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Between the return of Zion Williamson and the reunification of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant after what had to have been a pretty awkward Summer, this game has some juicy storylines. The Ben Simmons experiment will begin on the road against a Pelicans team that was pretty damn feisty last year. After getting written off because of a slew of injuries, New Orleans snuck into the playoffs where they gave the Suns a run for their money in round one. The driving force behind the Pelicans was how they lived up to their name by swallowing up offensive rebounds. New Orleans, led by the efforts of Jonas Valanciunas and Brandon Ingram, rebounded better than Pete Davidson with 12 offensive rebounds per contest (good for third in the league). With CJ McCollum, Zion Williamson, and Brandon Ingram all finally healthy, this New Orleans team has the potential to pose problems for the best teams in the league.
We know what the Nets have been the last two years, but in year three of the Kevin Durant era, we will get to see what they look like in full form. No democrat mayor can stop Kyrie from playing, Kevin Durant is healthy, and Ben Simmons will be looking to rejuvenate his career after being known for his actions off the court the past few years. Dating a Kardashian is pretty much equivalent to tearing an ACL for an athlete, so we’re all excited to see how Ben bounces back. As much as I like the Pelicans, it doesn’t make sense to bet on them here. Brooklyn put together a 34-21 record in games it was listed as the Moneyline favorite last season (winning 61.8% of those games). Last season, New Orleans won 19 out of the 59 games, or 32.2%, in which it was the underdog. Brooklyn had an ATS record of 25-8 and a 29-4 record overall last season when its opponents scored fewer than 109.3 points. The Pelicans will be an exciting team to watch all year, but their offense will need some time to gel. In the first game of the season, it’s best to stick to betting on what you know. And what I know about the Nets is that they are a great basketball team. Vegas likes Brooklyn -3.5, but they will win by more than that. Take the Nets