NBA returns for the 2021-22 season with an Opening Day doubleheader on Tuesday.
Defending champions Milwaukee Bucks take on the Brooklyn Nets, followed by the Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers.
It’s a feast of basketball action, and we have our best NBA tips and predictions.
NBA Betting Picks
Brooklyn Nets vs Milwaukee Bucks @ Fiserv Forum
The Bucks will unveil their NBA Championship banner on Wednesday, and that could give them the confidence needed to beat the Brooklyn Nets.
Beating Brooklyn won’t be easy this season, but with Kyrie Irving not playing and causing controversy, its mind might be on other things.
The Bucks have a couple of players sitting on the sidelines to start the season, but having Giannis Antetokounmpo on the court is a massive boost. He has been instrumental in the Bucks’ success, and he looks ready for another big season.
Khris Middleton still has improvement to come, so that is a good sign. He showed signs of maturity last season, and if he goes to the next level, the Bucks could repeat.
Brooklyn has Kevin Durant and James Harden, which is a powerful one-two combination. The Nets are a shooting-heavy team, so if the shots are falling, they can put up big totals.
The current NBA Championship favourites have looked better than Milwaukee in preseason games, but kicking off your campaign on the road against the current champions isn’t easy.
Bookmakers have the Nets at $1.78 to win on the road, which is short of value. We think the best value is with the Bucks at $2.08.
Most champions start shorter with bookmakers in their first game, as the crowd is roaring, and it’s a game to celebrate. The Bucks won’t be overawed by the situation, so we’re happy to take the value available.
There is also value in betting Middleton to score 25+ points and Milwaukee win, which pays a healthy $5.
Bet: Milwaukee Bucks @ $2.08
Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers @ STAPLES Centre
Expectations are high for the Los Angeles Lakers, who have once again recruited an experienced roster for a championship title.
As if they weren’t already strong enough with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook has now been added to the mix. Westbrook has yet to win a championship, but there is no denying his ability to score and get rebounds.
His role might be limited with the Lakers, compared to his ball-hogging days with the Wizards, which he might find unusual. However, he’s a nice third option if James and Davis aren’t on the floor.
They are experienced, and despite playing poorly in preseason, the Lakers are firm $1.60 favourites to win on Opening Day.
Golden State is our pick to go all the way, but it’s without Klay Thompson till around Christmas. That leaves Steph Curry to do most of the scoring, but he’s used to it.
Curry has already scored 41 points in a preseason game, so he’s in form. There are enough young shooters on the Warriors roster to cause the Lakers some problems, but the size could become a factor.
Golden State doesn’t have a lot of size, and Draymond Green could be left defending James or Davis, which doesn’t bode well.
We like the Warriors more as a team later in the run, but we think the Lakers will be too tough in the opening game. Take the $1.60 and –3.5 for more value at $1.94. Money is coming for the Warriors, but that could be an overreaction to his preseason form.
James and Davis to score 50+ points combined pays $2, which is worth a nibble. They should combine well, and we don’t see Westbrook taking many shots.
Bet: Los Angeles Lakers @ $1.60
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. Coupled with his love of US sport, Daryl’s picks have been featured on various websites around the world and viewed by millions of readers. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NBA, NFL, and college sports. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.