The NBA regular season opens on Tuesday night. And the Golden Nugget sportsbook is taking action on 29 of the 30 teams.
Sorry Houston Rockets fans.
Still, the move is a complete 360 from a year ago when Golden Nugget and its online allies were banned from any form of NBA betting.
Tilman Fertitta owning an Atlantic City casino and an NBA franchise created a unique issue. NJ Gov. Phil Murphy gets the assist for signing the new sports betting law in September that put NBA bets back on the board for the Nugget.
“This has been a major lost opportunity for us,” Fertitta said. “Look, nobody can come over here to play all the sports, football, basketball, etc. if a major one of them is not available.”
So the new rule was a good one for Golden Nugget AC. It likely (hopefully) levels the playing field somewhat in the New Jersey sportsbook market. As such, Golden Nugget is eager to get the ball rolling.
And the first night of the 2019-20 NBA betting season is a pretty exciting one: the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors (minus NBA Finals MVP Kwahi Leonard) face the New Orleans Pelicans.
The champs are a 7-point favorite at home. The line moved from 5.5 due to the Zion factor. Zion Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, is not playing for the Pelicans due to an injury.
Of course, we cannot forget about LeBron James and the Lakers versus crosstown rival Clippers. King James and company are favored by 3 points.
Golden Nugget NBA betting: 76ers, Nets and Knicks
As far as the NJ sports betting market goes, the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, and New York Knicks will likely drum up the most fan interest.
As with the other 16 sportsbook apps, the odds on the Sixers are much stronger than those for the Knicks and Nets.
For one, Philly is coming off a very busy offseason. The roster is sporting a new look that has caught the attention of oddsmakers.
Golden Nugget sees them as the heavy favorite to win the Atlantic Division at -160.
The Nets added Kevin Durant, who is still recovering from an ACL injury, and Kyrie Irving during the offseason. But for those who prefer backing a long shot, the Knicks certainly offer numerous opportunities.
That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a smart bet.
Here are the current futures to win the Atlantic Division at Golden Nugget:
- 76ers -160
- Boston Celtics +400
- Nets +550
- Raptors +550
- Knicks +15000
Looking at the bigger Eastern Conference picture, the Sixers could gain some serious action. They currently have the second-best odds.
Here is the breakdown:
- Milwaukee Bucks +150
- 76ers +220
- Celtics +700
- Nets +1200
- Raptors +1400
- Knicks +10000
By the way, New York is not the biggest underdog in this race. That honor currently belongs to the Washington Wizards (+16000).
And the NBA title goes to…
Odds on who will win the NBA title will be a little more challenging for Golden Nugget. The Rockets are once again in the championship conversation.
Having MVP candidates James Harden and Russell Westbrook on the court certainly makes them an attractive bet, too.
Just not at Golden Nugget online sportsbook.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the Rockets at +900 to win the NBA championship. That is currently the fifth-best odds on the board behind the Clippers, Lakers, Bucks, and 76ers.
Customers viewing the same odds on the Golden Nugget app will notice slightly different wording: NBA 2019/20 winner without Houston Rockets.
Here are the current odds to win it all (Philly/NY teams included) as shown at Golden Nugget:
- Clippers +325
- Lakers +400
- Bucks +400
- 76ers +650
- Warriors +1300
- Nets +2200
- Knicks +175000
What if Houston does win?
Paul Chopin, a consultant to Golden Nugget’s sportsbook operations director, provided a brief explanation. Basically, the “logic” on futures and outrights is to win or come in second to the Rockets.
It applies to both team and player markets.
The same rules apply to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (the franchise’s G-League affiliate).
The Houston NBA betting bypass
The same rules will certainly come into play when talking specifically about the Southwest Division winner.
Golden Nugget has posted the odds sans the Rockets, who are the favorites to win it.
FanDuel Sportsbook, for instance, has the Rockets at -280.
Here is how Golden Nugget has the division odds:
- San Antonio Spurs -160
- Dallas Mavericks +300
- New Orleans Pelicans +350
- Memphis Grizzlies +3900
Plus, whoever or whenever Houston is playing, those games will not be available for betting. So Thursday’s home opener against the Bucks, for instance, is off-limits.
And by the way, the same rules apply to BetAmerica Sportsbook, which operates under the Golden Nugget license.
No NBA player props at Golden Nugget… yet
When viewing odds via the app or web browser, customers may notice the lack of player props. The Golden Nugget sportsbook operations team did not confirm a date, but did say “we will slowly introduce player specials and related player futures.”
The same logic as above will apply. Don’t expect to see any odds related to the players or coaching staff from the Rockets or Vipers.
Be that as it may, the next several months should be much more exciting for the Golden Nugget as compared to last year.
For one, the Golden Nugget sportsbook app did not launch until Feb. 19 of this year. It means there was no NFL or Super Bowl betting.
By adding a full season of Golden Nugget NBA betting, the wagering limitations are now minimal. Plus, Fertitta does not have an ownership stake in the Houston Astros. It means the operator is all in on the 2019 World Series betting, too.
We are now less than 24 hours from NBA betting tipoff.