The powerful Jeebus finally answered our prayers and that means BASKETBALL IS BACK!! The defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors host the New Orleans Pelicans tonight at Oracle Arena. The game is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m. PST as the second game of a TNT opening night double-header. Coverage of the Warriors ring and championship banner raising ceremony will start at 7:15 p.m. PST.
According to the Associated Press the TNT crew of Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson will be hosting "Inside the NBA" live from Pier 43 in San Francisco. The live broadcast will be accompanied with a live performance by the X Ambassadors. Marv Albert will be calling play-by-play with Chris Webber and sideline reporter Craig Sager.
As for the game itself BetUS lists Golden State (-650) as nine and half point favorites over a depleted New Orleans (+475) squad. The O/U game total line is set 214.5 points. The Pelicans are without Luke Babbitt (hamstring), Alexis Ajinca (hamstring), Quincy Pondexter (knee), Tyreke Evans (knee), Omer Asik (back) and Norris Cole (ankle). These key injuries, along with Jrue Holiday being on a minute restriction can all attribute to the large game spread. Andrew Bogut (nose) is listed as probable and Kevon Looney (hip) is out for the Dubs according to TeamRankings.com.
I will be making my picks for each Warriors game as well as keeping a running tab throughout the season.
The plethora of injuries for the Pelicans makes this game a tough pick. I expect the Warriors to pounce on the wounded Pelicans as if they are a fierce lioness hunting for her cubs. I would take NOLA with the points if they were healthy, but I think the Pels are going to be a bit overmatched thanks in part to a hyped up Roaracle crowd behind the Warriors. Davis will be expected to carry the load offensively tonight for the Pelicans which might bring out a LeBron James NBA Finals-esc performance. Even with the addition of offensive guru head coach Alvin Gentry, I believe New Orleans will stumble at times offensively and have trouble breaking the century mark against the Dubs.
There are a number of prop bets for this game:
- Anthony Davis is -115 to grab 12 or more rebounds and -115 to score over 26 points.
- The Warriors are +1000 to win by 1-2 points, +550 to win by 7-9 points and +600 to win by 14-16 points.
- The Pelicans are +1400 to win by 1-2 points and +2200 to win by 7-9 points.
(all lines and props provided by BetUS)
ML: GOLDEN STATE
ATS: GOLDEN STATE ( -9.5 )
O/U: UNDER ( 214.5 )