Now that the Golden State Warriors have been slightly dismantled with Kevin Durant gone and Klay Thompson to miss most of the season off an ACL injury, the title chase seems as wide open as it has in years. The 2019-20 NBA Betting action tips off Tuesday. Here’s a look at the two Opening Night games and NBA odds.
Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – October 21st Edition
New Orleans Pelicans at Toronto Raptors
- When: Tuesday, 8 PM ET
- TV: TNT
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
- NBA Betting Odds: Raptors -7 (Total 231.5)
The Toronto Raptors will celebrate the first-ever NBA title in franchise and Canadian history before this game by raising their championship banner and handing out rings. However, the main reason the Raptors won the title was superstar Kawhi Leonard and he left in free agency this summer for the Clippers. Absolutely no chance the Raptors repeat now as they are +5000 long shots at MyBookie. Toronto did little this offseason in terms of additions and also lost free-agent guard Danny Green to the Lakers.
During the 2018-19 regular season, the Raptors won 58 games and set franchise records for points per game (114.4), assists per game (25.4), rebounds per game (45.2) and three-point field goals made (1,105). Pascal Siakam was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player last season, and he will be the No. 1 focus now. Siakam averaged a career-high 16.9 points in his third season in the NBA, up from 7.3 points during his sophomore campaign (+9.6).
This was to be the NBA debut of superstar rookie Zion Williamson, the clear Rookie of the Year favorite, but he will miss a couple of weeks at least with a sore knee which is a total bummer for all NBA fans. The injury puts a damper on what had been an excellent preseason for the No. 1 overall pick.
Williamson was averaging 23.3 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 71.4% in the New Orleans Pelicans‘ first four preseason games and averaging 27.3 minutes. The 6-foot-7, 284-pound Williamson also missed time in summer league after he banged his left knee in a collision with another player. He also missed time last season at Duke so that’s a concern.
Head to Head
Toronto and New Orleans split last season, each winning easily on the road. The Raptors lead the all-time series 23-14.
LA Lakers at LA Clippers (+2.5, 226.5)
- When: Tuesday, 10:30 PM ET
- TV: TNT
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
- NBA Betting Odds: Lakers +2.5 (Total 226.5)
Both these teams had crazy offseasons, with the Lakers trading half their roster for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, and the Clippers giving up a ton of draft picks to land Paul George from Oklahoma City and pair him with free-agent signing Kawhi Leonard. The Lakers are +360 favorites at Mybookie to win the NBA title and Clippers +400.
Leonard told the Clippers he would only sign with them if they traded for George – otherwise he reportedly was going to sign with the Lakers, who would have been unbeatable with Leonard, Davis and LeBron James.
Alas, we won’t see the Clippers at full strength because George, a first-team All-NBA selection last year with Oklahoma City, is expected to miss at least the first 10 games as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery. An early target date is Nov. 13 in Houston.
George was in the midst of a career year last season with the Thunder until he injured his right shoulder in February. He still put up fantastic numbers, averaging 28 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game, and finished third in MVP voting behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden. However, PG wasn’t himself late in the year and the playoffs. George, 29, underwent right rotator cuff surgery to repair a partially torn tendon in his right shoulder in May, and a minor surgery to repair a partial tear of his left labrum in June. The Clippers knew he might miss some time when they made the trade.
What about the Lakers?
The Lakers won’t be at full strength, either, as their third-best player, forward Kyle Kuzma, has not been cleared for contact off a left foot stress reaction. Kuzma missed the entirety of the preseason with the injury suffered while he was with Team USA this summer. Kuzma has been limited to shooting and doing non-contact work. He has become a solid NBA scorer, putting up 18.7 points and 5.5 rebounds last season while starting 68 games for the Lakers.
This will also be the Lakers debut of head coach Frank Vogel. With the Indiana Pacers, he accumulated a 250-181 record and led the team to five NBA playoff appearances, two Central Division championships and back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013 and 2014. However, Vogel’s two seasons with the Orlando Magic did not go well and he also was no better than L.A.’s third choice for this job.
Expert NBA Betting Picks
We like both underdogs to cover.
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