Best Props for NBA Opening Night
The NBA season is finally here ladies and gentlemen. After a long several months, we finally get to see some competitive hoops tonight. Opening night has become somewhat of a beautiful tradition for us NBA fans. Once the temperature starts to decrease, we know it is time to watch some basketball.
The first slate of the season consists of the defending champion, Denver Nuggets, squaring off with their Western Conference foes, the Los Angeles Lakers. That matchup is followed up by the new and improved Phoenix Suns facing the Golden St. Warriors. Both games are a great way to kick-off the new season.
A new NBA season means a new season of winning money. With only two games, you have to be very careful and pick your spots. However, there are some very juicy props that are begging to be selected on the sportsbook.
Jamal Murray Over 21.5 Points (-113)
Is this the year Jamal Murray makes that All-Star leap? For the first time in three years, Jamal Murray is entering a season fully healthy and with an extra sense of confidence after winning a championship. The line sitting at 21.5 points might seem odd if you look at his regular season totals, but those can be very misleading. We touched on the fact that Murray is coming into the season fully healthy, but the matchup speaks volumes as well.
The Lakers and Nuggets went to battle for four games in the Western Conference Finals last season. During those four games, Murray averaged a staggering 32.5 points per game. Furthermore, the Lakers’ weakest part on defense last season was against point guards. The Lakers ranked dead last in points per game allowed to point guards last year at 26.7 points per game. Their backcourt didn’t change all too much outside of switching Dennis Schroder with Gabe Vincent. The starting point guard will remain the same, which is D’Angelo Russell, who got torched by Murray and point guards all season long.
There is a decent chance that Murray’s points over/unders could increase throughout the season. This is a great system play and can easily be the best bet of the night.
Austin Reaves Over 1.5 Threes (-150)
One of the biggest revelations of last season was the emergence of Austin Reaves for the contending Los Angeles Lakers. The undrafted guard broke out for 13 points per game, while shooting 53% from the field. However, the most important stat is that 39.8% from three. Reaves is the team’s knockdown shooter; and that new big payday means the team has full confidence in him.
The Lakers’ starting lineup does not have any true shooters in it outside of Reaves. 1.5 threes is weirdly too low in my opinion. The Lakers ranked in the bottom half of the league in three-pointers made a game. That shouldn’t be a surprise when your two best players can dominate the paint. However, Reaves showed us on the biggest stages that he can be a legitimate three point threat. Out of the four games between the Lakers and Nuggets in the playoffs, Reaves only made less than three threes once.
This has the potential to be another prop that will increase over the course of the season. Reaves should not be slated with the same number of threes as LeBron James; who shot 32% from three last season. This prop should be an instant lock and be in every parlay.
Chris Paul Over 7.5 Assists (+106)
A huge shocker over the off-season was the Golden St. Warriors trading for future Hall of Famer, Chris Paul. For several years, a big rivalry was Chris Paul vs Stephen Curry. We now know who won that battle, but to see them share the same jersey is going to be odd. Nevertheless, Paul is not the same player he once was. Paul is entering his 19th season in the NBA and the clock is ticking on his career. He is there to play a specific role and not stray away from it.
The one thing Paul will never forget how to do is facilitate the ball. He averaged 8.9 assists last season, and has not averaged less than eight assists in three years. 7.5 assists might seem low, but the new role could diminish his normal play on the court. However, Draymond Green has been confirmed out for tonight’s game. That leaves the facilitator role in the starting lineup empty. That is where Paul’s line comes into play.
Stephen Curry is a point guard per say, but truly doesn’t play like one. Draymond is the guy who runs the offense majority of the time. Paul can easily step right in and be the playmaker, while getting all of the shooters open. Expect the Warriors to run those same screens for Steph to get open, but with Paul at the helm, rather than Draymond.
Noel is from Philadelphia, PA. He went to West Chester University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications in Media & Culture.