Some fascinating NBA games loom this weekend with BetDeluxe analysing the season openers to find some value.
Heat vs. Celtics
21st OCTOBER 10:30AM
The rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference finals will be a good early test to see how far both teams have come.
The Heat were underwhelming in their season opener against Chicago, allowing Demar DeRozan to do as he pleased.
Miami will look to rebound and avoid a repeat of the third-quarter lapse that let them down against the Bulls. Kyle Lowry was one of the more disappointing Miami players, going 1 for 7 on shooting and needs to be better here, while the injury-prone Victor Oladipo is a day-to-day prospect.
Boston had the perfect start to their season, putting away Philadelphia thanks to a scintillating shooting display from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown with 35 points each. At the same time, Malcolm Brogdon wasted no time settling into his new team.
Expect the Celtics to continue their winning ways.
Boston -1.5 at $1.90
Nets vs. Raptors
22 October 10:30AM
On their day, Brooklyn can be one of the biggest forces in the league, but opening night against New Orleans was not their day.
Ben Simmons was underwhelming, to say the least, in his long-awaited unveiling in a Brooklyn uniform. He looked out of sorts guarding Zion Williamson and eventually fouled out in the fourth quarter with just four points from three shots, five rebounds and four assists to his name. It’s a worry for Brooklyn, who also had to deal with Kyrie Irving going 0 for 6 from three-point range.
Toronto looks to be in good shape early in the season, with Pascal Siakam leading the way.
Fred Van Fleet, Scottie Barnes, and Gary Trent Jr were all strong support acts in the Raptors come from behind victory and could well guide Toronto to another win here.
Toronto +3 at $1.90
Timberwolves vs. Jazz
22 October 11:00am
The off-season trade of Rudy Gobert from Utah to Minnesota looks set to shape both teams’ fortunes this season. As one of the NBA’s premier defenders, Gobert had a dominant debut for the Timberwolves against Oklahoma, posting 23 points and 16 rebounds. Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards were a little subpar but should bounce back against the Jazz, while D’Angelo Russell was dangerous with 20 points.
The Jazz caused one of the early upsets of the season with a strong, physical first half.
Collin Sexton relished his role on his new-look team with 20 points, while Walker Kessler and Jared Vanderbilt cleaned up the boards that Gobert would once have done in an impressive rebounding display.
But that glee might be short-lived, with Gobert coming in with a point to prove against his old team.
Minnesota win at $1.25
Trailblazers vs. Suns
22nd October 1:00PM
There has been some pre-season buzz that the Trailblazers may decline this season, but they made a bit of a statement by knocking off an improving Sacramento in their season opener.
Jerami Grant stepped up when it counted, putting in a three-pointer late in the game to seal the win, while star Damian Lillard was respectable in his first game back from an abdominal injury in April. Shaedon Sharp was impressive in his NBA debut and should build on his 16 minutes of court time.
Phoenix also comes into this game with some form, defeating the highly-fancied Dallas, who knocked them out of last year’s playoffs. Devin Booker led the way as usual, but a cameo from Damion Lee got them over the line. There is no reason why the Suns can’t get the job done here.
Phoenix -4 at $1.91