The beginning of the NBA season has been full of drama. Kyrie Irving is sitting out due to his reluctance to get the Covid-19 vaccination, and trade rumors are starting to swirl. Ben Simmons got suspended for the Sixers’ first game after refusing to participate in certain activities during practice. The Phoenix Suns have yet to come to a deal with Deandre Ayton regarding his rookie contract extension. Zion Williamson is out for the start of the season, and he will probably be on a minutes restriction when he gets back because he ballooned up to over 300 pounds. I hope that the entire NBA season remains as compelling as the first week has been.
Nets -1 | -110 at Draftkings Sportsbook
The Brooklyn Nets have too much scoring power for the 76ers to keep up in this game. Ben Simmons might be back, but who knows what kind of effort he will give after getting suspended for the first game. The 76ers need Ben Simmons to guard all of the Nets’ offensive weapons successfully. Without Simmons’ lockdown defense, one of the Nets’ All-Stars will end up with a lesser defender. The 76ers may have won their first game, but that came against the Zion-less Pelicans, who were also without two other starters from last year. The game was tied at the half and would have been close if the Pelicans did not play terribly in the third quarter. The 76ers are valued too highly in this game, especially with the Nets coming off two days of rest. They have too much of an advantage.
Suns +1 | -110 at Draftkings Sportsbook
Both the Suns and Lakers dropped game one. The good news is that the Nuggets and Warriors will be undervalued teams at the start of this year. The bad news is both the Lakers and Suns have too much value right now. These teams are great, but they will want to stay healthy and keep their legs fresh for a postseason run. This is especially true for the Lakers, given the age of their roster. They don’t care if they make the playoffs as the eighth seed. Last year Phoenix went 2-1 against the Lakers in the regular season. The Suns averaged 111 points across those three games, which proves that they can score against Los Angeles’ defense. The Lakers don’t have someone to stop Devin Booker this year, and that is dangerous. The Suns’ youth will help them cover and keep things close.
Brandon Ingram Over 1.5 Threes | +105 at Draftkings Sportsbook
In the last two years, Brandon Ingram has averaged over two threes per game, and he has averaged 39% from the three-point range. With Zion Williamson out, the Pelicans have only two starters from last year, so Ingram will have opportunities to score. They will likely be playing from behind against the Chicago Bulls as well. The Bulls struggled to stop the Detroit Pistons, and Ingram is a better scorer than anyone on Detroit’s roster. The Bulls also gave up a lot of wide-open three-point opportunities. The Pistons did not capitalize on these opportunities, but it helps Ingram’s chances of hitting the over. I see this as a value pick. Ingram averages over two threes a game. He isn’t competing with anyone for opportunities to score, and he is playing a defense that gave up open threes to the worst team in the league. All of these factors and are at plus odds. The value is there on Brandon Ingram tonight.
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