NBA Week 1 Picks, Predictions, and Odds. The Beasts of the East and the Best of the West get the 2022-23 NBA season started

Two beasts of the East – the Sixers and Celtics – tip off the 2022-23 NBA season before the Warriors pick up their championship rings by hosting the Lakers. And then Wednesday brings the reunion of the Suns and Mavs.

NBA Week 1 Picks: Recommended Bets

  • Philadelphia 76ers to win against Boston Celtics, +135 at BetMGM
  • Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics, James Harden Over 29.5 for Points + Assists, +100 at PointsBet
  • Los Angeles Lakers to lead the first half and Golden State Warriors to win, +425 at PointsBet
  • Los Angeles Lakers @ Golden State Warriors, Draymond Green Under 7.5 rebounds, -115 at Caesars
  • Phoenix Suns to win against Dallas Mavericks, -210 at Caesars
  • Dallas Mavericks @ Phoenix Suns, Over 216.5 points, -110 at BetMGM

NBA Week 1 Picks: Friday Night Picks

  • Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler to score Over 23.5 points, -104 at Caesars 
  • Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat: Under 218.5 points, -107 at PointsBet
  • Memphis Grizzlies @ Houston Rockets: Ja Morant to score Over 28.5 points, -123 at Caesars 
  • Memphis Grizzlies @ Houston Rockets: Memphis to cover the First Half Spread (-3.5), +100 at PointsBet
  • Denver Nuggets @ Golden State Warriors: Steph Curry to score Over 25.5 points, -127 at Caesars
  • Denver Nuggets @ Golden State Warriors: Over 230 points, -107 at PointsBet

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Opening Night nerves are over. It’s time to get down to NBA business

Now that all of the National Basketball Association’s 30 teams have got their campaigns underway, Friday night brings more compelling duels, with one contest bringing a rematch of last summer’s Eastern Conference Finals and another providing a potential glimpse forward at the 2023 West finale. 

It’s still a time to watch, learn and get a read on who will live up to their Futures Odds for the NBA Championship – who may over-perform or under-deliver.

We’re still learning about the capabilities of various teams: Boston is seemingly going to be all right, despite a late change of head coach. New Orleans could be a sleeper on the rise. The LA Lakers, we heavily suspect, will remain far from the ranks of contenders based on initial evidence. 

But the first few weeks of the campaign bring that slice of unpredictability: unexpected teams will rise out of previous obscurity, and others - through chemistry or injuries - will stumble. But looking closely at the matchups should lend an assist in negotiating your NBA picks.

For more NBA content, check out our Betting Resources. We’ll have regular previews and picks with guidance on how to find the best NBA odds.

Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat

Friday, October 21, 7:30 pm ET on ESPN 

First and second in the NBA Eastern Conference regular season standings last season, the Heat and Celtics went all the way to Game 7 in a rollercoaster ride of an East Finals before Boston overcame an inspired performance from Jimmy Butler to steal a 100-96 victory that sent them onwards into the NBA Finals.

Doubtless, these familiar foes will be chasing 50 wins once again in the 2022-23 campaign, with their sights set way beyond delivering on our NBA Week 1 picks and excelling in June.

It’s a fresh start. New season. 0-0 at the outset. But with so much continuity on both their rosters, there is some institutional knowledge to lean upon while forecasting the outcome.

The Celtics’ 126-117 opening night victory over the  Philadelphia 76ers cast aside the shadow of Ime Udoka’s banishment by shooting 56% from the field and upping the tempo. It was a positive sign for Boston, who are good value to go over the line of 53.5 wins on offer at Caesars at -125. It also solidified them as NBA championship favorites at +500 with BetMGM.

The Cs expect to be challenged by a Miami team that allowed a fourth-ranked 105.6 points per night last term. The Heat, who went 4-1 in the preseason, lost 116-108 in its opener in Chicago, with Erik Spoelstra criticizing their defense. Kyle Lowry, worryingly, shot just 1-for-7. Even if the D improves (it surely will), a lack of offense suggests taking the Under on a Points Line of 218.5 at -107 at PointsBet is a solid lock.

In their clashes in the NBA Playoffs, Butler proved a wildly variable X-factor: with two 40+ points appearances but two in single figures, and yet if his late three-pointer had dropped, it would have surely taken his side to the Finals instead. 

Butler has a habit of attempting to shoulder a scoring load when his team’s back is against the wall, so look for him to score over 23.5 points.

NBA Week 1 Picks: Celtics vs Heats Picks

Memphis Grizzlies @ Houston Rockets

Friday, October 21, 8 pm ET on NBA League Pass

Everyone has their own NBA team. And then there’s the Memphis Grizzlies, everybody’s favorite second team. The closest thing the Association currently has to the Harlem Globetrotters, led by a prime showman in Ja Morant.

