A new season is upon us! Before we get a chance to catch our first glimpse of Washington Wizards basketball, the NBA’s opening night slate on Tuesday, October 18th features an awesome double-header treat for all hoops fans.
The first game of the season pits the reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics against rival East contender Philadelphia 76ers at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Both teams have a lot to play for early in the campaign. For the Celtics, it’s getting off on the right foot after being rocked by the Ime Udoka scandal that forced them to suspend their head coach who led them to the Finals. The Sixers, meanwhile, have a revamped roster and are coming off a full offseason to integrate a freshly-extended James Harden. This could very well be a battle between the conference’s top two teams.
Then later on at 10 p.m. ET, the defending champion Golden State Warriors take on the enigmatic Los Angeles Lakers.
The Warriors will more than likely come out focused as they try to shrug off the Draymond Green-Jordan Poole altercation from earlier this month. LeBron James’ Lakers start off their season with a golden opportunity to prove they’re back to being a real threat in the West.
Looking to spice up NBA’s opening night with a wager? On the surface, the Celtics are understandably favored with a moneyline of -135 against the Sixers at home, but the best value play might be in taking the road team and their +115 moneyline on DraftKings to pull off the minor upset.
The explanation? Two words - Joel Embiid. Given that Robert Williams III is still sidelined with a knee injury and Al Horford is now entering his age-36 season, they won’t have many options to throw at the last year’s MVP runner-up who’s hungry to take the award this time around.
On the other hand, the Sixers made some key defensive additions in P.J. Tucker and De’Anthony Melton that they can use to rotate against Boston’s All-Star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
With an in-shape James Harden and a potential breakout season for Tyrese Maxey, Philly might be the team with a little more pep in their step on opening night.
Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.