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2022 NBA Opening Night Odds, Betting Predictions & Best Bets

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

Mark Strotman  | 20 mins

2022 NBA Opening Night Odds, Betting Predictions & Best Bets

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Though all eyes are rightfully focused on the NFL season right now, the NBA betting season is fast approaching—and we’re now a step closer after the start of preseason. 

The season will kick off on Thursday, Oct. 18 with an elite doubleheader pinning the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics against the Philadelphia 76ers, and the reigning NBA champion Warriors against LeBron James and the Lakers. The following night, 24 more teams are in action including a few marquee matchups such as Suns-Mavericks.

2022 NBA Opening Night Odds

Thu, Oct 18Sixers @ Celtics Sixers +3.5 ➜ O/U 213.5 ➜
Thu, Oct 18Lakers @ Warriors Lakers +5.5 ➜ O/U 227 ➜
Fri, Oct 19Magic @ Pistons Magic +4.5 ➜ O/U 218 ➜
Fri, Oct 19Wizards @ Pacers Wizards -2 ➜ O/U 227 ➜
Fri, Oct 19Pelicans @ Nets Pelicans +4 ➜ O/U 229.5 ➜
Fri, Oct 19Knicks @ Grizzlies Knicks +6.5 ➜ O/U 226 ➜
Fri, Oct 19Blazers @ Kings Blazers +1.5 ➜ O/U 224 ➜
Fri, Oct 19Rockets @ Hawks Rockets +9.5 ➜ O/U 234 ➜
Fri, Oct 19Bulls @ Heat Bulls +5.5 ➜ O/U 216.5 ➜
Fri, Oct 19Thunder @ T'Wolves Thunder +11.5 ➜ O/U 228 ➜
Fri, Oct 19Cavs @ Raptors Cavs +3.5 ➜ O/U 215 ➜
Fri, Oct 19Hornets @ Spurs Hornets -3.5 ➜ O/U 230.5 ➜
Fri, Oct 19Nuggets @ Jazz Nuggets -7.5 ➜ O/U 218 ➜
Fri, Oct 19Mavs @ Suns Mavs +5 ➜ O/U 216.5 ➜

Odds via DraftKings and accurate as of publication (Oct. 6).

NBA Opening Night Storylines

There will be 1,230 regular season games this season played between 30 teams. There are dozens of storylines, but here’s where we believe NBA bettors should focus their attention:

Six for Six Title Winners?

The NBA hasn’t had a back-to-back champion since the Warriors in 2017 and 2018. It’s the first time that’s happened since the late 1970s, and there are a number of elite contenders that could make it six different champions in the last six seasons. 

Consider that four teams have NBA futures odds of +700 or lower (Clippers, +550; Celtics, +600; Warriors, +600; Nets, +700) to win the title and that doesn’t even include the Suns (+1200), Bucks (+800), Sixers (+1500), Heat (+2000), or Lakers (+1800). 

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Which NBA Teams Will Make the Jump?

We saw two versions of teams making noted improvements last season: The Celtics and Grizzlies went from exciting young teams to legitimate contenders, with the former coming within two games of an NBA title and the latter earning the West’s No. 2 seed. 

The Cavaliers went from bottom feeders and perennial Lottery attendee to playoff hopefuls. Which teams will make those jumps in 2023? We believe the Pistons will make a Cavs-like jump, while the Mavericks and Pelicans join the list of actual NBA title contenders on betting apps.

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How Do The Nets Look?

It was a summer of drama in Brooklyn with the will-they, won't-they trade of superstar Kevin Durant. He initially requested to be moved but ended up staying. And then there's Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons. It should certainly be interesting in the Big Apple in the opening weeks of the NBA season. 

How should you bet them? We'd favor a wait-and-see approach to assess how things shake out in the first couple games before laying anything sizable down. 

2022 NBA Opening Night Predictions & Best Bets

Celtics-Sixers Under 213

The Celtics will enter the 2022-23 season with the NBA’s best defense and the Sixers won’t be far behind—they added PJ Tucker and De’Anthony Melton (both plus defenders) to a defense that ranked 12th last season. These teams met four times last season and produced 175, 211, 210, and 222 points. 

Defense is usually ahead of offense early in the NBA season, so we think this one becomes a race to 100 points. Grab the under here on betting sites as these two teams lock in on the defensive end.

While opening night comes too early, Massachusetts sports betting is set to go live at some point during the NBA season. We'll keep you updated right here at Bookies.com.

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Warriors -6 vs. Lakers

The Warriors went 29-19-2 ATS at home last season and the Lakers are still stuck in Russell Westbrook purgatory. That combination has us feeling good about Golden State here. We’re always a bit wary about how reigning champions perform on Ring Night, but the Lakers simply have too many question marks right now: How will Westbrook perform? Will new head coach Darvin Ham be able to fix their issues? What does the rotation look like beyond LeBron/AD/Russ? Until those get figured out, the Warriors roll at -6, according to the latest NBA points spreads.

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Pistons -3 vs. Magic

We won’t go so far to say that the Pistons will definitively be this year’s version of the Cavaliers, but they’re going to be solid. Cade Cunningham could make an All-Star jump, and they have a nice young core in Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, and rookies Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren. 

The Magic have top pick Paolo Banchero onboard but the roster has too many question marks beyond that. We think the Pistons roll at home to kick off what should be an exciting year.

About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports betting journalist who has covered the Bulls and the NBA since 2012. His work has appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune and Yahoo Sports. He regularly provides NBA betting picks, as well as in-depth sportsbook reviews and the latest promo codes for all the major sports gambling operators, including Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and more.
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