The moment that all NBA fans have been waiting for has finally arrived as the NBA season opens Tuesday with the Golden State Warriors hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.
When: Tuesday October 16th, 2018 at 7:35 PST
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
Line: Warriors -12 (-110), total at 224
Injuries: Russell Westbrook (knee) is out, Stephen Adams (back) is questionable, Abdel Nader (knee) is day-to-day and Andre Roberson (knee) is out for the Thunder.
Shaun Livingston (foot) is questionable and DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) is out for the Warriors.
Shaun Livingston questionable for tomorrow with foot soreness. Draymond Green will play, but in shorter than usual bursts as he builds up conditioning.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 15, 2018
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder added sixth-man Dennis Shroder and unloaded Carmelo Anthony in the offseason but the most critical personnel issue for Oklahoma City as the season tips off is the status of Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on September 12th and though he is reported to be progressing his status for the opener is still in question and it appears the Thunder are planning to play without him.
Always subject to change and likely a much firmer update will come tomorrow after shootaround, but Russell Westbrook is listed as out against the Warriors in the game notes. Also, Steven Adams is listed as questionable with lower back stiffness.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) October 15, 2018
With Dennis Shroder starting in Westbrook’s place, the Thunder were able to win three of four preseason games but OKC will be lacking depth, scoring and energy without Westbrook in the lineup.
Golden State Warriors
The Dubs have seen their regular season motivation wane over the past few years, so it should come as no surprise that the Warriors lost four of five preseason games this year as they tinkered with lineups and rested starters.
But there is little doubt that the Warriors are refreshed and motivated to do whatever it takes to win a third straight title, and speculation about this potentially being the last season with this championship core could lead to the Dubs outperforming regular season expectations.
The Warriors split the series with the Thunder last season both straight up and against the spread.
In their last two home openers, the Warriors lost both straight up and against the spread as favorites, making it hard to feel totally confident that the Dubs win their home opener even with Westbrook out.
If you are planning to bet on the Warriors, you might consider acting sooner rather than later as this spread will likely increase as Westbrook’s absence is confirmed.
Thought it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Dubs win comfortably with Westbrook and Roberson out, we previously recommended caution in betting Warriors regular season games where they are laying double-digit spreads and urge the same in this year’s season opener.
But with the last four regular season games between Golden State and OKC all going under the total, taken together with some potential rust as the new lineups get used to each other, the under 224 might be worth a look in this game.