Tuesday Fast Break: Westbrook Expected Out for Thunder at Dubs

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 1:13 PM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018 1:13 PM UTC

Welcome back to another big NBA regular season! It’s only a two game slate to open the season, but there are still several bits of news and injuries you need to be aware of before placing your bets!

Football may be the king of American sports, but the NBA is the King’s Hand. It rules the kingdom, even though the NFL gets all the credit. Tuesday may be a small NBA slate, but there seems to be value cropping up still even as tip off approaches.

Thunder Injury Issues

The Thunder come into their late night matchup with the Warriors at far less than full strength, and the biggest question mark on everyone’s minds today is whether Russell Westbrook will play. He has been very limited in practice coming off a knee scope, and it’s looking more and more like he has a chance to miss Tuesday’s opener. The NBA Odds already have the Warriors as -13 ½ favorites, and that could indicate that Vegas is betting on Westbrook missing the first game of the season.

Not only that, but Steven Adams is also questionable Tuesday with lower back stiffness. If he and Westbrook miss Tuesday’s game, the Warriors might win by closer to 23 points and not 13. Combine that with Andre Roberson having a setback and also being ruled out for the next two months, and the Thunder could be missing two of their three best defenders tonight. That’s really bad news against the two-time defending champs.

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Always subject to change and likely a much firmer update will come tomorrow after shootaround, but Russell Westbrook is listed as out against the Warriors in the game notes. Also, Steven Adams is listed as questionable with lower back stiffness.

— Royce Young (@royceyoung) October 15, 2018
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Celtics Back At Full Strength

One team praising the basketball gods a new season is beginning is the Celtics. They have come a long way from beating Philadelphia last year without Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. Now that both those guys are back for the C’s the sky is the limit for this squad. They may have the best coach in the NBA, and they are stacked with talent right now.

It may take a few games for everyone to find their role on this team. I already have a play on the under for this game due to that exact fact, but it’s also due to the injury concerns on the other side of this one. Wilson Chandler and Jerryd Bayless are both out for this one on the Philly side. However, the Sixers are only +4 ½ dogs in this one, and it’s because they still have a wealth of young talent.

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Markelle Fultz: The Wildcard

Other than Westbrook’s health for the Thunder, the next biggest question for Tuesday night is how the hell will Markelle Fultz play for the 76ers. It looks as if he will be elevated into the starting lineup over J.J. Redick, and while Fultz is an extremely talented player, the lack of shooting with him and Ben Simmons on the floor together is a little concerning.

That leaves Dario Saric and Robert Covington as the only two true shooters in the Sixers’ starting lineup. Against a tough defensive team like Boston, that could be playing right into their hands. Brett Brown already said that he will likely start Redick in the second half, and it’s probably wise for him to play Redick to close games too. That being said, Fultz starting is a huge wildcard for this game. It could lead to the Celtics taking advantage early. Boston is only a -2 favorite in the first half, and it could be a very valuable wager.

Early-Season NBA Betting

We have reached the point in the NFL season where we have lots of data to work off of when handicapping our plays. That is far from the case in the NBA. Some people say you truly don’t know an NBA team before Christmas, and that may be true. There are going to be some surprises early on both ATS and betting totals, so a good piece of advice to institute strict bankroll management early in the season.

Definitely take advantage of spots where the sportsbook may have a soft line on something, but for full-game ATS and total picks, be very careful. It’s going to take a few weeks before we can use anything from this season in regard to our plays in the future. Good luck tonight!

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