The opening week of the 2019-20 NBA season continues with nine games on Friday night. Although there are plenty of markets to choose from, the matchups arguably look pretty tricky to bet on. In six of those nine encounters, the spread has been set below 5.5 points.
Three teams are listed as strong favorites to win tonight. The Denver Nuggets host the Phoenix Suns as 11-point favorites. The Brooklyn Nets welcome the New York Knicks as 9-point favorites, while the Oklahoma City Thunder are listed as 8-point home favorites against the Washington Wizards.
Despite a solid performance in the opening loss at Utah 100-95, I highly recommend you avoid the Thunder. They are in a rebuilding mode, while the Wizards battled bravely at Dallas on Wednesday, losing 108-100 as 9-point dogs.
As well as the Thunder, the Wizards are looking to the future. They will miss John Wall for the entire season, so tanking is a logical choice for the Wizards, too.
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The Nuggets should get the job done against the Suns. They are 18-2 SU and 13-7 ATS in the last 20 outings at home as double-digit favorites. On the other side, the Suns are 2-15 SU and 8-9 ATS in their previous 17 outings on the road as double-digit underdogs.
Phoenix is 2-11 SU and 3-9-1 ATS in its last 13 meetings with Denver. Also, the Suns covered just once in their last seven visits to Pepsi Center. Phoenix opened the season with an excellent 124-95 win to Sacramento. Denver outlasted Portland 108-100 in Oregon. If you’re looking for a teaser, the Nuggets are your team.
The Nets disappointed their fans on Wednesday night. They lost to Minnesota 127-126 in overtime despite a 50-point performance by Kyrie Irving. I expect them to bounce back against the Knicks who lost at San Antonio 120-111.
This is another interesting pick for a teaser. The Nets should bounce back, but they are only 4-9 ATS in the last 13 meetings with the Knicks. Also, Brooklyn is 7-3 SU and 5-5 ATS in its previous ten home encounters with New York.
Elsewhere, I see plenty of unpredictable matchups. The Timberwolves are 5-point road favorites against the Hornets who also opened with a victory. Charlotte outlasted Chicago 126-125 at home on the back of seven 3-pointers by rookie PJ Washington.
I cannot trust the Timberwolves who are 4-14 SU in their last 18 contests away from home. It’s the same story with the Trail Blazers who are 5-7 SU in their last 12 outings on the road and 2-3 SU in their last five visits to Sacramento. Also, the Kings will be keen to bounce back from a terrible loss at Phoenix.
The bookies set even odds on Chicago at Memphis, and I will pass on this one. The Mavericks visit the Pelicans as 2.5-point dogs which should be another tight contest that could easily go either way. Still, the Pelicans are 7-2 SU in their last nine meetings with the Mavs, and the over is 7-2 in that span.
I would consider taking the Pelicans at money line odds. Although New Orleans won five of its last six home encounters with Dallas, this is a tough wager.
One of the most interesting games of the night will take place at TD Garden in Boston. The Celtics welcome the Raptors as 3-point favorites. The hosts opened with a 107-93 loss at Philadelphia, while the reigning champs need overtime to beat New Orleans 130-122.
The Raptors lost Kawhi Leonard this summer. On the other side, the Celtics lost Kyrie Irving and brought Kemba Walker as a replacement. I would wait for a few games to see how things are working in Toronto and Boston.
Finally, the Los Angeles Lakers are set as 3-point home favorites over the Utah Jazz. After a painful loss to the Clippers in the opener, I like the Lakers’ chances to beat the Jazz here. Utah barely outlasted OKC 100-95 in the opener, and it seems the Jazz will need some time to get along with some new players on the roster.
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