With those guys in green torching our boys for four straight games last time out, our waning memory of Brooklyn Nets basketball is not exactly a proud one. For nearly five months, fans had no choice but to dwell on Brooklyn’s embarrassing playoff loss to the Boston Celtics, as the offseason naturally followed.
What happened next? We’ll spare you another recap of all that. Quite frankly, Brooklyn’s wild offseason has been a story told time after time over the past few weeks. Instead, let the moral of this story be something less complicated — basketball is back.
Tonight, the Brooklyn Nets will host the New Orleans Pelicans in their first regular season game of the 2022-23 season. The game promises to feature two of the game’s brightest stars making their returns to the floor for the first time in a year via Ben Simmons and Zion Williamson.
On top of that and the fact that this game will open the doors to what should be an exciting season, the mixture of Kevin Durant, Brandon Ingram, Kyrie Irving, and C.J. McCollum on the floor makes this an exciting contest as well. Here’s what to expect.
Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans Pelicans Odds, Moneyline, Over/Under
The Nets come into this contest favorited by a -3.5 point spread. Their moneyline odds are at -162 and the game’s over/under is currently at 231 points.
With this being the first game of the season, the spread checks out as both these squads strike you as teams that could win tonight, but you have to give a small nod toward the home team. However, with elite defenders on the floor like Herb Jones, Ben Simmons, and Nic Claxton, the over/under number does seem a bit high, as it calls for both squads to score over 110 points.
This over/under is banking on the hope that both teams will come out a bit dull on defense with this being the first game of the season. It might be worth challenging with an under bet, but remains a fair assumption since both Boston and Philadelphia looked that way last night, allowing a collective 243 points.
Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans Pelicans Lineups
The Nets will not have Joe Harris or Seth Curry tonight. Expect to see Royce O’Neale fill into the starting lineup and the Nets shuffle around similarly to how they did in their prior preseason game.
Brooklyn Nets Starting Five:
- PG: Ben Simmons
- SG: Kyrie Irving
- SF: Kevin Durant
- PF: Royce O’Neale
- C: Nic Claxton
New Orleans Pelicans Starting Five:
- PG: C.J. McCollum
- SG: Herb Jones
- SF: Brandon Ingram
- PF: Zion Williamson
- C: Jonas Valenciunas
Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans Pelicans Prediction
Again, the Celtics embarrassed the Nets the last time they took the floor in a competitive environment. They got punched in the mouth, but coming into this season, that might serve them well. Kyrie Irving even spoke on that notion a few weeks ago.
In accordance with Irving’s words, expect the Nets to come out swinging tonight, using their past failure to fuel their collective fire. That, with a sea of fans excited for another season roaring around them, should lead to a victory.
However, do not expect the Pelicans to go quietly. This team proved itself as one of the league’s grittier, more tenacious units last year. Now with Williamson back in the fold, they have everything they need to give the Nets trouble, especially on defense with their size.
The first game is always the most difficult to forecast, but I’m taking the Nets moneyline and the under. Even with it being just 3.5 points, I’d stay away from the spread out of respect for New Orleans.
Prediction: Nets 99, Pelicans, 96
Brooklyn Nets Next Up
The Nets get to stay at home for their next contest, welcoming in the Toronto Raptors for a Friday night affair. Aside from these teams being Eastern Conference rivals, all the close battles they shared last season should make this an entertaining watch.
Both teams should be equally rested with the Raptors also beginning their season tonight in a bout with the Cleveland Cavaliers. After that one, Brooklyn hits the road to face off against two stronger threats away from the East Coast — the Memphis Grizzlies and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change