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Previewing NBA Opening Night: Schedule, analysis and odds

SB Nation logo SB Nation 10/17/2022 Jorie Mickens
© Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2022-23 NBA regular season opens Tuesday, Oct. 17 with a pair of divisional matchups featuring MVP candidates, last year’s NBA Finals participants and plenty of drama.

Starting at 7:30pm EST, the Philadelphia 76ers will face off against the Boston Celtics in TD Garden. Then, at 10:00pm EST, the reigning champion Golden State Warriors will host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Chase Center.

Boston and Philadelphia split their season series against one another last season while the Warriors finished 3-1 against Los Angeles, including a 121-114 victory at Crypto.com Arena on last year’s opening day.

Plenty of storylines currently revolve around these four franchises, including potential turmoil in the Golden State locker room, a role adjustment for Los Angeles’ Russell Westbrook and title hopes in Philadelphia.

Tuesday’s opening night will also grant an opportunity for both Celtics and Lakers’ fans to see their new head coaches in action. Joe Mazzulla is set to replace Ime Udoka in Boston and Darvin Ham will supplant Frank Vogel in Los Angeles. (Interesting note: last season, first-year head coaches were 1-6 on opening night).

Opening night will also mark the beginning of the NBA’s tribute to the late Bill Russell, as he will become the first player in NBA history to have his number (No. 6) retired across the NBA.

Every player’s jersey will also have a black No. 6 patch to honor Russell and celebrate his impact both on and off the court.

Some of the NBA’s brightest stars will be on full display Tuesday night, and surely they will be geared up for another season of NBA action.

DraftKings Odds

Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics

The over/under for 76ers’ star center Joel Embiid’s points Tuesday night is currently set at 26.5.

While betting against last year’s NBA scoring champion may seem ill-advised, especially considering Boston’s defensive stalwart Robert Williams III is out of the lineup, there may be a method to the madness.

Not only did Embiid average 24.5 points per game against the Celtics last season (his fourth-lowest average against any team last season, minimum two games), he has only scored 27 or more points in a Sixers’ season opener once in his career.

It is also worth mentioning that the NBA’s reigning scoring champion has only scored 27 or more points in a season opener once over the past six seasons.

Los Angeles Lakers @ Golden State Warriors

As for the Warriors and Lakers, even though Golden State will receive their 2022 NBA championship rings Tuesday night, it may be beneficial to consider a winning margin game prop between the Pacific division foes.

Dating back to the 2018-19 season, in seven matchups between the Lakers and Warriors where James and Stephen Curry both played, four of those games were decided by eight or fewer points.

Additionally, the Warriors won two of those games by just two points. The three other games were blowouts in the Lakers’ favor, winning by 26 points twice and one game by 31 points.

That said, the Warriors are 2-1 in their season opener following a championship season under head coach Steve Kerr.

The current ‘1-2 points’ winning margin odds for Golden State sit at +1900 and the current ‘win by 21+’ odds for Los Angeles sits at +3500.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

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