It’s been just two days since the NBA season tipped off and with nine games on Friday’s schedule, there’s plenty of action and money to be made.
There’s been just 13 regular season games played so far and in that short amount of time, there has been 10 players to post a 30-point game, seven players with six-or-more three-pointers in a single game, a 50-point performance from Kyrie Irving and a 32 point, 23 rebound effort from one of the NBA’s most elite big-men, Andre Drummond. Just your average NBA opening weekend right?
The Friday night schedule consists of nine games ranging from 7pm (ET) through 10:30pm (ET) and features six matchups that present spreads of four-or-less. With such close spreads throughout the league, it should make for a very evenly-matched night, which could deter some gamblers away. Not us though, we are here to cash in on four separate single-game bets and one parlay.
Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns
This matchup between the Nuggets and the Suns is the only Friday night game that features a spread of seven-or-more points, and for good reason. Denver (1-0) is coming off a big opening-night road win against the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last season, the Portland Trailblazers, and will now be 12 point home favorites against Phoenix (1-0). The Suns scored 124 points on Wednesday in a blowout win against the Kings (124-95) but the Nuggets possess one of the league’s best defenses and they shouldn’t be allowing anywhere near 124 points to this mediocre Suns team.
Nuggets’ starting center, Nikola Jokic got himself into early foul trouble and played just four minutes in the first-half of their season opener, despite finishing the game with a solid stat line of 20 points and 13 rebounds. Even with their star player on the bench for almost two-straight quarters, the Nuggets did what they do best, got everyone involved. All 10 of their players who saw the floor ended up scoring six-or-more points and that is just a testament of how well-balanced this Denver roster is. I expect their depth to give the Suns all sorts of problems on Friday night.
New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets
Close, but no cigar. After the Brooklyn Nets were down by 12 points at the half to the Karl Anthony-Towns-led Minnesota Timberwolves, they battled their way back after posting a 37-point third quarter and holding their own in the fourth. They forced the first overtime of the 2019-2020 NBA season but came up just one point short when Kyrie Irving failed to connect on his mid-range jumper at the buzzer. It’s a bad beat anytime a player posts a 50-point game and their team loses but on the season opener nonetheless, it was a bit of a heart breaker for Nets fans.
Brooklyn will have an easier matchup in their home arena, The Barclays Center on Friday night when they take on the rebuilding New York Knicks. Just last year, the Nets posted a 0.0 (even) point differential average, which ranked them right in the middle of the NBA (15th). The Knicks on the other hand, were the third-worst in that category amongst the NBA (-9.6)
With head coach David Fizdale experimenting with his rotations early in the season, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Knicks’ struggles carry over into this season as well. I like the Nets in this one and you should too.
Portland Trailblazers vs. Sacramento Kings
This matchup will features two of the league’s best backcourts in the forms of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum for the Blazers and for the Kings, DeAaron Fox and Buddy Hield. Averaging 47 points per contest as a duo, the Portland guards averaged about half their team’s total points per night last year, while Hield and Fox posted about 38 points per game combined. It’ll be a battle of the guards in this one, and the Blazers should have the advantage in that department.
As I stated earlier, the Kings looked downright awful in their season opener against one of the NBA’s worst teams, the Phoenix Suns, when they lost by 29 points. They will be looking to recover from that loss at home on Friday but the Blazers, being one of the NBA’s most efficient scoring teams, might not be the best opponent for a bounce-back game. Last season, Portland ranked sixth in terms of points per-game and if the Kings’ defense looks anything like it did on Wednesday when they allowed 124 points, they could be in for another rude awakening to begin the season.
Washington Wizards vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
After sticking around for the entirety of the game against one of the NBA’s most superior defensive teams, the Utah Jazz, the Thunder looked significantly better than I expected they would and despite just a three-point effort from their starting center Steven Adams, they only lost by five points.
Don’t get me wrong, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s offense is certainly no powerhouse but they will have a very favorable matchup against the Washington Wizards for their second game of the season. The Wizards ranked second-to-last in points allowed last year and after having an underwhelming offseason in terms of player signings and acquisitions, they didn’t do much to address their debilitated defense.
“We got to be a better defensive team. We’ve talked about it,” Brooks said. “We have to be able to get back in transition. We’ve talked about that. And we have to rebound the basketball. We’ve talked about that. It’s about doing now. There’s no more talking,” said Wizards coach Scott Brooks after a loss to Memphis last season.WashingtonPost.com
The Wizards, without a doubt, have one of the worst rosters in the league and I can promise you it won’t be the last time I’ll be betting against them in the 2019-2020 NBA season.
Nuggets/Nets – Two-Leg Parlay
When betting multiple games in one day/night, I typically like to pick two or three of those teams I feel the most confident about and add them into a parlay as well. For this one, I’ll be parlaying the Nuggets (ML) and the Nets (ML) which gives me an end line of -210 – not terrible for teams that I consider virtual locks for Friday night. If either of these teams lose, we will not only lose our single-team bets, but we will also lose our parlay. On the bright side though, that’s just something I don’t foresee happening. Good luck!