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Thursday NBA Games Preview and Betting Tips 

The 2022-23 NBA season tipped off with last year’s finalists picking up wins over their division rivals. The Golden State Warriors followed up a ring ceremony with a 123-109 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, while the Boston Celtics got 35 points each from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 126 -117. 

The rest of the teams in the league play Thursday and Friday as the chase for another Larry O’Brien trophy begins. Here is a preview of Thursday’s games and our betting picks. 

Orlando Magic @ Detroit Pistons 

Paolo Banchero, the first overall pick in the 2022/2023 NBA Draft, will lead the Magic out to face Cade Cunningham, the first overall pick from the 2021/2022 season, in the Orlando Magic vs. Detroit Pistons game tonight.  

To give Cade Cunningham some help, Detroit traded for Bojan Bogdanovic in the offseason. The Pistons also have high hopes for Jaden Ivey, the fifth-overall pick in the 2022/2023 NBA Draft. Due to the unfortunate absence of Marvin Bagley III, who will be out for around four weeks, Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey will probably start in Detroit’s frontcourt. 

The Orlando Magic, just like the Pistons, are in a rebuild phase. They have a young core of Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner and Cole Anthony but aren’t considered to be good enough to challenge for a playoff spot just yet. 

The presence of two #1 picks in this game is a clear indication that the two teams have had bad records in recent NBA seasons. This makes their status coming into the 2022/2023 season an unknown. Will the two teams be bad this season in the hopes of snagging more lottery picks or will one/both start to prioritize winning?  

Our prediction: Both teams are committed to a rebuild and will prioritize player development over short-term winning. This means the two teams are going to be chalked-on wins for contenders but unpredictable against other lottery teams. 

Our Betting picks 

Detroit to win @ 1.65 

Detroit to win by a margin of 6-10 @ 3.65 

Under 215.5 points scored @ 2.08 



Washington Wizards @ Indiana Pacers 

The Indiana Pacers are far removed from the days of Paul George and his crew challenging Lebron for Eastern Conference supremacy. Now they are a team that could look to blow it all up with hopes of landing coveted prospect, Victor Wembanyama. Tonight, they host a Washington Wizards team stuck in NBA purgatory (not good enough to challenge for the title and not bad enough to pick in the NBA lottery). They’re still a dangerous team, however. Miles Turner is a legitimate stretch 5 and Buddy Hield is one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA not named Dame Lillard, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. 

The Wizards sold the house to resign Bradley Beal and acquired Kristaps Porzingis from the Mavericks to be his #2. Pairing their two main men with a supporting cast of Rui Hachimura, Cory Kispert, and Deni Avdija means they should have enough firepower to get a win on the road over an Indiana team that has good players but are likely to prioritize tanking this season.  

Our Betting picks 

Wizards to win @ 1.7

Wizards to win by halftime @ 1.8

Over 225.5 points scored @ 1.75 



Houston Rockets @ Atlanta Hawks 

Buoyed by the brilliance of Trae Young, the Hawks have punched above their weight for a couple of seasons now. Their 4-1 loss to the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs last season showed their limitations compared to the elite teams, a situation they hope they have fixed with the addition of Dejounte Murray in the off season. The former Spurs guard will form an exciting backcourt duo with Trae Young and is expected to split the playmaking load and provide much-needed backcourt defense. 

They host a Rockets side that is chock full of exciting, but inexperienced talent – Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr. and Alperen Şengün are part of a core that also includes Tari Eason, Josh Christopher, and Kevin Porter Jr.  

Our prediction: The Hawks will be looking to put down the marker for a season where they expect to have made some progress from last year and the visiting Rockets, while young and eager, should be an easy win for the also young, but more experienced Hawks. 

