NBA Betting Picks: 2020-2021 Opening Night
22 December 2020
After a short break after the conclusion of the playoffs in the NBA bubble, the 2020-2021 regular season is here. And the season starts off with some incredibly exciting games on national television. With a doubleheader consisting of Warriors vs. Nets and Clippers vs. Lakers, the NBA is set to open with a bang. In this round of NBA betting picks, get your NBA season started off on the right foot.
Warriors +7.5 vs. Nets, O/U 231
The Golden State Warriors come into opening night missing two key players. Klay Thompson is out for this season with an Achilles injury, while Draymond Green is set to miss this game as well. Attempting to replace their production alongside Steph Curry will be Kelly Oubre and Andrew Wiggins, who can certainly provide a spark even if they lack the pedigree of the missing Warriors’ greats.
On the Nets’ side, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are set to make their first appearance as a duo for New York’s top NBA team. The two are poised to make noise in the East this season, but might need some time to develop a rapport with one another in live game action. The rest of the Nets shouldn’t be too rusty, though, given that the bulk of them participated in the bubble portion of last season.
Rust and a lack of continuity will play a role for both teams in this game, with the Warriors suffering from them especially given that they haven’t played a game in nine months. With the Warriors looking to get their sea legs back, and the Nets’ focus sure to be on coming together as a cohesive unit, the game should go under a total that appears to be set for two explosive teams that aren’t struggling for form the way these two will be.
Pick: Under 231 points (-109)
Clippers +2.5 vs. Lakers, O/U 222.5
In the night cap of the season opening doubleheader, the Clippers and Lakers will battle for early season Los Angeles supremacy. The Lakers finished ahead of the Clippers in both the regular season and postseason last year, and are the favorites to do so again as the favorites to win the 2021 NBA Finals.
The Clippers, serving as the visiting team in this game, lost some key reserves in the offseason with Montrezl Harrell heading to the Lakers and Landry Shamet leaving as well. Their biggest additions this offseason, Serge Ibaka and Luke Kennard, are solid players but not as good as the impact players that they lost.
Most importantly, the loss of Harrell serves as an addition by subtraction situation for the Lakers, as they are able to improve their bench while hurting the quality of the Clippers. And with the Clippers playing their first game with Ty Lue as their head coach, after an offseason of talk about culture issues within the Clippers organization, LA’s blue and red team may need time to get their act together again.
The Lakers, meanwhile, are poised to be even better than they were last season. Adding Harrell, Dennis Schroder, Marc Gasol and Wes Matthews to a championship team makes the Lakers as dangerous as they have been since Kobe and Shaq were together. They may need some time to put things together as well, though, as has been the case for many of LeBron’s teams in the early stages of recent seasons.
The biggest difference between these two teams is the cultural edge that the Lakers have in their favor. Work ethic and maximizing potential are two things that teams never have to worry about with LeBron in their corner, while those areas appear to be issues for the Clippers with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as their leaders. Expect the Lakers to cover the number on ring night at Staples Center.
Pick: Lakers -2.5 (-112) over Clippers
NBA Betting FAQ
The Nets’ season win percentage total is set at 62.5 percent for the 2020-2021 season. That translates to 45 wins over the course of a 72-game season. If Irving and Durant can come together quickly, and Durant can regain the form he had before his injury, the over is very much in play for a promising Brooklyn team.
Right now, the Warriors have odds of -134 to make the playoffs in the 2020-2021 season. To get there, they will need Draymond Green to stay healthy for the bulk of the season. With Green set to miss some time early in the year, Golden State’s margin of error will be slim when he returns. Until then, Kelly Oubre and Andrew Wiggins will need to help keep the Warriors competitive.
Luka Doncic is the favorite to finish this season with the most triple-doubles in the NBA. But LeBron James is another solid contender to get there. James led the NBA in assists last season, and could do so again this year now that he is on a better Lakers team than he was a season ago.