In this article, we’ll provide you with our top basketball picks on Friday night’s NBA schedule with games between the Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics & New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets.
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.
Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics (-3) – O/U: 216.5
Friday, October 25, 2019 – 7:00 p.m. EST
Betting Pick: Under 216.5
The Boston Celtics host the Toronto Raptors for the 2019-20 home opener. While the Celtics lost their first game, the Raptors pulled off a huge comeback in order to take it to overtime and get the eight-point victory. Our betting pick is for the total to go under the 216.5-point mark. Let’s check out the facts and figures to see how this will work in our favor.
NBA Betting Lines Analysis: Raptors at Celtics
Bettors are slightly in favor of us with nearly 60 percent of the public bets and all money wagered on the total. Throughout the day, we’ll see more money coming in since the implied team totals have both decreased.
The Celtics have notched 63 percent of public bets and 57 percent of all money wagered on the spread.
Raptors Betting Form
The Raptors’ bench took a major hit this year, but head coach Nick Nurse did the smart thing keeping his starters on the floor for most of the season opener. However, that tactic won’t work as well in the Celtics’ home opener.
Fred VanVleet had a career-high 34 points on Banner Night, and Pascal Siakam matched him with the 34 points and even added 18 rebounds. Kyle Lowry also chipped in with 22 points. When we look at the rest of the Raptors lineup there’s not much to be excited about. Sure, Serge Ibaka could make a difference but not in a way that results in tons of scoring.
The Raptors had a great offensive night against an up-tempo Pelicans lineup, but that’s not who the Celtics are. This is going to be a hard-fought battle that doesn’t result in a lot of points.
Celtics Betting Form
The Celtics found how hard things could be against a well-rounded roster in the season opener. However, this matchup goes more in their favor. The Raptors won’t have their home crowd and Banner Night, but we’re about to find out how much this team really misses Kawhi Leonard. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is one of the best in the business at devising defensive game plans.
Kemba Walker had an abysmal 4-for-18 shooting performance in the opener but that won’t happen often. He should be heavily inspired to be in front of his new fans for the first time. Gordon Hayward had a team-high 25 points while Jayson Tatum chipped in 21. These are the three guys that’ll likely handle the scoring load once again for the Celtics. On the defensive end, Marcus Smart will play a key role in defending the formidable duo of Lowry and VanVleet. He played 33 minutes in the season opener but couldn’t make the impact he usually does.
Betting Pick: Under 216.5
We like the Celtics to win this game, with five straight wins against the Raptors. However, the total going under 216.5 points in what really appeals here. Both teams have solid starting lineups, but there’s really not much bench-play to speak of. With both teams playing tough season openers, in different ways, look for this to be a low-scoring tilt.
New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets (-9) – O/U: 225
Friday, October 25, 2019 – 7:30 p.m. EST
Betting Pick: Nets (-9)
The Battle of the Burroughs gets its first installment of rivalry since the high-profile offseason. It’ll be the New York Knicks traveling to the meet the Brooklyn Nets in an early-season tug-of-war for NYC. Both teams lost their season openers, but our top betting pick is for the Nets to cover the massive nine-point spread. Let’s dig into the numbers and see how we landed on this decision.
NBA Betting Lines: Knicks at Nets
Bettors haven’t completely made their minds up yet, but the Nets have the early favoritism. It has been 62 percent of public bets/55 percent of all money wagered heading in that direction. Brooklyn has a lot at stake here. Falling to 0-2 to their in-city rival would create a ton of doubt in their minds. No worries, they won’t let that happen.
Knicks Betting Form
The Knicks put up a good fight in their season-opener at the Spurs on Wednesday night. They actually held a one-point lead before starting the fourth quarter before eventually losing the game by nine points. No. 3 overall pick R.J. Barrett had a strong season debut, scoring 21 points on 9-for-13 shooting. Free-agent signings Marcus Morris (26 points) and Julius Randle (25 points, 11 rebounds) were also solid in the season-opener.
What the Knicks’ biggest strength in this game is, could actually be their biggest weakness – the height advantage. At almost every position except center, they will have a longer reach. However, the Knicks don’t have a ton of flash or speed, and the Nets certainly have that. Look for the Nets to play an up-tempo game that blows the Knicks out of the water.
Also, the Knicks will be playing on Saturday night against the Celtics. If they end up falling behind at the beginning, expect the Knicks to pull the reigns back and save energy for the official home opener. Granted, there will be a ton of Knicks fans at Barclays Center, but there’s nothing like playing Madison Square Garden – especially in the home opener.
Nets Betting Form
Kyrie Irving began his Nets career with a 50-point outing that featured eight rebounds, seven assists and no turnovers. Tonight, he’ll have to fight off an angry Knicks crowd that’ll likely infiltrate the Barclays Center. But this is what Kyrie knew he was getting himself into by choosing the Nets over the Knicks in the offseason. In his mind, and the rest of the Nets’ fanbase, this is a playoff-like game tonight.
Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and Taurean Price were mere bystanders during Kyrie’s scorching-hot first half on Wednesday. However, they did get back on the good foot in the second half after a daunting deficit. The Knicks do have a big height advantage over the Nets but look for all three of these guys to be vital.
While Kyrie and the rest of the starters (except Jarrett Allen) were solid, the Nets’ second unit was not. Spencer Dinwiddie had an unforgivable five turnovers in 19 minutes, so look for him to right the wrongs of Opening Night. Dinwiddie has had plenty of back-and-forth with Knicks’ fans on Twitter throughout the years, and that’s certainly going to motivate him and briefly-former Knick, DeAndre Jordan. Honestly, it couldn’t have been much worse for Brooklyn’s second-unit on Wednesday night, so expect a much better showing this time around.
Betting Pick: Nets (-9)
Control of New York City is at stake, and if the Nets lose this game, it’ll be an even tougher hill to climb in order to regain it. Because of that, expect Brooklyn to come out and wallop big brother. After all, the Nets do have a better team and a lot more at stake in this game. As we mentioned, the Knicks have their official home opener tomorrow night. If the Nets get up big early, the Knicks could mail it in and look ahead to the next day.