NBA Opening Night: What bettors need to know

Oct 28, 2013 |
NBA Opening Night: What bettors need to know
Derrick Rose and the Bulls are 4.5-point road dogs Tuesday night.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Derrick Rose and the Bulls are 4.5-point road dogs Tuesday night.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat (-4.5, 188.5)

Derrick Rose sat on the bench and watched the Chicago Bulls fall to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals last spring while recovering from knee surgery that kept him out the entire 2012-13 campaign. The Heat, who went on to win their second straight NBA Championship, will begin their title defense against a healthy Rose when they host the Bulls on Tuesday. Rose and Heat superstar LeBron James mark one of several intriguing matchups.

James and Rose combined to win the last five NBA MVP awards, with Rose stealing the crown from James in his last fully healthy season, 2010-11. The dynamic point guard could spend some time going up directly against James, who proved during the playoffs last season that he could guard all five positions on the court with little trouble.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT
LINE: The Heat opened s 5.5-point faves and are now -5. The total opened 187.5.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Chicago (-13.3) - Miami (-15.0) + home court (-3.0) = Heat -4.7

* Over is 5-2 in the last seven meetings.
* Road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Over is 7-2 in Bulls last 9 vs. Eastern Conference.

Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers (-12, 187.5)

The Indiana Pacers nearly ousted the Miami Heat in a stellar seven-game Eastern Conference finals last season and the goal is to dethrone the two-time NBA champions this time around. The task begins Tuesday when the Pacers open against the visiting Orlando Magic, a squad that struggled to a league-worst 20-62 record last season after dealing Dwight Howard. The Pacers open the campaign a man down after it was revealed Monday that swingman Danny Granger (calf) will miss at least three weeks.

Orlando is hoping to display improvement and is counting on rookie guard Victor Oladipo – the second pick of the 2013 draft – to excel immediately. The Pacers are on the other side of the equation with their fan base expecting a deep run that includes reaching the NBA Finals.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), FSN Indiana
LINE: The Pacers opened -11 and are now -12. The total opened 187 and is up to 187.5.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Orlando (-1.0) - Indiana (-13.1) + home court (-3.0) = Pacers -15.1

* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Indiana.
* Favorite is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings.
*  Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.

Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers
(+8.5, 198.5)

The Los Angeles Lakers officially ruled Kobe Bryant out for Tuesday’s season opener, leaving the stage set for Doc Rivers and the rival Los Angeles Clippers. Rivers will spend his first game on the sidelines with his new team when the Clippers serve as visitors Tuesday in the arena they share with the Lakers. Bryant, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon toward the end of last season, is practicing with the team in a limited capacity.

Rivers made headlines over the summer when he jumped from the Boston Celtics to the Clippers, drawing criticism from Celtics fans while giving Clippers fans hope that the team can build on last season’s progress. The Clippers quickly re-signed Chris Paul and brought in J.J. Redick to help spread the floor for Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan inside.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
LINE: The Clippers opened -8 and are now -8.5. The total opened 197 and is up to 198.5.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Clippers (-13.5) - Lakers (-4.6) + home court (-3.0) = Lakers +5.9

* Clippers are 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
* Over is 9-0 in the last nine meetings.
* Home team is 10-4 ATS in the last 14 meetings.

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