Our Betting picks 

Hawks to win by more than 5 points @ 1.42 

Over 231.5 points scored @ 1.78 

Trae Young to score over 25.5 points @ 1.83 



New Orleans Pelicans @ Brooklyn Nets 

One of the most exciting opening games of the season is the New Orleans Pelicans’ visit to the Brooklyn Nets tonight. Both teams have something to prove after first-round exits in the postseason. The Pelicans’ season ended on a positive note after taking title favorites, Phoenix Suns to six games in the first round while the Nets were left with a bitter taste in their mouths after getting swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics. 

After some initial drama, the Nets managed to keep Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and also got Ben Simmons back on the court for the first time since the 2021 playoffs. Sharpshooters, Seth Curry and Joe Harris are expected to miss this game, however.  

While not a new acquisition for the Pelicans, Zion Williamson will feel like a new addition to the roster after returning to full fitness after a 16-month absence. Zion’s new five-year rookie extension max that could rise to $231 million makes it clear who the #1 option on the Pelicans is. Backing the former #1 pick in his bid to return the Pelicans to sustained playoff relevance will be small forward, Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum and center, Jonas Valanciunas.  

Our prediction: The Pelicans are an exciting bunch and without injuries could turn out to be the breakout team of the season. How they manage against Kevin Durant and Kyrie should give a preview of what we expect to see this season. 

Our Betting picks 

Nets to win @ 1.67 

Over 229.5 points scored @ 1.85 

Kyrie Irving to score over 24.5 points @ 1.87 



Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat 

Miami Heat lost the Eastern Conference final in a seven-game series they believe could have swung their way if not for injuries. They start the season hosting a Chicago Bulls team that lost all four of their games against the Heat last season with a -15 average point differential. 

The Bulls arrive in Miami without Lonzo Ball who is still out injured and will have sophomore PG, Ayo Dosunmu starting in his place. 

Both team rosters are largely unchanged from last season which means that the Miami Heat should still have the advantage here, as long as Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo play to the level we know they can. 

Our Betting picks 

Heat to win @ 1.36 

Heat to win 1st half @ 1.55 

Under 215.5 points scored @ 2.0



Cleveland Cavaliers @ Toronto Raptors 

The Cleveland Cavaliers are an interesting proposition. Moving from the Lebron/ Kyrie era, they have somehow evolved into this team of lengthy, talented ball players, who nearly upset the Brooklyn Nets in the Play-in tournament last season. 

Kevin Love might be past his prime, but he has found a role in the team and is still a capable rebounder and 3-point shooter. Evan Mobley has shown he was worth his draft position and the acquisition of Donovan Mitchell could be the missing piece that the Cavs need. 

The Raptors, on the other hand, are kind of like the Washington Wizards – a decent team but will they be anything more than that?  Nick Nurse’s team still have some outstanding talent – Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet alongside Scottie Barnes can be effective on both ends of the court. The trade for Otto Porter Jr also gives them added length and perimeter shooting and will be a true test of what this evolving Cavs team is made of. 

Our Betting picks 

Cavs to win @ 2.18 

Raptors to win 1st half @ 1.83 

Over 217.5 points scored @ 2.30 

Fred VanVleet to score over 17.5 points @ 1.95 



New York Knicks @ Memphis Grizzlies 

The Grizzlies are going to be one of the most fun teams to watch in the NBA this season. Last season, they pushed the Warriors to six games and are looking to go even further than a Western Conference semifinal this time around. Ja Morant has steadily improved his game, with a more reliable jumper added to his above-the-rim play.  

The team extended Brandon Clarke’s contract, keeping together the core that finished last season with 56 wins. 

The New Knicks spent the offseason chasing a big-name superstar but could only acquire Jalen Brunson. They have some exciting pieces but there isn’t enough consistent shooting on the perimeter to challenge Memphis’ length on the wings.  

Our Betting picks 

Grizzlies to win @ 1.55  

Grizzlies are first to get 5 points @ 1.75 

Steven Adams to claim over 8.5 rebounds @ 1.70 



Oklahoma City Thunder @ Minnesota Timberwolves 

Minnesota made one of the surprise moves of the off-season when they traded for Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert. What this means is that they start the season with the twin towers of Karl Anthony-Towns and Gobert. While this can clog the paint, KAT’s ability to shoot the three means they don’t have to give up any rim protection when he is out of the paint. 

