Week 1 of the NBA season continues and we’re taking a closer look at the Brooklyn Nets’ clash with the New Orleans Pelicans, taking a closer look at the odds, as well as offering some of our experts’ picks for the game.
Brooklyn Nets vs. New Orleans Pelicans preview
With the likes of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant seemingly destined for the playoffs, the Nets managed to keep the spine of their roster and hope to build on what was a disappointing end to last season.
The Nets were finally swept aside by the Boston Celtics in the playoffs and their defensive prowess was evident, but Brooklyn’s roster looks completely different this year. The additions of Ben Simmons and Royce O’Neale provide much-needed coverage while the latter’s consistency shows his strength as a perimeter defender.
Durant, who missed three months of last year’s season with an injury, is fully fit and undoubtedly has a chance to make another run in the postseason given the championship quality on the team.
Elsewhere, their opening week opponent, the Pelicans, welcomes back formidable 2021 star Zion Williams, who had an injury-plagued season last year. Although there is always optimism surrounding New Orleans heading into the new season, they are usually disappointed and last campaign was no different after going 3-16.
Still, Pelicans fans have reasons to cheer as they finished the season on a high note, earning a playoff berth after a six-game losing streak against the top-seeded Suns put them in the playoffs.
While the addition of CJ McCollum seems to have fueled their late-season goals, Zion’s return, while welcome, may bring some adjustment time as the two have shown little on the court.
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Brooklyn Nets vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans Pelicans Tip 1: CJ McCollum over 20.5 points @ With BetOnline -108
Our first pick predicts that CJ McCollum will surpass his 20.5 points total.
The 31-year-old joined New Orleans midway through last season, but after consistently putting up points at shooting guard, he quickly became a key part of their late run to the playoffs. How he didn’t make the All-Stars is confusing to some, and because of his bucket reliance, he averaged 24.3 points in 26 games after being traded, which is good for this pick.
The points margin may be slim when Zion returns, but the expected tie could be a joy for Pelicans fans.
Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans Pelicans Tip 2: New Orleans Pelicans @ win +135 with BetOnline
Although the Nets have a star-studded offense and the most stacked team in the NBA, there are some question marks about the team’s cohesion.
Not only are they constantly rocked by trade rumors swirling around Irving and Durant, but the chaos and drama the organization has been dealing with could seep into their early season performances.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) October 19, 2022
Ben Simmons, despite looking extremely talented, hasn’t been able to do much in the preseason, averaging 4.75 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.25 assists.
Although the Nets have a lot to prove after last year’s playoff loss to the Celtics, we think it might just be an adjustment period heading into the new season. Not only that, but they’ve always taken their time to hit their stride, winning 8 of their last 9 regular season openers.
Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans Pelicans Tip 3: Kyrie Irving over 25.5 points @ With BetOnline -114
The Nets’ chances of getting off to a good start lie largely in the hands of Kevin Durant and, more importantly, Kyrie Irving.
For all his enigmatic demeanor off the court throughout the preseason, his ball handling skills are undeniable and he is one of the most reliable points picks when it comes to NBA betting. In 29 games last season, he averaged 27.4 points per game on just under 60% true shooting, which included an impressive 60-point game.
Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans Pelicans latest odds