Opening week for the NBA continues on Thursday night, this time with a pair of games on TNT that are worth tuning in for. TNT will have their national TV games on Tuesday night until football season ends, but this week they opted to make an exception with these two fun, star driven match ups.
First up, the Milwaukee Bucks face off against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers are coming off an opening night loss to the Boston Celtics and are looking to get on track. This will be the season debut for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Following that match up will be the Los Angeles Lakers battling their building and city rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers. Lebron James and Anthony Davis fell to the Warriors in the first game and look to bounce back against a scary Los Angeles Clippers squad.
Let’s take a look at both match ups
Philadelphia 76ers vs Milwaukee Bucks
Thursday, 10/20 at 6:30pm CST on TNT
This game is likely getting billed as a match up of potential Eastern Conference finalists. With former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo facing off against MVP hopeful Joel Embiid and former MVP James Harden, it’s easy to see why. The Sixers defense has something to prove after getting shredded on opening night and the Bucks are out to prove their place in a crowded top to the Western Conference.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Bucks are current seen as four point underdogs. With Milwaukee on the road to open the season, this isn’t entirely shocking. At the moment, 69% of the bets are for Milwaukee though, so the betting public thinks that the Bucks have a strong chance of either beating the Sixers, or losing by three points or less. The total money on this game is pretty evenly split, with 52% of the money placed on the Bucks and 48% on the Sixers. There are simply more Bucks bets over all.
The Sixers really need this game after an unimpressive start against the Celtics. They’re the slight favorites and 70% of moneyline bets are for the Sixers, indicating confidence that they’ll win outright at home. Still though, I don’t hate the Bucks at +150, but that may be because I am not a Sixers believer.
There are some fun head to head player props in this one; I particularly like Embiid at +180 to outscore Giannis. These two like to battle and Embiid should come out ready to pour in the points after an opening game loss where he played well but had a lot of turnovers.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Los Angeles Clippers
Thursday, 10/20 at 9pm CST on TNT
After a thorough trouncing on opening night by the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves as 5.5 point underdogs according to DraftKings. This feels a bit low, considering how poor the Lakers looked and how stacked the Los Angeles Clippers are. The betting public agrees with me at the moment, with 98% of the money on this game’s spread going towards the Clippers.
It’s unfortunate for Lebron James and the Lakers, but all fingers point to Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and a rather stacked Clippers roster running the Lakers off the floor in this contest. The over/under is set at 220.5 and 74% of individual bets think this one hits the over easily, despite the total money getting split at 52/48. It’s easy to see why, with how much depth the Clippers boast. John Wall looked great in preseason, Robert Covington would be a starter on so many teams, Reggie Jackson is the ultimate confidence man, Terrance Mann is solid, the list keeps going.
There’s a fun head to head player prop of with Paul George +350 to outscore Lebron James. I think the Lakers might get down early and big in this game, so this seems like a fun, but risky bet.
These are the only two NBA games on tonight, highlighting some of the biggest stars in the game. Despite the Mavericks not playing, there’s still a lot of fun to be had betting on these games. I expect the Bucks to both beat the spread and win outright, same with the Clippers. It should be a great night of NBA basketball.
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