Our free NBA Picks are out for Friday, October 22nd, 2021! Make sure you check our NBA Picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free NBA Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
Indiana Pacers @ Washington Wizards – 7pm EDT
The 1-0 Washington Wizards host the 0-1 Indiana Pacers in a rematch from last season’s eighth place elimination Play-In game. The Wizards won that one quite comfortably, winning 142-115, but this is a completely new season and the Pacers will want to secure their first win of this campaign.
This is a tough one as Washington didn’t really play that well, but they were up against a terrible Toronto side and escaped with the win. Meanwhile, the Pacers were firing on all cylinders but forgot to play defense, allowing the Hornets to score 123 points in a last second loss.
What does that mean for this game? I think Indiana can definitely bounce back against the Wizards. Outside of Bradley Beal, Washington doesn’t have a reliable and efficient second scoring option. He finished with 23 points for the game, on just 36.8% shooting from the floor, while Kyle Kuzma and Spencer Dinwiddie combined for 24 points on 8/23 shooting.
While they should have a better time going against a poor Indiana defense, that sort of efficiency won’t win you many games against good teams. The Pacers may not be a good team, but they are definitely above average. They had three different players score 27+ points on Wednesday night, led by Domantas Sabonis’ 33 points and 15 rebounds. Given Kyle Kuzma started at power forward for Washington, Sabonis could have a field day yet again, and it should help Indiana get over the top.
Tim’s NBA Pick: Indiana Pacers (+102)
The Indiana Pacers travel to Washington in an attempt to make-up for their loss against Charlotte in their first match. The game was as intense as it could have been, as the Pacers were leading by 21 points in the 3rd Quarter just to end up losing by 1. Domantas Sabonis had a really decent game putting up 33 points combined with 15 rebounds, while Malcolm Brogdon and Chris Duarte also put up big numbers (28 points and 11 assists for Brogdon, and 27 points and 5 rebounds for Duarte).
The Wizards had an interesting first game away in Toronto. Bradley Beal and Montrezl Harrell led their team to the final victory with 23 and 22 points respectively. However, the Raptors can’t be a great example as they are in a mini crisis after they won the Championship back in 2019. As T.J. Warren, Kelan Martin, and Caris LeVert continue to be sidelined for the Pacers, I expect a one-sided game with a clear favorite – the Wizards. I am choosing their moneyline as these games might end up pretty tight and there’s no point in taking risks for the spread.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Washington Wizards (-120)
How you’re going to feel after you get your tickets to the Home Opener tomorrow night! 😤
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) October 21, 2021
The Indiana Pacers started off the season with a big-time choke job, blowing a 21-point lead to the Charlotte Hornets. They were outscored 33-13 in the third quarter, fumbling their first chance to put a disappointing 2020-21 campaign behind them. If there are some silver linings it’s that star player Domantas Sobanis, recently extended Malcolm Brogdon and 2021 first-round draft pick Chris Duarte all had big scoring games. They must improve defensively if they want to improve upon their play-in game knockout of last year.
Meanwhile, a re-bolstered Washington Wizards team got plenty of help from their offseason additions. Montrezl Harrell looked like the 6th man winner of two years ago racking up 22 points and 9 rebounds. Spencer Dinwiddie tacked on 13 points and Kyle Kuzma who was oft-criticized during his time with the Lakers was a monster on the boards, grabbing 15 in addition to 11 points. Per usual the team was led by Bradley Beal and his 23, but it must’ve felt good for Beal to have such a productive supporting cast as they won comfortably against the Raptors in Toronto. I expect Washington to continue to roll with this re-ignited squad and while I don’t know if they’re as good on defense as their first game suggested, I do know that Indiana squandering 124 points on defense was no hoax.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Washington Wizards (-120)
Well, I’m not sure that there’s any justification for even contemplating a bet that would see the Indiana Pacers as the winner following their disastrous collapse in the season opener. After leading by 21 in the 3rd, they managed to choke away the lead due to horrendous defense and fell by one to the Charlotte Hornets. Add in the fact that this same Pacers squad gave up 142 in last year’s play-in game to the Wizards, and why would we expect anything different tonight?
