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Top Matchups Highlight NBA Opening Night

Top Matchups Highlight NBA Opening Night - Bovada Sportsbook

The Golden State Warriors are heavy -160 favorites to repeat as NBA champions this season, which would give them three titles in four years. But the Houston Rockets made a big move this offseason in an effort to help them move closer to a championship.

Houston visits Golden State as a 9.5-point road underdog tonight in the second game of the league’s season-opening doubleheader.

The Rockets acquired point guard Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers at the end of June to join MVP candidate James Harden in a star-studded backcourt. How Paul will play alongside Harden remains to be seen considering the latter finished second in NBA MVP voting a year ago as primarily a point guard, averaging a career-high 11.2 assists per game.

However, they would seem to match up well with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Warriors, who kept their title team intact while adding another scorer off the bench in Nick Young, who previously played for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Golden State’s major advantage from a matchup perspective though remains at small forward with Kevin Durant, and the defending NBA champs have won 11 of the past 13 meetings with Houston dating back to the 2015 Western Conference Finals. The Warriors are also an impressive 9-3-1 against the spread in those games.


Cavaliers Tip Off Against the Rival Celtics

The first game of the doubleheader earlier in the evening will see the two top teams in the Eastern Conference square off in Cleveland, as the Cavaliers host the Boston Celtics as 4-point home favorites. This is a rematch of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals, and the two point guards that started that series have since switched teams.

Kyrie Irving was dealt from Cleveland to Boston for Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder after requesting a trade from the defending Eastern Conference champs. Now Irving hopes to lead the Celtics back to the NBA Finals and end former teammate LeBron James’ run of seven straight appearances in the league’s championship series.

Boston also signed small forward Gordon Hayward away from the Utah Jazz in the offseason, which should make James work harder on the defensive end when they meet.

Cleveland has won 13 of the previous 16 meetings straight up but has gone just 7-8-1 ATS after taking four of five in the conference finals. But the Cavs will not be at full strength against the Celts for the season opener. Thomas is sidelined until at least December with a hip injury, while James (ankle) is listed as questionable.


*Odds as of October 17, 2017



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