The Grizz will be expected to steamroller the Houston Rockets on a trip to Texas after starting with a 115-112 victory in overtime at the New York Knicks. Morant, to the delight of every neutral, illustrated he is fully restored to health with 34 points which bodes well for Memphis’ offensive capabilities. 

The All-Star, all-action guard had a plus-minus of +4.9 points while on court last term, illustrating his importance to the Grizzlies’ chances that stretched beyond a career-best 27.4 points per game. He is an enticing pick to score over 28.5 points at -123 on Friday.

In its opener, Houston, smashed 117-107 in Atlanta, should pose little resistance. The Rockets ended up with the NBA’s worst record in the last two seasons and lacked much veteran experience or reliable offense. Look for the visitors to cover the First Half Spread of -3.5 at +100 with PointsBet and to deliver on odds to win of -200 with PointsBet. 

Additionally, with six games out of seven on the road, this opening stretch will be a good bellwether for the Grizzlies’ shot at repeating as Southwest Division winners, available at +110 with PointsBet.

NBA Week 1 Picks: Rockets vs Grizzlies Picks

Denver Nuggets @ Golden State Warriors

Friday, October 21, 10 pm ET on ESPN

None of the seasonal debuts in midweek caught the eye quite as much as the Nuggets’ loss to the Utah Jazz.  That’s the same Nuggets who were thought to be a genuine title contender (their odds have drifted out to a rather tempting +1800 with BetMGM) crashing by 21 points to the destined-for-the-lottery Jazz. It was all over by the half. A wake-up call or a harsh lesson. “In this league, you can’t pick and choose when you play,” Denver coach Mike Malone acknowledged. 

Time to be concerned if the Nuggets remain a safe NBA bet, especially with a more complicated trip to the Golden State Warriors on Friday. Not so fast. Perhaps, it is a case of a group that will need time to bed in together following the injuries that tore them apart last term.

Nikola Jokic looks like his reigning MVP self. Aaron Gordon impressed. But the returning Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr were off the pace defensively, a blow for a squad that bonded together in their absences and managed to rank 15th in defensive rating in 2021-22 and allowed an average of 108.4 points on the road.

The champs, coming off a 123-109 defeat of the LA Lakers, must surely smell blood, especially by launching Steph Curry and Jordan Poole in quickfire attacks that will examine Murray’s readiness to return to the high level he achieved pre-injury. 

Curry had 33 against the Lakers - with the Nuggets out of sync, a similar effort is on the cards, so over 25.5 points at -127 at Caesars looks favorable. And it would make it worth considering taking the odds on a total points in the game of Over 230 at -107 with PointsBet.

NBA Week 1 Picks: Warriors vs Nuggets Picks

NBA Picks: Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics

Tuesday, October 18 at 7:30 pm ET on TNT

We might get the answer to two fundamental posers in the very first game of the new campaign on Tuesday evening, ones that matter way beyond our NBA Week 1 picks and all the way to next summer.

Are the Boston Celtics going to be the same kind of force under interim head coach Joe Mazzulla? And are the Philadelphia 76ers primed to take a leap and finally win the Eastern Conference with an entire training camp to get James Harden on the same pages as his teammates?

There’s a lot of history in the air when the Celtics host the Sixers. However, all that matters for the hosts is the here and now. This is why the season-long suspension of Ime Udoka must be an irrelevance. Partly for the fact that there are major doubts that he can, or will, return as coach next term. And to allow Mazzulla to assert his leadership and hope to replicate the same kind of bonds that took Boston to the NBA Finals.

In preseason, the Celtics went 2-2. There were signs the team would miss imposing center Robert Williams III, the totem of the terrifying defense last season, who is out after knee surgery. Mazzulla’s credentials as a tactical savant better live up to the hype. Especially in finding the perfect balance of Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon at the point or a means to push them into battle together at times.

Ultimately, the Celtics will go as far as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will take them. But it’s in fourth-quarter scenarios where Mazzulla can potentially make his mark and permanently lay a claim on the head coach role if Udoka is cut loose.

When within five points of rivals in the NBA playoffs last season in the closing five minutes, even Boston’s defense couldn’t save them from a -14.2 net rating. Two narrow losses to Toronto over the past two weeks hint at a problem unsolved.

As for Philadelphia, let’s not lean too heavily on the fact that the 76ers were one of just two teams to end the preseason unbeaten. The other was Sacramento … and we know where the Kings habitually end up.

But even so, better wins than losses. To an extent, the Sixers are damned by falling into the “perennial losers” category, those teams that flatter but fail to deliver. It overlooks that the 2022-23 Sixers will still be one of the more consistent NBA bets due to an excellent starting lineup with the benefit of continuity, along with a deep roster that may offset some of the load shouldered by Joel Embiid and Harden.

For all their critics, the Sixers’ big two had an offensive rating of +15.5 during the 21 games in which they featured in tandem. Harden opting in for a salary drop allowed the front office to add valuable extra pieces, foremost being PJ Tucker, snatched away from Miami.