The Wizards looked decent in their opener, as Bradley Beal finally got help from a supporting cast featuring newly acquired Montrezl Harrel and Kyle Kuzma, and I like Washington to get the job done in this one, as they pick on a bad Pacers defense. I think Harrell has the defensive ability to keep Indiana’s best player, Domantas Sabonis, in check, making this pick easier for me. With last year’s play in game getting to a total of 257, look to use FanDuel’s Same Game Parlay with the Wizards to cover and the over to cash.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Same Game Parlay – Washington Wizards -2.5 / Over 227.5 (+280)
Brooklyn Nets @ Philadelphia 76ers – 7:30pm EDT
The two top teams from last season’s Eastern Conference standings square off as the 1-0 Philadelphia 76ers host the 0-1 Brooklyn Nets. Both sides are controversially without their point guards at the moment, in Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving respectively, but based on each sides’ opening performance, the Sixers have handled the absence better on the court.
While the Sixers are coming off a 20 point win and at home for this clash, while the Nets are coming off a 23 point loss and have to travel, Brooklyn are currently favored by three points. That doesn’t quite sit right with me and I am happy to take the Sixers to win straight up as home dogs. While I understand that Milwaukee is that much better than New Orleans, Brooklyn’s defense looked terrible, which isn’t anything new based on last season’s efforts. The Nets went big against the Bucks, starting both Nic Claxton and Blake Griffin, but neither of them are a good matchup for MVP runner-up, Joel Embiid.
Embiid put up 22 points, six rebounds and five assists in only 26 minutes of game time on Wednesday, joined by Forkan Korkmaz on 22 points as well, with Korkmaz coming off the bench. Both Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey added 20 points each, presenting a dynamic offense that the Nets may not be able to stop. In saying that, Brooklyn still has Kevin Durant (32 points and 11 rebounds) and James Harden (20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists) on the roster but their downfall is the lack of consistent support, which they may not get tonight. Patty Mills looked like he was still playing for the Australian Olympic Team with 21 points on 7/7 shooting from downtown, but is that sustainable?
Tim’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers (+124)
The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers are facing off on Friday evening in Wells Fargo Center in Philly. The Nets were crushed by the Bucks in the opening match for 2021/22 NBA season, a harsh 23 point loss. Philadelphia on the other hand had troubles against the Pelicans in the 1st Half, but later on displayed dominance in the 3rd Quarter and 4th Quarter and grabbed the victory by 20 points.
The Nets will be missing Kyrie Irving for quite some time. The duo that is left, James Harden and Kevin Durant, has seen better days than what it is right now. It’s obvious that something isn’t clicking for them as they were playing in a much higher mood back in their days in Houston and San Francisco respectively. Philly seems to have a better consistency in their roster as the depth is a lot bigger that what it is in Nets’ squad. Everything in Brooklyn is about their magnificent trio and the other players aren’t contributing the way they need to. That’s why I would trust the “Process” and pick Philadelphia 76ers as the winner of tomorrow’s clash.
The Brooklyn Nets started off the 2021-22 season by taking a beatdown from the team that kicked them out of last season’s playoffs—the Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee and Giannis Antetokounmpo were once again too much for the Nets to handle; things won’t get any easier for them as they face a Joel Embiid-led 76ers squad in Philadelphia.
The Nets got another great offensive performance from Kevin Durant and Patty Mills was a wonderful spark plug off the bench, but Steve Nash once again dropped the ball with his rotations, barely playing defensive magnet Bruce Brown and struggling to get more use out of important role players like LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin. Philadelphia on the other hand seemed unfazed by the Ben Simmons drama that surrounded them this offseason. Not only did Embiid drop 22 points, but Tobias Harris had 20 points and grabbed 12 boards and second-year player Tyrese Maxey, who is one of the guards picking up the slack for Simmons, scored an impressive 20 points as well. Sure, Philly didn’t have to worry about Zion Williamson—who’s injured— playing for NOLA, but they still looked quite complete. This should be a great battle between last year’s Eastern Conference one and two seeds. With the amount of firepower both these squads have I think the over looks best—even at 230 total.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Over 230 (-110)
Philly is a better team without Ben Simmons, that much is clear. It appears that virtually no one on the roster wants to play alongside Simmons, which means this whole Ben Simmons situation is a non-story. They showed that by handling their opener against NOLA with ease, even though it is worth mentioning that Zion didn’t suit up for that one. It’s also worth noting that Joel Embiid is going to continue to play like an MVP candidate throughout this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds a way to win it when all is said and done.
