It’s opening week in the NBA! LeBron and the Lakers head to Portland to battle the Trailblazers on Thursday, Oct. 18. Can the Lakers start off the LeBron Era with a win? Celtics at Raptors, Spurs at Trailblazers, and Rockets at Lakers in primetime on Saturday, Oct. 20, rounds out this week’s top hardcourt matchups. Check out our analysis and a free NBA odds picks for Week 1!
Top NBA Betting Matchups and Picks for Opening Week 2018
Thursday, Oct. 18
- L.A. Lakers at Portland Trailblazers
The Lakers hope to start their season off with a win, but they might be up against it at the Moda Center versus a strong Portland Trailblazers squad. Led by one of the best backcourts in the NBA, the Blazers could score at will against a Lakers’ team high on energy and offensive prowess, but somewhat low on defense.
Point-guard Damian Lillard and shooting guard CJ McCollum should dominate the Lakers’ guards while Portland’s got a huge advantage at the center position with Jusuf Nurkic going against JaVale McGee.
Portland could win this by over 10 points.NBA Betting Pick: Trailblazers
Friday, Oct. 19
- Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors
The Celtics are finally healthy, but it could take a few weeks for everyone to gel. Kyrie Irving’s the star while Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, and Jason Taytum should all contribute.
Toronto counters Boston’s starting 5 with one of the best players in the NBA, Kawhi Leonard. Leonard will give it his all. The prediction here, though, is Irving’s pinpoint passes to Taytum, Brown, Hayward and center Al Horford leads to a 4 to 6 points Celtics win because Kawhi’s going to soon learn he can’t do everything on his own.NBA Betting Pick: Celtics
Saturday, Oct. 20
- San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trailblazers
Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan should smoothly move into San Antonio’s starting 5. The key for the Spurs will be to manage McCollum and Lillard, who play exceptionally well together. If San Antonio point-guard Dejounte Murray can contain Lillard or McCollum, the Spurs could upset the Blazers because they’ve got a big edge upfront with Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge.
San Antonio’s worth a shot on the moneyline.NBA Betting Pick: Spurs
- Houston Rockets at L.A. Lakers
As long as the Rockets have James Harden and Chris Paul in the backcourt, they’re going to win games. The Beard, the NBA’s reigning MVP, should dominate the Lakers’ guards. LeBron can only do so much when Paul’s there to help Harden.
Also, in what could be a theme for L.A. this season, Houston center Clin Capela’s just better than Laker starter JaVale McGee. Lakers lose another one.
NBA Betting Pick: Rockets