Bucks open as short favorites vs. Brooklyn on Opening Night

Kevin Durant is hoping to have his running partners at full strength when Brooklyn goes to Milwaukee on Opening Night for a rematch of the East semifinals.

The NBA Summer League Championship took place Tuesday night, with Sacramento taking the honors. The Kings cashed gorgeous 30/1 tickets to win the off-season prize.

Oddsmakers have already turned the page to the regular season, as the NBA released its schedule yesterday for Opening Night and Christmas Day.

Jeff Sherman, an oddsmaker at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, released odds for both Opening Night games that will take place on Oct. 19. Sherman and his crew opened Milwaukee as a one-point home favorite over Brooklyn and made the Lakers 4.5-point home favorites vs. Golden State.

DraftKings has also posted odds for the first two games of the regular season. The Lakers-Warriors spread is the same as the SuperBook, but the Bucks-Nets game is a pick’em.

There is a serious discrepancy between the two books when it comes to the totals, though. Sherman has the Milwaukee game at 243.5, while DraftKings opened that total at 232.5 points. DraftKings has adjusted to 237.5 since sending that lower number out.

The Westgate opened Golden State-Los Angeles at 230.5 — DraftKings sent it out at 225.5 but was at 239.5 as of Wednesday morning. Betting games months before the season can be risky, but it can also provide plenty of value at times.

Offshore sportsbooks BetOnline and Bovada had not released lines for those two games as of early Wednesday.

Opening Night features the top four 2022 title contenders. Brooklyn is currently priced as a +210 ‘chalk,’ as the Nets are hoping to feature a healthy trio of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden.

The Lakers are at +380 and should be in the mix as long as LeBron James and Anthony Davis are able to stay on the court. Milwaukee is +850 to repeat as Finals champs, while Golden State is 10/1 to win its first title since 2018.

Dallas’s Luka Doncic is the +400 ‘chalk’ to win the NBA MVP this season. Joel Embiid and Kevin Durant are both +700, while Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry are listed at +800.

The SuperBook also released odds on Tuesday for all five Christmas Day games. The Lakers are 1.5-point home favorites against Brooklyn in the premier matchup of the day.

Atlanta is listed as a one-point road underdog against the Knicks in the Christmas Day lid-lifter at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. The Hawks extinguished New York in five games in the first round of the NBA Playoffs this past year.

Trae Young created quite the fuss at Madison Square Garden in New York City during his postseason debut. First, he silenced the raucous crowd — the first full-capacity group at MSG since the start of the pandemic and the first playoff atmosphere in nearly a decade — with a game-winning bucket in the series opener.

Then in the Game 5 clincher, Young led the Hawks to a blowout victory and gave the MSG crowd a bow when his work was done.

Atlanta is running it back with its core nucleus. This time around, Nate McMillan has a new contract and has shed the interim tag from his job description.

Young and John Collins also have fat new contracts, while Lou Williams decided to return on the cheap. Travis Schlenk has tweaked the roster a little bit, adding Delon Wright in a trade. The GM, who is a flat-out superstar in the front office like Young is on the court, also appears to have found great value in Duke’s Jalen Jones and Auburn’s Sharife Cooper.

Both players dropped significantly from where most draftniks had them pegged in their mocks. Jones was plucked with the No. 20 overall pick in the opening round, while Cooper went 48th. Both looked outstanding out in Las Vegas during The Summer League, with Cooper hitting a game-winning jumper in Atlanta’s first game.

The Hawks are also looking forward to Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter being healthy. Hunter missed most of last season with knee injuries, while Reddish was out from late February until the Eastern Conference finals.

–MajorWager’s Brian Edwards contributed to this report.

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