As for the PG situation on the other end, Kyrie Irving being out in the opener showed that it would be a worthwhile story, as Brooklyn got destroyed by the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. If everyone is playing, I like Brooklyn as the best team in basketball. However with Kyrie out, I don’t know that the Nets supporting cast is good enough for Harden and KD to get past elite level opponents. And we’re still dealing with regular season Doc Rivers, who is one of the best coaches in the NBA (until we get to the playoffs). With the Sixers being a home dog in this one, go ahead and take them with the points, and take your winnings to the bank.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers +3 (-110)
New Orleans Pelicans @ Chicago Bulls – 8pm EDT
We have some inter-conference action as the New Orleans Pelicans travel up to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bulls. New Orleans opened their season with a 20 point defeat, at the hands of the Sixers, while Chicago only just managed to beat the lowly Detroit Pistons. Can the Bulls move to 2-0 or will the Pelicans get win #1 for the 2021-22 NBA season?
I quite like the Bulls here. Yes, Wednesday’s performance against Detroit was far from eye-catching, but they have four players that are either current, past or future All Stars on their roster in Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball. Meanwhile, the Pelicans have just Brandon Ingram, with Jonas Valanciunas being their second best healthy player.
In their 97-117 loss to Philly, Ingram scored a team high 25 points, adding seven boards and six assists with it. He had some good support from Nickeil Alexander-Walker (23 points) and Devonte’ Graham (18 points and five assists), but ultimately it wasn’t enough against one of the East’s best.
While Chicago certainly isn’t close to being one of the East’s best, they do have a very good starting lineup. LaVine was in mid-season form with 34 points on 64.7% shooting while Vucevic added a 15 point, 15 rebound double double. The issue is, they had just 10 pints off the bench, which isn’t enough to be competitive. While their bench didn’t fire two nights ago, Chicago has a much deeper offense and should be able to get the job done tonight.
Tim’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls (-295)
The New Orleans Pelicans are on the road when they travel to Chicago to face off against the Bulls. The Bulls are entering into this fixture with a 6-game winning streak (including the pre-season). Zach LaVine had an amazing performance in Detroit 2 days ago as he registered 34 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists on 64.7 FG%. DeMar DeRozan also contributed to the win with his 17 points and 7 rebounds. Nikola Vucevic was a nightmare for the opponents in the paint recording 15 rebounds in 35 minutes of play.
The Pelicans had a tougher game against the Philadelphia 76ers. They were keeping up with the far superior team up until the 3rd Period, but then Philly went on several 8-0 runs which resulted in a 20 points difference in the end. The Pelicans are still without Zion Williamson and they will need to find a way to get as many wins as possible before he returns. If not, they might find themselves out of playoff contention sooner than expected. However, I think that it’s early for them to think about it and they will need to focus on building up their team without Zion for now. That’s why I am keen on choosing the Bulls, not only for the final victory, but also for covering the spread of 7 points.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls -7 (-110)
Naji after practice 👀 👀 👀 pic.twitter.com/4xRqXtkkcQ
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) October 21, 2021
The new era Chicago Bulls got their first win against…last year’s bottom dwellers: the Detroit Pistons. Knock it if you must, but with so many different egos on one team Chicago got their first win to take an essential step toward greater things—even if it was against the lowly Pistons.
