NBA Betting Preview: Opening Weekend Odds and Matchups

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 07:  LeBron James #6 and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat enjoy a laugh during the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on October 7, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The Miami Heat made a statement Tuesday night that they are still the clear team to beat in the NBA and justified as the top betting choice to repeat as champs.

While the Los Angeles Lakers - the second pick of oddsmakers to win the NBA title in 2012 - were losing twice to start the year, the Heat were blowing out one of their biggest competitors out East in the Boston Celtics. Miami faces its first road test of the season Friday night with a trip to storm-struck New York.

Miami Heat at New York Knicks - Tipoff 10:30pm ET Friday (Heat favored by 6 points)

After having their season opener against the Brooklyn Nets postponed due to Hurricane Sandy, the New York Knicks will get their first taste of action this season at home against the defending champions. The NBA has confirmed that this game will be played as scheduled.

The Knicks will be without Amar’e Stoudemire, who is expected to be out 6-8 weeks with a knee injury. Miami has owned this series in recent years with a 13-3 SU and 10-5-1 ATS mark over the last 16 games. The total has gone UNDER in eight of the last 10 games between these two teams.

Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers - Tipoff 10:30pm ET Friday (check for odds)

After Tuesday night’s disappointing loss to the Mavericks, the new-look Lakers will look for their first home win against the Los Angeles Clippers. Early positioning in the Pacific Division and city bragging rights will also be on the line.

The Lakers are 6-4 SU in their last 10 games against the Clippers but the Clippers held the ATS edge over that stretch at 6-4 ATS. The total has gone over in seven of the last nine games between these two teams and in each of the last five.

The Lakers hope to get more out of their home-court advantage this season as they are just 12-8 SU and an ugly 5-14-1 ATS in their last 20 games at Staples Center.

Atlanta Hawks at Oklahoma City Thunder - Tipoff 7:00pm ET Sunday (check for odds)

The Oklahoma City Thunder will be playing their third game in four nights when they host the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night. NBA bettors are watching the Thunder intently in these opening weeks to see the effects on the team of losing James Harden via trade.

Oklahoma City has dominated Atlanta over the years with a 12-4 SU and 14-2 ATS record over the last 16 games between these two teams. The Hawks should have much fresher legs playing in only their second game of the season, and are 12-4-1 in their last 17 road games.