In this article, we’ll provide you with our top basketball betting picks for the opening night of the 2019-20 NBA season. These matchups include the New Orleans Pelicans at the defending-champion Toronto Raptors on Banner Night. As well as The Battle of LA, where the Los Angeles Lakers face the Los Angeles Clippers. It’s sure to be a great night of NBA action!
So let’s dive right in to study the odds, betting lines, teams, and players to give you our recommended betting picks to beat the New Jersey sportsbooks.
New Orleans Pelicans at Toronto Raptors (-7) – O/U: 231.5
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 – 8:10 p.m. EST
Betting Pick: Pelicans (+7)
The defending-champion Toronto Raptors will collect their NBA Title rings tonight as the New Orleans Pelicans head to town. One of the biggest reasons the Pelicans are in this primetime spot is their number-one overall draft pick, and he won’t be on the floor. Nonetheless, we believe they’ll overcome and that’s why the Pelicans covering the seven-point spread is our top betting pick of the night. Let’s dive into the facts and figures some more to see why we’re heading in that direction.
Betting Lines Analysis: Pelicans at Raptors
We’re not seeing a lot of agreement with our pick, as 64 percent of public bets/81 percent of all money wagered is in favor of the Raptors. It does seem like the absence of the Pelicans’ star player is thwarting the opinions of most, but we need to remember how deep their roster is.
Pelicans Betting Form
The big news out of Pelicans’ camp is that Zion Williamson will officially be out for six-to-eight weeks. In terms of entertainment value, viewers are certainly missing out, but if you’re betting on the Pelicans it shouldn’t be that much of a difference.
This is one of the more well-rounded rosters in the NBA, so this is a fantastic spot to get a team at such a great value of +7. After all, the Pelicans did average the second-most points per game (125.6 – falling only 0.1 short of the Rockets’ top mark) and third-best three-point percentage (39.5%) during the preseason. Lonzo Ball and Jrue Holiday lead a strong backcourt that will push the tempo and play some fantastic perimeter defense. We probably won’t see a ton of defense from this Pelicans squad, but these guys will be the ones leading the charge.
A lot of people seem to be forgetting the great wealth of talent New Orleans received back in the Anthony Davis trade. In addition to Ball, the Pelicans got Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart. Not to mention, Derrick Favors and J.J. Redick are now a part of this team. Things are certainly looking up down in NOLA.
Raptors Betting Form
Banner Night is always fun to watch, but this one will have a much more interesting feel to it. Kawhi Leonard won’t be there, making it incredibly awkward for the rest of this team to move on. Sure, they’ve had a few games in the preseason to get used to life without him. However, now that the bright lights are on you have to wonder what type of effect that’ll have on the squad.
Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet will man the backcourt and try to keep this ship steered in the right direction. Other than Kawhi, these two guys were incredibly vital to the Raptors’ success and know they’ll need to keep this momentum going to get their team off to a good start this season. Toronto still has other key pieces like Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and O.G. Anunoby that will keep them in the playoff race for most of the year.
During the preseason, the Raptors actually ranked just behind the Pelicans for the fourth-best three-point percentage (38.6%).
Betting Pick: Pelicans (+7)
Perhaps, there’s a slight notion that Zion’s absence makes this less of a competitive game. However, we feel like the Pelicans’ roster is certainly strong enough to battle with the defending champs. Even, possibly win outright. There are plenty of scorers for NOLA going against a Toronto roster that still needs to figure out where it’s heading in life after Kawhi.
Los Angeles Lakers (-2.5) at Los Angeles Clippers – O/U: 226.5
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 – 10:40 p.m. EST
Betting Pick: Clippers (ML: +130)
The NBA schedule makers absolutely nailed in the second half of the opening-night doubleheader. The Battle of LA between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. Both sides have greatly revamped their rosters, adding all sorts of marquee talent to help their respective pushes towards an NBA title. Our top betting pick is for the Clippers to win outright, so let’s take more of a look at our logic behind that thinking.
Betting Lines: Lakers at Clippers
It’s certainly interesting to see the Lakers taking such an overwhelming amount of favoritism in this one. Over 75 percent of public bets/all money wagered is in their favor on the moneyline and spread. We think this is clear oversight, considering the Clippers have one of the most balanced rosters in the NBA.
Lakers Betting Form
LeBron James and the Lakers finally got the guy they were looking for in Anthony Davis. However, they had to give up some fine young pieces in the process that will impact on their depth. Key additions like Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook, Danny Green, and Dwight Howard will give them some key contributors. However, you have to wonder what things will look like with LeBron handling most of the traditional point guard duties.
One key absence for the Lakers on opening night will be Kyle Kuzma, who is expected to be the team’s third-leading scorer. There’s still no timetable for his return, and that will be a big issue if this turns into more of a long-term injury.
Clippers Betting Form
While the Lakers have a few new faces in their locker room, the Clippers have just as many. However, instead of adding one superstar, the Clippers doubled down and got themselves Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this offseason. A big part of the Clippers’ success last year was the ability to have Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell play such huge roles off the bench with the second unit.
Having those duos on the court at two different times during the game is going to pay huge dividends, but it’ll have to wait about a month as George recovers from multiple shoulder surgeries this offseason. With Sweet Lou and Harrell playing against that Lakers’ second unit. It’s such a big mismatch that should bode well in a great bout of plus-scoring.
All in all, we’re excited to see this Clippers team get out on the court in a regular-season game. They couldn’t be doing it against a better opponent, to show them who the new king of LA is.
Betting Pick: Clippers (ML: +130)
When looking at the two rosters, it’s insane that the Clippers aren’t favored in this game. It’s even more insane that the majority of the public doesn’t see it that way. Look for the Clippers to take advantage in this game when the second unit hits the floor. This will give them a major advantage that they can use to lead themselves to victory.