The Bulls next matchup is against the visiting New Orleans Pelicans. New Orleans is without star player Zion Williamson, who is down with an injury. Their first game without Zion didn’t go great, as they got manhandled by the Philadelphia 76ers. It’d be hard to see this game going any different, especially with Chicago’s new point guard being Lonzo Ball, a former Pelican. Lonzo is a bit of an old school guard, he’s praised for his vision, anticipation and game control. Going up against his former team I expect him to be an x-factor in picking them apart and setting up his teammates toward a 2-0 start.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls (-295)
The New Orleans Pelicans are still a work in progress, as Zion continues to sit out due to injury, and they are still trying to grow accustomed to new head coach Willie Green. Brandon Ingram is sure to get his, as is newly acquired Jonas Valanciunas, but outside of these two in the paint, where are the points coming from?
Meanwhile, Chicago has bolstered its roster, as their starting five are currently Lonzo Ball, Zach Lavine, Demar Derozan, Patrick Williams, and Nikola Vucevic. Don’t overthink this one. Bulls win, but I do think NOLA’s inside presence keeps this one just under the 7 that is currently the line. Even though it’s not great value, stick to the Bulls moneyline and make what you can.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls (-295)
Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Lakers – 10pm EDT
Two of the league’s best teams will be looking for their first win of the season as the Phoenix Suns head to Staples Center for a date with the Los Angeles Lakers. This Pacific Division rivalry game is also a rematch of the opening round series from last year’s playoffs, which saw Phoenix win in six games.
It isn’t surprising to see that FanDuel has this game as a pick ‘em, based on each sides’ performances in their first games. Both sides had their chances to win, given they led at half time of their respective games, but ran out of legs and ended up losing, the Lakers by seven to the Warriors and the Suns by 12 to the Nuggets.
Looking ahead to this clash, the Suns seemed to have the Lakers figured out in the playoffs, and it is hard to see how anything would change here. LA’s offseason moves mean they have a serious lack of depth and a heavy reliance on their Big Three. When one of them doesn’t fire, like on Tuesday, it leaves their wriggle room to be quite small. Westbrook was the one that didn’t get it going against the Warriors, managing just eight points on 4/13 shooting in his Lakers debut.
Meanwhile, the Suns had seven different players score in double figures, but none managed to go on to reach 20. Ultimately they did score enough, managing just 98 for the game. Devin Booker was the most disappointing, finishing with 12 points on 3/15 shooting for the game. However, he caught fire against the Lakers in last year’s postseason, and I’m expecting him to bounce back to form in this game, helping Phoenix get over the top.
Tim’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns (-108)
The Suns travel to Los Angeles to face the Lakers in their second game for the season. Both teams started off their campaign with losses against direct rivals for a Playoffs spot. The Suns lost at home against the Nuggets with a scoreline of 98-110, which saw Denver come back from a 16-point deficit at the end of the 2nd Quarter. Nikola Jokic put up a double-double (27 points and 13 rebounds) and nobody else from this game came close to this statistic. Mikal Bridges, Chris Paul, and DeAndre Ayton played well, but the bad performance from their key player, Devin Booker (20% FG), took its toll on them.
The Lakers continue struggling even after the pre-season games. They are now at a 7-game losing streak and things are not looking bright for them. LeBron James and Anthony Davis would need a lot of help from players like Russell Westbrook, DeAndre Jordan, and Carmelo Anthony throughout the season. The decision for acquiring so many players past their primes has brought up many questions and concerns. I am also not a fan of this move and that’s one of the main reasons I will pick the Suns. The depth in Phoenix is quite better and if Booker has a good day, there is nobody from the Lakers who can stop him putting up more than 40 points.
The Phoenix Suns visit the Staples Center, where they’ll take on the team they eliminated from last season’s playoffs: the Los Angeles Lakers. Both teams struggled to walk away victorious in their first games, but they’re both expected to be contending for a title by the end of the season.
For the Lakers, LeBron James and Anthony Davis put up their usual outstanding performances, but third star Russell Westbrook was less than impressive—going 4-13 with 8 points. But Lakers fans shouldn’t panic yet, Westbrook started off a bit dicey last year in D.C. before ending on a stronger note. Meanwhile the Phoenix Suns had seven players score in double digits in their loss to Denver. Unfortunately their premier shooter Devin Booker only went 3-15 from the field, and the team was outscored 25-16 in the fourth quarter.
