STAR PREVIEW: NBA Opening Weekend

After a busy off-season in which numerous stars found new homes around the league, the NBA returns in the early hours of Wednesday morning. With a whole host of teams fancying a run at the title, this season looks set to be a seriously close-run thing. It’s at the home of last season’s Champions that the season tips off though, as Milwaukee play host to the Brooklyn Nets.

Brooklyn Nets @ Milwaukee Bucks, 12:30am BST

It makes sense to start with the cloud currently hanging over the Brooklyn Nets. This is a roster that has Championship ambitions, and the personnel to match. But with Kyrie Irving refusing to be vaccinated, the Nets took the difficult decision to suspend their superstar Point Guard indefinitely. Irving’s stance on vaccinations doesn’t look set to change any time soon, so the Nets will be preparing for life with one of their big three out for the season. His absence will more than likely see James Harden be moved to Point Guard and being the chief creator for this team, something he was able to do in Houston to an All-Star level.

It doesn’t get much tougher than a trip to the reigning champions either, and Milwaukee have had a breeze of an off-season in comparison. They’ve retained the core of players that led them to glory last season, and, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, look to be well set for another run this season.

That makes the season opener an intriguing affair. Both Giannis and Jrue Holiday were First-Team All-Defense last season, and both match up well with Harden and Kevin Durant. You can only ever hope to slow down great offensive players such as those two, but with the NBA’s recent rule change regarding which fouls they call impacting Harden’s game, the Bucks could have some joy on defense.

Brooklyn to score under 117.5 points is 6/5 with Star and looks to be a solid bet to start the season off. The Nets also look a little short at 4/5 to win the game too, making the Bucks -2.5 at 11/10 a potential value play.

Golden State Warriors @ Los Angeles Lakers, 3:00am BST

The late(r!) game on the Wednesday sees the Golden State Warriors travel to the Staples Center to take on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Interestingly we do have recent match ups between these two to go off, with the pair having met twice in pre-season, the Warriors coming up victorious both times. It’s difficult to put too much stock in pre-season results, but what is plain to see is that the Lakers are not a good defensive team.

That was most recently exploited by Warriors Shooting Guard Jordan Poole. He appears to have taken something of a leap in the off-season, with improvements to both his shooting and dribbling. That’ll be an immense plus for Golden State who will be without Klay Thompson until nearer to Christmas.

Poole – while not on Thompson’s level on D – should at least be good for 15-20 points a night, adding offense to help Steph Curry. Curry, Poole and Andrew Wiggins should provide a good portion of the Warriors’ offensive spark in the City of Angels, and GSW are Evens to score over 113.5 points.

The Lakers Money Line doesn’t appear to offer much value at 4/9, but given the state of the two defenses, it could be the Match Total Points market that provides the best betting. LeBron – despite being a very good defender when he wants to be – dials his effort down in the Regular Season to preserve himself for the Playoffs. That means most of the defensive burden will fall on Anthony Davis.

On the Warriors side, Curry and Poole aren’t renowned for their defense, and whilst Draymond Green is a menace, this Lakers team should still have enough scoring options, even if they do struggle from three.

BACK Warriors v Lakers – Over 230.5 Match Points 2pts at 10/11 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Warriors to score over 113.5 points 1pt at Evens (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

PROFIT/LOSS (OCTOBER 2021): PROFT 2.21 points
(Excluding ante-post recommendations CLICK HERE)