Welcome to NBA opening day. It’s been 134 days since there’s been a meaningful game. Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets hoisted the trophy back in June, while quite a bit of drama and intriguing offseason moves have followed since.
We’ll see the Nuggets receive their championship rings in Denver on Tuesday night before they take on the Lakers in a rematch of the Western Conference finals. Suns–Warriors (-2.5) will follow that game to conclude TNT’s opening-night doubleheader.
Let’s get to our best bets for Tuesday’s games. And remember to check out our preseason NBA betting hub to get ready for the season.
Anthony Davis over 0.5 threes
Lakers coach Darvin Ham has emphasized the importance of Anthony Davis shooting more threes this season. He said he wants Davis shooting six per game, although he acknowledged that was an unlikely goal.
That would be a massive uptick from his 1.3 attempts per contest last season, the lowest of his career since the 2014-15 campaign. Only 7% of Davis’ field goals last season were long-distance shots.
After a few years as a reliable 3-point shooter, Davis’ jumper has disappeared. He’s shot 23.4% from three the last three seasons.
Davis spent time improving his 3-point shot throughout the offseason. He admitted following a recent preseason game that shooting more threes is a point of emphasis for him and the team.
It’s hard to predict whether words in a press conference translate to the court, but Davis took and made more threes in a small preseason sample size.
In limited preseason action – Davis averaged 18.2 minutes in five games – the big man made at least one three and attempted multiple shots from beyond the arc in every contest.
That’ll carry into the regular season, especially early on as the Lakers work out the kinks of their roster.
Odds: -130 (playable to -150)
Suns over 115.5 team total points
The Warriors had a plus-7 net rating when Draymond Green was on the court last season. They had a net rating of minus 7.2 with him off the court, according to the NBA’s advanced stats. It’s not exactly a secret how much better the Warriors are on both ends when Green plays. That’s why they inked him to a contract extension this offseason. Unfortunately for Golden State, Green’s out for Tuesday night’s season opener with an ankle injury.
The Warriors are also working out the complexities of rotations and lineups with Chris Paul added to the fold. When Paul and Steph Curry play together, the Suns’ bigger guards will take advantage of those matchups, especially without Green rotating over on the weak side.
Phoenix is figuring out how to mesh its newcomers as well. That should be a seamless transition, though, as Kevin Durant and Devin Booker are two of the easier stars to play alongside.
Even without Bradley Beal, expect the Suns to take advantage of a shorthanded Warriors group. I like them to win outright as 2.5-point road underdogs, but the team total is the safer play.
Odds: -115 (playable to -130)
Andrew Wiggins over rebounds 5.5
There will be plenty of rebounding opportunities for Warriors players due to Green’s absence. Kevon Looney will play a huge role. His rebounding numbers increased in games without Green last season. Looney’s over on rebounds is 10.5 (+100), which could be worth a look.
But Andrew Wiggins will also have to help on the glass. The Suns aren’t particularly big and lack depth at center, so the Warriors should have a rebounding advantage. Wiggins also plays power forward in many of Golden State’s lineup, putting him around the rim.
He averaged five rebounds last season, although he only played in 37 regular-season games. Wiggins averaged 5.6 rebounds in 13 playoff games last campaign and averaged 7.5 boards in 22 postseason contests the season prior.
Odds: +120 (playable to -110)
Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @soshtry for more betting coverage