NBA Opening Night Betting Trends for Every Game Today (How to Bet Sixers-Celtics, Lakers-Warriors)

Lakers forward LeBron James (6) warms up during the NBA preseason. His team is a 7-point favorite on the road vs. the Golden State Warriors.
Lakers forward LeBron James (6) warms up during the NBA preseason. His team is a 7-point favorite on the road vs. the Golden State Warriors. / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA season has arrived!

The sports betting calendar just got a whole lot more exciting and filled up as the regular season runs nearly every day from Tuesday, October 18 through Sunday, April 9, 2023.

As bettors flock to their phones across the country to wager on tonight's two matchups, along with the rest of the options at the start of the season, many places will offer up betting trends on each game and matchup that may or may not offer any substantial impact on the game. Trends are exactly what they're meant to be: useful information that can help tie multiple ends together when trying to find opportunistic numbers on a bet.

For example, the Philadelphia 76ers head to Boston tonight in Game 1 of the opening night doubleheader vs. the Boston Celtics, and via Covers, Boston finished last season 23-11-3 in their last 37 matchups when they play on three or more days rest. That number doesn't reflect a comparable outcome for Game 1 of the season when both teams are fully rested.

Conversely, the under has gone 5-1 in the last six games in Boston between these two games. That's a much more worthwhile trend to consider tonight, knowing that the Celtics owned the second best defensive rating in the NBA at home last year, facing a Sixers team that finished top 10 on the road in defensive rating.

Let's dive into each of the two matchups on the board tonight, and see where we can use several key betting trends for each matchup to our advantage.

Philadelphia Sixers vs. Boston Celtics Betting Trends and Odds


  • Philadelphia finished 23-23-1 ATS (50%) in 2021-2022 away from home
  • As an underdog on the road, Philadelphia was 10-9-0 ATS, but with a margin of victory of -5.9.
  • 76ers are 7-1 ATS vs. Boston in last eight head-to-head matchups


  • Boston 57-46-3 ATS (55.3%) overall in 2021-2022
  • Overall, Celtics ATS +/- was +3.0, second-best in the NBA
  • At home, Celtics were just 23-28-2 ATS (45.1%), but still ranked seventh in ATS +/- (+0.4)
  • Unders went 28-23 in Boston in 21-22 (52.8%), the fourth-lowest Total +/- in the NBA

Remember that discussion on the under trend from earlier? Turns out we're sitting in a prime position.

Via Your Best Bet, since 2019, conference games with totals ranging from 214-223 in the first five games of the NBA season, unders are 47-22-5, hitting at a 68.1% clip.

The initial opening line for tonight was set by the books at 213.5, but has gone up to 216.5. Regardless of whether the public or sharps brought that number up, the under appears to follow the trend, as well as the data from both these two teams.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors Betting Trends and Odds


  • Lakers 35-47 ATS in 2021-22, fifth-worst in the NBA (42.7%)
  • On the road, Lakers were 18-23-0 ATS last year (43%), but finished with second-worst ATS +/- (-2.5)
  • L.A. 14-14-0 as a road underdog in 2021, with an ATS +/- of -1.3 (8th-lowest)
  • Since LeBron arrived in L.A., Lakers are 0-4 ATS in their first game of the season with an ATS +/- of -10 (via John Ewing)
  • L.A. is 5-2 ATS in last seven games at Golden State


  • Warriors 54-46-4 ATS in 2021-22, fifth-best in the NBA (54.0%)
  • At home, Warriors were 32-19-2 ATS (62.8%), with a margin of victory (MOV) ranked first in the NBA (+10.4) and second-best ATS +/- (+3.0)
  • Warriors were home favorites in all but three games last year (29-19-2), covering at a 60.4% clip
  • Golden State 2-0 in Game 1 ATS after previously losing five straight ATS to start the season (via BetLabs) - includes games on the road
  • On banner night, Golden State is 1-2 SU/ATS

The Warriors return to the Chase Center in San Francisco to watch their 2021-22 NBA championship banner raised to the rafters.

Much will be made this evening about the distraction of playing, as well as covering on opening night, but that narrative is simply not true.

Where one team actually has a major advantage is in one specific period of the game: the third quarter.

The Warriors a season ago had the best third quarter stats in the following categories a season ago: defensive rating (100.9), net rating (+16.7), assist percentage (67.9%), and effective field goal percentage (58.6%). They also ranked top 5 in offensive ranking in the third quarter a season ago.

I'll gladly take their third quarter line at -2.5 (+100) to cover tonight at home.

Follow all of Ben's betting plays in real-time HERE!