Fantasy Basketball

2019-20 NBA Opening Night Betting Breakdown

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Welcome to the NBA Opening Night Betting Breakdown Post.

We have actually survived another, albeit very fun and exciting, NBA Offseason!

There are finally actual games to talk about matchups to assess and lines to gamble on.

The NBA Season tips off with a two-game slate on opening night and I’ll let you know where my projections lean on both the totals and the spread.

2019-20 NBA Opening Night Betting Breakdown

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New Orleans Pelicans at Toronto Raptors | TOR – 7 | O/U 231

While it is a shame that we won’t get to see Zion Williamson debut on the actual NBA stage just yet, it does make this game easier to handicap for my projections as rookies always seem to throw a wrench in the system and make it harder to predict.

Both teams played at a near top-5 pace during preseason, which is usually a statistic that translates very well into the regular season.

Exchanging Zion for J.J. Redick in the starting lineup means we get less of the defensive upside that the Pelicans possess.

This is a clear lean to the over in both my matchup analysis as well as projections.

The spread is a little more tricky.

I’m personally on New Orleans at +6 but that bet was placed pre-Zion surgey announcement. It’s fairly hard to accurately project what impact that injury will have.

I’d lean Pelicans even without Zion. Seven points just seems a bit much for a mid tier Eastern Conference team to get against a mid tier team from the West.

LA Clippers at LA Lakers | LAL -3 | O/U 224,5

Another game where a missing player will dictate one of our plays.

The Lakers are a very clear play against the Paul George-less Clippers.

I would likely put this game at LAL -3 with PG13 healthy and playing.

The Lakers run a very basic offensive scheme which should mean that they’ll be much less impacted by the roster turnover than the Clippers will be.

There also is a very clear matchup problem for the Clippers in Anthony Davis. While no team has amazing matchups against him, the Clippers are especially bad. Their regular PF/C rotation in Montrezl Harrell and, for now, Maurice Harkless have absolutely no chance of guarding AD straight up. You can forget switching on a LeBron James / AD pick and roll. That would put Kawhi Leonard on AD which the Clippers most likely will look to avoid.

I’m expecting Davis to feast and the Lakers to be much further along in their integration of the new players and schemes.

Frank Vogel has usually done a very good job of designing regular season defenses. I’d look for the under on the total, if I was going to play it at all. Both of these teams are near the bottom in pace and that’s likely not going to change with Vogel’s offense being fairly slow and vanilla.


Hope you guys have an enjoyable and profitable first night of NBA action! I’ll be bringing you these types of breakdown a couple of times a week!

Check out my other NBA posts here!

About Leon

A 26 year old German business student that focuses most of his spare (and sometimes not spare) time on evolving his knowledge about the NBA. Mainly to then use that knowledge to make money gambling, but it's the evolving knowledge part we'd like to focus on publicly.

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