NBA Preview October 17-19

The NBA 2018-19 season begins this week with a big clash to look forward to in the Eastern Conference as Boston Celtics host Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden.

76ers can beat the spread in Boston

The Celtics look the team to beat in the East after LeBron James swapped Cleveland for LA Lakers but the Sixers hold what now look to be legitimate championship hopes of their own.

The two sides met in the Conference semi-finals last year as Boston emerged 4-1 winners.  However, the series was closer than the score line suggests as only once did the Celtics manage a big win, claiming a 16 point success in Game 1, and Philly should be up for this challenge.

The visitors may fall short on Wednesday, but they should be able to keep in tight and +4.5 at 1.90 in the spread looks a solid option.

No Warriors blowout win over OKC

The Thunder face a tough trip to champions Golden State Warriors for their season opener on Wednesday and a victory looks unlikely – but they can at least beat a +12.5 handicap in the spread at 1.90.

GSW started last season slowly, losing two of their first three games before hitting real form.  The Warriors lost their last three preseason games and with OKC given a big handicap, the visitors – who beat Golden State twice last season – really appeal.

Rockets can open with a win

Houston fell just short last year, being edged out in seven games by the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals and could be the biggest threat again this season.

The Rockets open up against a New Orleans Pelicans side who lost star man DeMarcus Cousins in the offseason and should be able to win comfortably in Texas at 1.31 in the moneyline, or 1.89 with a -7.5 handicap in the spread.

LeBron’s LA Lakers can raid Portland

The Lakers travel to Portland Trail Blazers for their first competitive match since LeBron James joined and they can begin their new era with a win.

Portland are a quality outfit, but the Lakers go into the season opener on the back of two preseason wins over Golden State and LeBron’s arrival should provide the whole team with a boost with them 2.25 to open the season with a victory.