Have the NBA schedule-makers already skipped ahead to the Conference Finals? When the 2017-18 NBA regular season tips off Tuesday night, we’ll see the Golden State Warriors take on the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference; first up, it’ll be the Cleveland Cavaliers hosting the Boston Celtics in the East. The Warriors (–160) and Cavaliers (+450) are the top two favorites on the NBA Championship odds list. The Rockets (+1600) and Celtics (+800) are among the top contenders to Golden State’s title.

We can thank the Warriors for making Opening Night so spectacular. They set the “superteam” blueprint that everyone else is trying to copy, and the other three teams in action have all gathered as much All-Star talent as they can in order to keep up. Here’s what we have to look forward to for Tuesday’s TNT doubleheader, all times Eastern:


Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers (-4)

The Cavaliers (51-31 SU, 36-43-3 ATS last year) almost got left behind on this year’s superteam train. But after trading point guard Kyrie Irving to the Celtics (53-29 SU, 40-40-2 ATS), they got some talent back when Dwyane Wade secured a buyout with the Chicago Bulls, allowing him to join Cleveland and reunite with LeBron James. They’ll form a new Big Three with Kevin Love, and eventually, they’ll have Isaiah Thomas, too.

Even with James nursing a sore ankle and creaky Derrick Rose covering for Thomas (hip), the Celtics still find themselves playing catch-up with Cleveland on the NBA odds board. The C’s have a younger and more current Big Three with Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford, but starting PF Marcus Morris (sore right knee) is expected to miss the first three games, and depth is something of an issue for Boston after they engineered the Irving trade with Cleveland. Rookie Jayson Tatum is expected to start at the 4-spot for the Celtics on Tuesday.


Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors (-9)

The Warriors (67-15 SU, 40-39-3 ATS) have had more success than Cleveland against the NBA betting lines in recent years, which speaks to the high level this incredibly popular team has performed at. With Kevin Durant joining Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson last year, this could be the very best NBA team of all-time.

That’s the kind of team the Rockets (55-27 SU, 42-40 ATS) hope they’ve put together after trading seven players to the Los Angeles Clippers for point guard Chris Paul. He’ll join James Harden in Houston’s backcourt, but they’ll have to figure out how to share the ball, and they’ll need fourth-year center Clint Capela to continue developing if the Rockets are going to compete with Golden State in the West.

*Odds as of October 17, 2017