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NBA Opening Night Picks and Odds – Nets vs Warriors, Lakers vs Clippers

David Golokhov

by David Golokhov in NBA Basketball

Dec 22, 2020 · 7:10 AM PST

Who will the battle of LA on opening night of the 2020-21 NBA season? (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
  • The 2020-21 NBA season gets underway on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 with a pair of contests.
  • The 2019-20 season ended on October 11th, so the Los Angeles Lakers have had a very short offseason.
  • Read below for odds, lines, and spread for opening night of the 2020-21 NBA season

The 2020-21 NBA season tips off on Tuesday night with the Brooklyn Nets hosting the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers clashing in the late-night affair. All four teams have championship aspirations, and all four made significant changes in the offseason. Let’s take a closer look at the best bets for Tuesday’s action.

Golden State Warriors vs Brooklyn Nets Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Golden State Warriors +250 +7.5 (-110) Ov 231.5 (-110)
Brooklyn Nets -310 -7.5 (-110) Un 231.5 (-110)

All odds taken Dec. 22 at FanDuel

The Warriors were heading into the season among the favorites to win the championship but everything changed once Klay Thompson was lost for the season. Their injuries last season and their lack of depth showed so the fact that they are starting the 2020-21 campaign with a significant loss is a bad omen.

Golden State appears to have a better cast this time around. To start, Andrew Wiggins has had a year to grow in the system. The team also picked up a valuable win in Kelly Oubre Jr. and used the second pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on James Wiseman. Thompson can’t be replaced, but at least the Warriors have more depth to fight this time around.

This Golden State team won’t be able to score like they once have. They finished 28th last season and were 29th in field goal percentage. Getting Curry back should give the roster about 25-30 a night but where does the rest come from? Wiggins should kick in 15-20, but that’s not going to be enough. This team really needs someone like Oubre or Wiseman to step up right away.

Meanwhile, the Nets enter the year with plenty of optimism as both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are healthy. This team appears to be the opposite of the Warriors as they have their superstars intact and have a ton of depth behind them. The only question – is what will the team chemistry look like with everyone together?

There are a lot of moving parts with the Nets as they’ll also have a new head coach in Steve Nash. However, the Warriors just aren’t the same team they were years ago. They don’t have the same stars and depth on offense, and they don’t bring the same brand of defense.

You can lay the points here with the Nets, but over also makes sense. With Nash and D’Antoni guiding this Nets offense, we should see plenty of free-wheeling, high-scoring affairs. Their defense is still a question mark at this point, so the Warriors should be able to contribute enough to get us to the over.

Prediction: Over 231.5 (-110)

Los Angeles Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Los Angeles Clippers +116 +2.5 (-110) Ov 222.0 (-105)
Los Angeles Lakers -136 -2.5 (-110) Un 222.0 (-110)

Like the 2019-20 NBA season, the Clippers and Lakers will battle on opening night. The Clippers won that opening night matchup and many felt they’d have the upper hand all year. As it turned out, the Lakers eventually won the championship while the Clippers flamed out early in the playoffs, which proved to be the catalyst for offseason changes.

The Clippers fired head coach Doc Rivers and brought in Ty Lue to take over. The team made some significant changes to their depth, acquiring Luke Kennard, Landry Shamet, Nicolas Batum, and Serge Ibaka. This team was already loaded depth-wise, so the question is more about fit than anything else.

At the same time, the Clippers lost Montrezl Harrell, who was the Sixth Man of the Year. The bigger concern is where he went: to the Lakers. The champs won with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and basically a skeleton roster. By adding Harrell, Dennis Schroder, Wesley Mathews, and Marc Gasol, they come into this matchup with real bench depth.

In terms of the meeting on Tuesday night, there probably won’t be much between these teams. These are two evenly matched squads who are among the league’s best teams. However, we have a little bit of data to work with. The two teams squared off in the preseason twice, and while LeBron James skipped both contests, the Lakers won both.

The Clippers actually lost all three of their exhibition games, averaging just 97.3 points per outing. Considering how their last season ended, blowing a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals, you’d think they would be a little crisper in these contests – even if they’re just warmups. At any rate, go with the Lakers and lay the short number here.

Prediction: Lakers -2.5 (-110)

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