The NBA is back! The 2020 season re-start tips off on Thursday, July 29th at the Disney bubble in Orlando. TNT is offering up an opening night doubleheader with the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans tipping off at 6:30 p.m. ET and the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers tipping off at 9 p.m.
DraftKings Sportsbook is offering plenty to wager on for opening night, but there are also free options to consider. They’re offering a free pool specific to opening night prop bet options. Here are the ten prop bets to pick from for the opening night doubleheader.
- Total 3-pointers made by LeBron James: Over/Under 2.5
- Total 3-pointers made by Zion Williamson: Over/Under 0.5
- Who will score more points: LeBron or Zion
- Will LeBron or Zion finish with a triple-double: Yes or No
- Will Zion have more rebounds than Anthony Davis: Yes or No
- Will LeBron have more assists than Lonzo Ball: Yes or No
- Who will finish with more points + rebounds + assists + blocks: LeBron/AD or Zion/Jrue Holliday
- Who will have more 1st half points: LeBron or Zion
- Who will have more 2nd half points: LeBron or Zion
- Will the Lakers and Pelicans both win: Yes or No
DraftKings Sportsbook has numerous media members offering up their predictions for opening night based on these prop bets. Each member provided their best bet, and naturally much of the focus is on Zion.
I went with Zion not having more rebounds than The Brow. AD’s status is in question due to an eye injury, but he practiced in full on Wednesday, according to beat writer Tania Ganguli, and appears to be on track to play. AD’s rebound totals have come down with LeBron, but if he plays, AD is still a better option on the glass than Zion.
Here is a look at media best bets.
2020 NBA Opening Night media picks
|Outlet||First Name||Last Name||Lock Pick||Rationale|
|Outlet||First Name||Last Name||Lock Pick||Rationale|
|RotoWire||Nick||Whalen||@wha1en||Zion Williamson (UNDER 0.5 made three-pointers)||I'm going under on most of the Zion props, given that he was away from the team for more than a week and will have only one day of practice before Thursday night's contest. Not only does Williamson not make threes -- he doesn't really take them. Williamson took a three in just eight of his 19 games before the shutdown, and four of his six total makes came when he caught fire in his debut back on Jan. 22.|
|RotoWire||Alex||Barutha||@Alex_NBArutha||Zion Williamson (will NOT have more rebounds than Anthony Davis)||Davis is a straight-up better rebounder than Williamson, but in addition to that, it should be easier for Davis to crash the boards given his matchup. While Zion has to contend with the likes of Rudy Gobert for rebounds, AD will be going up against the slow-footed Ivica Zubac and whatever small-ball five the Clippers decide to use, given that Montrezl Harrell is likely out for the opener.|
|USBets||Eric||Raskin||@EricRaskin||Zion Williamson (more rebounds than AD)||Seeing reports that AD is struggling with an injury and might miss Thursday's game (or at least not be at full strength).|
|VSiN||Kelley||Bydlon||@KelleyVSiN||LeBron under 2.5 made 3s||LeBron is attempting and making more 3s per game this season than he ever has in his career, BUT he’ still well under averaging 3 per game (his current average is 2.2 per game). I expect shooting overall to be off in these first few games for each team and I think we are going to see a ton of iso basketball. Now, that means there will be 3s available to make, but more for the guys LeBron will be passing to.|
|Sports Illustrated||Ben||Heisler||@bennyheis||Zion under 0.5 three-pointers||Zion ATTEMPTED a 3-pointer in just five of the final 16 games he played before the suspension of the season, making only two. I also expect him to log less than 20 mins, as he was away from the team to attend to a family emergency and has had limited practice time in recent days.|
|Sports Illustrated||Corey||Parson||@TheFantasyExec||LeBron James will go for a triple double||Quite simply LBJ lives for the moment|
|Gaming Today News||Lou||Monaco||@loumonaco||LeBron and AD (to finish with more Points, Rebounds, Assists, and Blocks)||Because they will be ready from the get-go!|
|TheLines||Chris||Sheridan||@sheridanhoops||Neither Zion nor LeBron will have a triple-double||Not really a lock because you never know. That being said, the statostical probability of it happening is quite small, and you always want to go with the percentages.|
|PlayNJ||Marco||Cerino||@CerinoRoyale||Zion getting more boards than Anthony Davis||With that eye injury I don't know how many minutes we can expect from the Brow Thursday night.|
|Forbes SportsMoney||Matt||Rybaltowski||@mattrybaltowski||LeBron and Zion will not finish with a triple-double||Recording a triple-double isn't easy. During a three-year span through 2018-19, there were only 352 triple-doubles across the league over thousands of games. Zion will be motivated for the first meaningful game in months, but could be a little rusty after leaving the bubble. While Lebron has a stronger chance of finishing with a triple-double, he will have to deal with pesky defense from Patrick Beverly.|
|Rotoworld Fantasy Basketball||Steve||Alexander||@docktora||LeBron outscoring Zion||Zion hasn’t been in the bubble much and still hadn’t even played 5-on-5 as of Wednesday morning. I’m pretty sure he’s going to play (and probably play well),but despite being guarded (and possibly shut down) by Kawhi Leonard, I still think LeBron is going to come out and dominate in the opener.|
|USA Today SportsbookWire||Geoff||Clark||@Geoffery_Clark||LeBron and AD will finish with more points, rebounds, assists and blocks||In each of the stats being tracked in this prop, the Lakers teammates—LeBron James and Anthony Davis—have the highest per-game average in that metric. LeBron is a walking double-double (42 in 60 games started) and always a threat for a triple-double (13 in 2019-20), so bet the side he is on in this prop.|
|DK Nation||David||Fucillo||@davidfucillo||Zion Williamson will NOT have more rebounds than Anthony Davis||AD's boards were down this year with LeBron grabbing his share, but he still seems the safer bet for more. And with teams likely still a bit rusty, there will be more opportunities.|
|PlayUSA||Grant||Lucas||@GrantDLucas||LeBron and AD will finish with more points, rebounds, assists and blocks||Give me LeBron and AD all day. These are obviously two supreme scorers who can pour it on and near double-double guys when factoring in rebounds. And with LeBron leading the league in assists and Davis in the running for Defensive Player of the Year because of his presence in the paint, this is a lock against a depleted Clippers team.|
|(Freelance Reporter)||Brant||James||@brantjames||Zion over on 3s||Even with his limited range, his injury rehab and COVID layoff has provided ample time, surely, to be able to hoist in one.|
|Basketball Monster||Josh||Llyod||@redrock_bball||Davis more rebounds than Zion|
|PlayNJ||Bill||Gelman||@bill_gelman||LeBron to have more second-half points||LeBron delivers when the game is on the line.|
|Legal Sports Report||Dustin||Gouker||@DustinGouker||LeBron over 2.5 3 pointers|
|Hoop Ball||Dan||Besbris||@danbesbris||AD/LeBron putting up better combined stats than Jrue/Zion.||We're not even sure Zion is playing. LeBron and AD vastly out-classed Zion/Jrue during the regular season, and I see no reason to think that wouldn't continue here. What's more, Jrue's usage only dips if Zion takes the floor, where LeBron and AD have already long-since learned how to coexist and we know what their numbers look like in that spot.|
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