slightly fancy the Clippers under these conditions.
PointsBet Sign Up Bonus: 100% Deposit Bonus
Sign up to PointsBet today to receive a fantastic $250 first deposit bonus! Simply click the links or the banners in this article to be directed straight to the PointsBet sign up page, where you can create an account and use PointsBet promo code FREE100 to claim your bonus today!
This content is intended for entertainment purposes only. For full details and disclosures, visit our Terms section. For more information on licensed sportsbooks – including available states and the best places to play – visit our Sportsbook Reviews.