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Previewing NBA’s 2022-23 season opener with DraftKings

Two games with Phoenix Suns ties headline opening night on TNT

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Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images


Tuesday night on TNT, four of the league’s biggest franchises headline the opening night. First, the Philadelphia 76ers are on the road against the Boston Celtics at 4:30 p.m. AZ time followed by the Golden State Warriors hosting the LA Lakers at 7 p.m.

“But Damon, none of those teams are the Suns, why should I care?”

Because basketball is sick, former Phoenix darling PJ Tucker is on the Sixers (along with former ASU Sun Devil James Harden), and the Suns could be jockeying with the two West teams for playoff positioning all year long.

Along with our betting sponsor, DraftKings, I’d like to run through my favorite bets for each game.

DraftKings odds

There are some pretty appealing odds for the games over at DraftKings, as well as some spicy props. Let’s take it game by game.

odds as of 2:30 p.m. AZ time on Monday

I really love that Sixers moneyline at +120. The uncertainty around Boston following Ime Udoka’s suspension is tangible, and I think he was a vital contributor in the Celtics getting to the Finals.

I also think that Philadelphia’s depth is a lot better than it was a year ago, even before you factor in Tyrese Maxey’s development and James Harden’s refined approach. The top and the bottom of that Sixers roster should be greatly improved upon from last year.

If you’d like to get frisky and try a player prop, Jayson Tatum to post a double-double is pretty good value at +300. Tatum has steadily increased his double-double total each year of his career: first year 4, 8, 10, 15, and most recently 22. The rebounds should be pretty available for Tatum too, considering the recent knee procedure done on Robert Williams.

Over on VSiN, betting analytics partner of DraftKings, there are some great stats, like the fact that nearly two thirds of all bettors putting money down against the spread are putting it on the Warriors at -6. I’m in the same boat since I truthfully don’t think the Lakers will click together well — especially after today’s news that new guard Dennis Schroder won’t play for a few weeks.

Also, I think the Warriors will want to defend their title strongly, especially against a team like the Lakers — LeBron James obviously has a lot of history with the Warriors — and especially amidst all the weirdness in the last few weeks of the Warriors’ offseason with Draymond Green v. Jordan Poole as well as Poole’s seemingly high extension.

These two teams — but more so Golden State — will likely be right alongside the Suns all season, so it’ll be interesting to imagine how they match up.

If you’re looking for a player prop on this one, Steph Curry making more than 3.5 threes feels like a lock at -135 for some free money.

Then on Wednesday for the Suns opener, things look all well and good if you’re into “people respecting the Suns” as a concept. But then when you take a peek at VSiN, it’s clear that people still want to hound the Suns for their embarrassing exit in May.

  • 83% of the money in spread betting is on the Mavs (from 77% of bettors)
  • 53% of bettors have Dallas winning outright

There’s honestly not a great bet in favor of the Suns when considering factors like likelihood and value, but if you want to put one together anyway, my best idea (before player props are set) is combining Suns -5 with under 216.5 for the total. Parlaying those two together would come out to +264, which isn’t bad value at all, but I feel a little bit like I’m walking on eggshells with it, especially on the under.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

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