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The Fantasy Executive's NBA Daily Rundown - Opening Night 2020

Catch up with "The Exec" on all the ways to make this a profitable NBA season.

The NBA is officially back and so am I to try and deliver winning picks for NBA betting, DFS, and every now and then this season, I will also include basketball player cards to invest in. Right now, that industry is booming. 

The first night of the NBA season features a pair of marquee matchups. The brand new Brooklyn Nets start their journey with Kevin Durant as they host his former team the Golden State Warriors. For the nightcap, we get the Los Angeles Clippers vs. the Los Angles Lakers. 

Throughout the season, I will look to pass along at least one best bet (a full unit wager that I will be placing). I'll also include leans, props, and parlays I like from time to time as well. SI PRO premium subscribers get access to our top DFS advice, but I will add a few players I like in the Daily Rundown.

Best Bet for Tuesday, December 22nd

Golden State Warriors vs Brooklyn Nets ( -7.5 ) Total: 231.5

When the NBA schedule was first released, my initial thought was how I couldn't wait to see what this number would open up at. I was ready to see how the public would overvalue the Nets so I can grab the Warriors at a great number. That's kind of what ended up happening, but instead of public bettors driving this number up, sharp bettors are backing Brooklyn as well. 

When I power ranked this game I came out with Brooklyn as a 5-point favorite, and that is where the line opened up at. Public bettors and sharps really like the Nets in this one, and currently the Nets have attracted 61% of the bets and 87% of the money. This number hovered around 7 for a few days, but when I woke up and checked my shop this morning, my 7.5 was sitting there for me to fire and I did just that. 

Tonight's NBA games will be very heavily bet on, and causal bettors will flock to the favorites. Remember, whenever there are no NFL games on casual bettors turn to high profile NBA games and shade the line. There are a few shops that have the Warriors catching 8-points. 

The Nets looked very good in preseason action, Durant was stroking it like he didn't have a year off and Kyrie Irving was masterful in limited action as well, not to mention how deep the Nets can go on the bench. They will be a very good team and I can't blame people for backing them, but very rarely will I bet on a heavy favorite in a big-time nationally televised game. 

Before the injury to Klay Thompson, I had the Warriors as a top-4 team in the West. Without Klay they are probably somewhere in that 6-8 range in a very tough conference. The Warriors will rely on Steph Curry and great coaching to keep them in the thick of things. Andrew Wiggins showed flashes in Golden State last year, and new addition Kelly Oubre Jr. should be a nice fit in Steve Kerr's offense and the Warriors have solid depth as well. I think Brooklyn will win their first game of the season but the Warriors will make it close and cover the number.

Best Bet: Warriors +7.5


Los Angeles Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers (-3.5) Total: 220.5

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Maybe I'm the grinch, but these Lakers vs Clippers game don't really do it for me. They come across as made for TV-hype games and they are very difficult to bet on. Last season on the first night of the year, the Clippers beat the Lakers and Laker fans were on social media denouncing their fandom. I'm serious! That really happened after that meaningless game. The Clippers won the first two games of the series while the Lakers won the last two and eventually won the title. 

This game opened up with the Lakers as 1-point favorite, and the public quickly got behind the Lakers and the King. Once again, I can't blame them. The Lakers were dominant in the bubble, whereas the Clippers fell apart. 

So far this line has steamed to Lakers -3.5, with 84% percent of the spread bets on the Lakers in what will be the most bet on sporting event of the day. There is no way I'm laying points with the Lakers. Even if they win, its not a winning strategy long-term. I'm also not going to fade LeBron James, that would be silly. 

The total, on the other hand, is intriguing. This number opened at 223 and has been bet down to 220.5 and heading to 219. In the four games these two teams played last season, none of the games went over 217 points. Also, unders are very profitable bets on opening night games in the NBA so I'm going to put a small wager on the under. I would not be surprised if this game goes to overtime, so if you can place a small wager on that, feel free to do so.

The Pick: Under 220.5

Daily Fantasy Basketball Plays

The fun of Daily Fantasy hoops starts tonight. I will give a few plays in the daily rundown but the real advice to follow will come from the SI Fantasy PRO guys. DraftKings is running an NBA Tip-Off Millionaire Contest to start the season.

PG Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets, $6,000

Dinwiddie did a good job carrying the Nets in Kyrie Irving's absence last season averaging over 30 fantasy points per game. The minutes and opportunities won't be as plentiful as they were last season, but he will get enough looks to go over his value.

PF Eric Paschall, Golden State Warriors, $3,800

Pachall is priced to play tonight so he will be a popular pick. The second year Warrior will see plenty of minutes and will get chances to score. He should put up around 30 fantasy points.

PF/C Montrezl Harell, Los Angeles Lakers, $5,300

The Leagues reigning 6th Man of the Year was a Los Angeles Clipper last season. This year, he is a part of this heated rivalry from the opposite side. This is a great revenge game spot as Harrell can fill up the stat sheet.

Basketball Card Investing

One of the more interesting things to happen during the COVID-19 pandemic was the re-birth of sports cards. Back in the day it was all about baseball cards, but in modern times basketball cards have become big business.

Just this year alone we have seen LeBron Jams and Giannis Antetokounmpo cards sell for over a million dollars! Luka Doncic cards can cost more than a house! It may be too late to get in the market on those guys but a good place to start would be with a Markelle Fultz 2017-2018 Rookie Panini Prizm; these sell for around 20 bucks. I can see them being worth more than 60 dollars by season's end. Another good starter investment is with a 2019 De'Andre Hunter Panini Prizm, these cards go for around 10 bucks.