Watch Now: NBA Season Preview (4:52)

The less information sportsbooks have, the more you have to gain as a bettor. By the time you feel as though you have a grip on the season, Vegas is already five steps ahead of you. The beauty of the beginning of the season is that if you and Vegas starkly disagree on a team, player or storyline, you stand to gain quite a bit if you're right. 

That is the logic these picks are based around. These lines, for whatever reason, are off in one direction or another. They won't be two months from now, so it's time to take advantage. These are my five best picks from the first two nights of NBA action. 

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and anyone who followed it last season saw massive returns. The model finished 300-252 on all its top-rated picks. On against the spread and money line picks alone, the model returned a whopping $4,280. The model's upcoming picks for every game can be found here.

New Orleans Pelicans at Toronto Raptors: Under 231.5

  • When: Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: TNT -- stream via fuboTV (Try for free)

For all of the talk about how well Toronto played without Kawhi Leonard last season, most of that success came on defense. The Raptors scored 115.6 points per 100 possessions with Leonard on the floor last season compared to 107.7 when he sat. The Raptors didn't exactly splurge on offensively-minded replacements this summer, as neither Rondae Hollis-Jefferson or Stanley Johnson shoot at anything close to a league-average level. The Pelicans have even less shooting. They planned to make up for that by dominating in transition. Without Zion Williamson, though, that will be far more difficult. Combine those factors with the strong defense both teams should play, and this will likely be a low-scoring affair. 

Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers: Lakers -2.5

  • When: Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: TNT -- stream via fuboTV (Try for free)

Technically this is a road game for the Lakers, but no matter how Staples Center is dressed up, it is going to be filled with Lakers fans on opening night. This is, for all intents and purposes, a home game. The Lakers have both of their stars, while the Clippers are missing one of theirs in Paul George. The Christmas battle will be a far better barometer for where these two teams stand against one another than this one. Expect a comfortable enough Lakers victory. 

Chicago Bulls at Charlotte Hornets: Bulls +1

  • When: Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBA League Pass -- stream via fuboTV (Try for free)

If the Hornets really are the worst team in the NBA, as most expect, ask yourself how many opportunities you will truly get to bet against them as favorites? Games like this will be few and far between. The Chicago Bulls are hardly world-beaters, but their offseason additions of Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young combined with their incumbent young core should ensure a baseline of competence. Even with this game being played in Charlotte, always take a decent team over a terrible one if the decent team is the underdog. 

Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers: 76ers -230

  • When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

The six-point spread is a bit too scary to bet before seeing these teams actually play. After all, the last two games these teams played were both decided by three points exactly, and the game before that went into overtime. The Al Horford factor, however, points heavily in Philadelphia's direction. He was the one player in all of basketball who seemed to legitimately confound Joel Embiid, holding him to a field goal percentage four points lower than his career average and driving him crazy by forcing him to defend the perimeter. Now Horford is playing against Boston rather than for them, and the Celtics have no real answer for Philadelphia's MVP candidate. That should be enough to secure a win. 

Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz: Thunder +11.5

  • When: Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBA League Pass -- stream via fuboTV (Try for free)

For whatever reason, Chris Paul thrives on opening night. He is 11-3 in his career in the first game of the season, and that speaks to his legendary basketball IQ. Paul, and by extension, his teams, are prepared. That is not to say that Utah won't be, but they are integrating a number of new players into key roles. Expecting them to roar out of the gate with a blowout win is a bit ambitious. Oklahoma City, meanwhile, is only going to get worse from here. Danilo Gallinari is both an injury and a trade candidate. Paul could easily be on the move. There will eventually be a major gap between these teams, but right now, 11.5 is just too many points.