Suns vs. Warriors: The Trend to Back for Opening Night

Check out Action Network's Suns vs Warriors prediction for NBA opening night, including a betting pick for Tuesday's matchup.

Suns vs. Warriors Odds

Suns Odds +3
Nuggets Odds -3
Moneyline +132 / -156
Over/Under 233
Time Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here’s everything you need to know about Suns vs Warriors on NBA opening night — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

The second leg of Tuesday’s opening night doubleheader on TNT features a meeting between likely Western Conference contenders in a division matchup. As an added bonus, we get to see new Warrior and former Sun, Chris Paul go head-to-head with his old team right out of the gate. It’ll also be the first time Kevin Durant plays in front of Warriors fans in the Bay Area since he played at Oracle (no, we’re not counting him playing in an empty gym in early 2021).

Let’s get to our Suns vs Warriors prediction and pick.

Suns vs Warriors Prediction

We can’t handicap any NBA game without focusing on the injuries, not even Game 1 of the season. The Warriors announced that Draymond Green won’t be available for Tuesday’s season opener as he nurses an ankle injury. On the Suns’ side, two of their vaunted Big Three are questionable — Devin Booker has a sore toe and Bradley Beal has a back injury — with news coming Tuesday morning that Beal will not play against the Warriors.

With the Beal news, the Suns moved from 1-point underdogs to the Warriors on opening night to 2.5-point underdogs.

The potential absences for the Suns could be devastating for team that is extremely top-heavy with three max-level players and no point guard on the roster. We saw a version of this Suns team without a true point guard during the playoffs with Booker and Durant running the offense, but they needed superhuman performances from their two stars to make that work.

Even if Booker and Beal play (both practiced, according to head coach Frank Vogel), are we sure their three top players, who are all phenomenal scorers, will suddenly embrace moving the ball if it isn’t going to another member of the Big Three? That remains to be seen.

Back to the Warriors. We know what they look like without Green in the lineup (hint: they’re not great) and both the offense and defense will have to adjust. According to the Fantasy Labs On/Off tool, when Curry and Green shared the floor, the Warriors had a +9.1 Net Rating. With Curry on the floor and Green off, the Warriors’ Net Rating was -2.3, due in large part to a massive drop in their defense that allowed 7.44 more points per 100 possessions.

The upside for the Warriors is they have much more depth on their side, particularly with Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney who are quality defensive players in their own right. Green is irreplaceable — even at 32 years old he made Second Team All-Defense and finished fourth in DBPM — but I’m less worried about the impact in one game.

We’ll see how Chris Paul and Stephen Curry fit together on the floor, but both players have been able to co-exist next to guards (James Harden and Jordan Poole) in the past. The Warriors should have ample opportunity to score against a Suns defense that is going to be questionable at best to start the season.

Suns vs Warriors Odds, Picks

At the time of writing, the Warriors are just 1-point favorites at home, which is pretty rare for the Dubs. And even at -3, there’s likely value here.

They struggled mightily on the road last season, but were the best home team in the league against the spread. Historically, under head coach Steve Kerr, when the Warriors closed as 3-point favorites or less at home, they were 43-30-1 (58.9%) ATS, according to Bet Labs.

It has been profitable to bet home teams in the opening game of the season (pretty unsurprising), but it’s even more profitable when the public is on the road team. When the home team is getting less than 50% of spread bets and dollars in their first game of the season, they are 20-10 ATS.

Pick: Warriors -1 | Play to Warriors -3