At this point in his career, Harden will transition to being more of a point guard and less of an out-and-out scorer – a trait that puts him up with the more attractive NBA picks to be leading assist-getter. He averaged 4.7 of them in sparing minutes over the final three preseason contests. So there’s an intriguing option available at PointsBet to go Over a total of 29.5 for points + assists at +100.

And with the Celtics’ backcourt adjusted, that could be a point of attack that gives Philly hope of snatching an early win on the road at a generous +135 with BetMGM

Celtics vs 76ers Picks

NBA Picks: Los Angeles Lakers @ Golden State Warriors

Tuesday, October 18 at 10 pm ET on TNT

The ring’s the thing for the champs on Wednesday in San Francisco. But who’d have thought Golden State’s preseason would be more dysfunctional than their visitors, the L.A. Lakers?

The spotlight is burning brightly on Draymond Green after his practice punch landed on Jordan Poole, which head coach Steve Kerr has called the “biggest crisis” of his tenure.

It’s perhaps overblown in terms of any lingering damage to whether the Dubs remain safe NBA picks this season. They are still +600 second-favorites with BetMGM in the NBA championship betting and one of the more solid NBA bets to head the Western Conference at +290 with Caesars Sportsbook.

The most important question around Green at the outset of his 10th year in the NBA is whether his effectiveness on the floor is declining – one that saw the All-Star benched for extended spells during the NBA Finals last June.

In pure numbers, he was half the man he used to be last season, averaging 7.5 points and 7.3 rebounds, way off his career highs of 14.0 and 9.5 in 2015-16.

Delving deeper, he remains potent – albeit with a lesser usage. His defensive rating was 102.8, off his peak but still impressive, while his effective field goal percentage was a career-best 55.6. It suggests someone who is picking his spots effectively, even as others, such as Andrew Wiggins and Poole, move up the pecking order of options.

Poole will get a lot of those extra minutes, especially after signing a $140 million contract extension this week. He averaged 10 points per contest in limited minutes in preseason but if he reverts to coming off the bench, expect him to be in the mix for NBA Sixth Man of the Year. With Green displaced potentially amid the shifts in rotation, look at taking the Under in a line of 7.5 rebounds, available with Caesars at -115. 

Among the opening night NBA bets, the Warriors are favored by -5.5 points over L.A. on the spread. The Warriors should be far too good. However, all those pregame distractions have the capacity to knock the champs temporarily out of sync at the outset, with the Lakers only focused on their performance. Last term, the Dubs had the second-best fourth-quarter differential at +1.8. Hence there’s intriguing value on the Game Prop of the Lakers to lead at the half but Golden State to rebound to their best selves for the win. That’s available at +425 at PointsBet. 

Warriors vs Lakers Picks: 

NBA Picks: Dallas Mavericks @ Phoenix Suns

Wednesday, October 19 at 10 pm ET on ESPN

The Mavs didn’t exactly put their hands in the air for a title, or even an NBA playoff run, in their initial three preseason excursions: a loss to un-Magical Orlando, and victories over scrubs-in-waiting Utah and Oklahoma City.

They will be dependent on Luka Doncic for their rises and falls. As good as the MVP candidate is, Dallas requires an injection from acquisition Christian Wood – and a few others – to exceed their surprise run last spring and to match their sixth-best offensive rating. 

Phoenix will be their first proper examination on Wednesday. No wonder the Suns are -210 to win with Caesars Sportsbook and are favored by -5 on the spread. Cam Johnson’s likely insertion as a starter will assume some of the load off Chris Paul and open the floor up for some of the third options beyond Devin Booker.

Top 5 NBA Teams - Offensive Ranking (21/22 Season)






Utah Jazz




Atlanta Hawks




Milwaukee Bucks




Phoenix Suns




Memphis Grizzlies



Data taken from: (Accurate as of 10/17/22)

Although Phoenix went 1-3 in the preseason and lost to an Australian NBL crew, there wasn’t an excess of minutes for their main men. When Paul and Booker started together against the Lakers, the former had 10 assists and the latter 22 points, which suggested all is well, and they should be key players in our NBA Week 1 picks.

Dallas averaged 106 points per game in preseason, and Phoenix 113. Going over the line of 216.5 at -110 with BetMGM seems generous.

Suns vs Mavericks Picks:

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you Bet on NBA Odds?

Players have multiple options when betting on NBA, you can bet on an outright winner (Moneyline), the spread, which is the margin of victory, and also the total - the total number of points scored for each team. 


We kick off the NBA season with our NBA week 1 picks. For more basketball content, be sure to bookmark and return for coverage across the 2022-2023 season. Or read our guide: How To Bet on Basketball, and visit our odds comparison tool to compare the latest odds.


Written by Mark Woods

Mark has covered the NBA and professional basketball globally for 25 years and has written extensively on the sports betting market.

He has been featured in various outlets, including ESPN,, and the Chicago Tribune, as well as for the BBC and The Guardian in his native UK.