OKC have been piling up picks since they traded away Russell Westbrook and Paul George and like the Rockets, have a group comprised mostly of second and third-year players. Chet Holmgren’s injury before the season even started means we will have to wait until next year for his rookie season. 

Minnesota should have a comfortable season opener – as far as NBA games go- against the Thunder. 

Our Betting picks 

Minnesota to win @ 1.16  

Minnesota to win 1st half @ 1.38 

Over 229.5 points scored in the game @ 2.15 

Anthony Edwards to score over 22.5 points @ 1.83 



Charlotte Hornets @ San Antonio Spurs 

A couple of off-court incidents have caused the Hornets distractions before the season opener. First, LaMelo Ball’s ankle injury means that the 3rd year point guard will miss the season opener while James Bouknight’s drunk-driving arrest has caused even more disruption.  

Despite this less-than-ideal start to the season, the Hornets should still be favourites against a ‘tank for Wembanyama’ Spurs team that looks set for a full rebuild after trading away Dejounte Murray. 

Our Betting picks 

Charlotte to win @ 1.80 

Away team scores over 114.5 @ 2.06 

Over 228.5 points scored in the game @ 2.30 




Denver Nuggets @ Utah Jazz 

The Jazz have traded away their two most valuable assets in Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell in a bid to plummet to the bottom of the Western conference and start a rebuild via the draft. 

Jordan Clarkson, Ochai Agbaji,Collin Sexton and Mike Conley are good players but we just don’t see them matching up with the Denver Nuggets.  

The Nuggets will be led by two-time MVP winner, Nikola Jokic. With Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. back in action, the Nuggets will hope to improve on last season’s first round exit to eventual title champs, Golden State Warriors. 

Our prediction. At some point this season, Utah will trade away their better players to concentrate fully on tanking. That tank job can start from the first day of the season, and kicking off with a loss to Denver will ensure that they’re right in the thick of the ‘tank for Wemby’ race from the start. 

Our Betting picks 

Denver to win @ 1.33  

Denver to score first 20 points @ 1.60 

Over 223.5 points scored  @ 2.15 

Nikola Jokic to score over 26.5 points @ 1.80 



Dallas Mavericks @ Phoenix Suns 

The Suns get an immediate chance to exact revenge on the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season. The Devin Booker-led Suns have re-signed Deandre Ayton but are yet to find a team for Jae Crowder. Chris Paul and defensive ace, Mikal Bridges, will also return for a fresh tilt at the NBA title 

The visiting Mavericks added big man Christian Wood and guard Facundo Campazzo. They should also welcome back Tim Hardaway Jr, bringing length to that backcourt that has a Jalen Brunson-sized void. 

The Mavericks are not much better than they were last season, but they still managed to pull off an upset against this team so this promises to be quite the spicy contest.  

Our Betting picks 

Dallas to win @ 2.55  

Dallas to score first 10 points @ 1.98 

Luka Doncic to score over 29.5 points @ 1.83 



Portland Trailblazers @ Sacramento Kings 

The Blazers have retooled their team to yet somehow stay the same, CJ McCollum has been replaced by Anfernee Simmons in the backcourt. They have also added human energizer battery Gary Payton II. However, they still have the same struggles as before. There isn’t enough shooting around Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic isn’t exactly the modern center. 

The Sacramento Kings have former Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown as their new head coach, and they will hope he can make something of De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis and Malik Monk.  

Thursday morning’s clash will showcase two explosive guards on two teams who could spring a surprise this season. 

Our Betting picks 

Portland to win @ 2.10  

Portland to win 1st half @ 2.15 

Damian Lillard to score over 23.5 points @ 1.90 



Bet on the remaining NBA games today! 

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