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NBA Odds: Opening night spotlights two star studded matchups, and one likely upset —a Sixers victory

Will Joel Embiid continue to troll the Celtics in the regular season like he does everyone else on Twitter?

Charlotte Hornets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Before opening night arrives for the Sacramento Kings, the 2022-2023 NBA regular season will kick off with a couple of highly anticipated contests Tuesday on TNT.

As the NBA always likes to put on a show, the first two games will feature a star studded cast. The reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics will take on the Philadelphia 76ers, followed by the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors taking on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Fakers...

...I mean Lakers.

DraftKings Odds

First, let's take a look at the matchup out in the Western Conference’s pacific Division. The oddsmakers over at DraftKings list the Warriors as a solid 6.0-point favorites over the Lakers. With the game being played in San Francisco and yet another banner being hung, this feels like a very safe line to me.

Last season, to no one’s surprise, the Warriors defeated the Lakers in three out of their four regular season matchups. In each of those three wins the Warriors won by an average margin of 8.33 points. Not far off the line for this first matchup of the new year, but these teams have slightly changed in favor of the Champs.

While the Lakers’ roster is honestly one of the ugliest in the division, aside from LeBron, Anthony Davis and the newly acquired Patrick Beverley, they have also been highly criticized by the media about the team’s chemistry and the drama surrounding Russell Westbrook. While it’s not a clear cut fact that there really is a chemistry issue, the footage doesn’t look good.

Not to mention their 1-5 preseason record including to trouncings by the Sacramento Kings.

The Warriors on the other hand had a quite offseason adding Donte Divincenzo, but losing Juan Toscano-Anderson — to the Lakers — and a couple other small moves. However, they will now have a fully healthy Klay Thompson, a confident Andrew Wiggins and a more developed young group of Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody the newly payed Jordan Poole.

However, the real key will be a finally healthy James Wiseman. The highly touted big man has yet to truly show what he can do on an NBA court. After what we’ve seen in the preseason, I’m very intrigued to say the least. If Anthony Davis starts bullying Kevon Looney and Draymond Green, Wiseman will get the chance to show that he’s more than just hype.

The early up though is where things get a little more interesting.

The Celtics and Sixers are both Finals contenders and two of the league’s best teams. DraftKings has the Celtics listed as 2.0-point favorites over the Sixers for the Eastern Conference titans clash at TD Garden.

The Celtics made some key moves in adding Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari, while losing Daniel Theis. However, when Gallinari suffered a possible season ending injury playing back home in Italy they also added Blake Griffin.

They are also dealing with the aftermath of the scandal involving Ime Udoka — whom they will be without — which I will not be diving into.

The Sixers lost vets Danny Green, DeAndre Jordan and Paul Millsap. However, they did gain P.J. Tucker, Montrezl Harrell, De’Anthony Melton and a couple other depth players.

Comparing both teams off seasons, the Sixers are the more improved team and are much hungrier for success.

While the Celtics are coming off a fantastic season that saw them come close to winning yet another title for bean town, they have not been the most successful in regular season against this Sixers squad.

Over their last 11 regular season matchups, the Sixers have won eight to the Celtics three. Of those eight wins, three took place in TD Garden.

With that in mind, I think the Sixers at +2.0-points is a fantastic bet. The Celtics will be without Robert Williams III who showed the league just how impactful he can be in the paint when facing the Warriors in the Finals.

This means that Al Horford and the rest of the Celtics front court will be at the mercy of Joel Embiid who is starving for both an MVP and Finals appearance. In his career, Embiid averages 26.1 points, 12.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.7 blocks per game.

With both him and James Harden at a pivotal point in their careers and hungry to prove themselves, they will be looking to make a statement against Jayson Tatum and co.

Not only is history on their side, but the money as well. If you’re looking to start the NBA season right, this is the pick for you.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.