This shouldn’t be an issue for the rest of the season and Phoenix has a chance to get back on track against a Lakers team that’s lacking perimeter D. Los Angeles on the other hand, won’t want to drop two at home to start the season with a squad that’s championship or bust. It’s a tough one to pick between, but let’s give it to the Lakers, who should also have a little chip on their shoulder from last season’s elimination.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers (-108)
The Los Angeles Lakers looked good for three and a half quarters in their opener against Golden State, so it’s unfortunate that the NBA plays a full four quarters each night. I still question some of the offseason moves LA made, and I didn’t like how passive Russell Westbrook was in his debut with his hometown Lakers. LeBron still looks as good as ever in his 19th year, but I’m not sure the roster has improved enough since last year to think anything has changed. This could mean another repeat in the result that we saw in last year’s Western Conference first round series between these two, which the Phoenix Suns won with relative ease.
Coming off a poor shooting performance (3-15) in his team’s opening loss to Denver, look for Devin Booker to rebound in a big way. Look for the Phoenix defense to play better than they did in the opener, and the Suns continue their dominance over LeBron and the Lakers.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns (-108)
Utah Jazz @ Sacramento Kings – 10pm EDT
The Utah Jazz continue their soft start to the season, facing the Sacramento Kings two nights after easily disposing of the Thunder. While the Kings did miss the playoffs last season, and likely will again this year, they did manage to beat Portland, in Portland, on Wednesday night and will look to take it up to another Western Conference Playoff team.
While it was only against the Thunder, Utah’s win was extremely good when you consider that Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell combined for just 26 points on 10/29 shooting. They definitely still have some things to work out as they attempt to repeat as the best team in the league, albeit in the regular season, but they should have no dramas against the Kings tonight.
While Sacramento were able to escape Portland with a three point win on Wednesday, that may be more of an indication of where the Blazers are at, rather than how good the Kings are. They needed Harrison Barnes to score 36 points on 8/11 shooting from deep, and they only just managed to win. He did have some good assistance from De’Aaron Fox, Richuan Holmes and Buddy Hield, who combined for 65 points, but will they be able to do it against a good defense?
Portland’s defense last season was atrocious, and it looks like nothing has changed. Meanwhile, Utah finished the season with a top three defense and should be able to put the clamps on tonight. Rudy Gobert (16 points and 21 boards) is clearly a dominant force inside while Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson were able to pick up the slack offensively, scoring 22 points and 18 points respectively.
Ultimately, this comes down to the fact that I think Utah is that much better than the Kings. Yes, Sacramento beat a playoff team from last season while the Jazz played a team that was, and still might be, tanking, but Utah will show how good they are in this one.
Tim’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -6 (-110)
The last match for today puts the Utah Jazz and the Sacramento Kings against each other. Both teams started off the season well as the Jazz were far more dominant in their match against the Oklahoma City Thunder, winning 107-86. Utah played a really good defense and quickly managed to shut down players like Darius Bazley and Luguentz Dort. The Sacramento Kings fought hard against the Portland Trail Blazers and it paid off in the end. Harrison Barnes put on a monstrous show with 36 points and 9 rebounds.
The Jazz has a title-contending squad with players like Bogdanovic, Mitchell, Gobert, Clarkson, and Conley. Mike Conley has fully recovered from his injury and if he manages to stay healthy, he could make the difference the Jazz are looking for. Sacramento, on the other hand, would be lucky if they reach the Playoffs and although they defeated the Blazers, it seems that they have the players who can beat the Jazz. I believe that Rudy Gobert will be a monster in the paint and the rest will be put in buckets one after another. I am expecting a double-digit win for Utah and yet another 30+ point game for Mitchell.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -6 (-110)
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) October 21, 2021
The Sacramento Kings started off the season with a big road win against the Portland Trail Blazers in the “Rose City”. For a team that feels it’s ready to make the jump to the playoff picture, a win against another top team in the conference was an early statement. Despite an uninspired performance from heavily-praised second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton, the Kings got a ton of help from Harrison Barnes who dropped 36 points, and of course star player De’Aaron Fox who had 27 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Sacramento’s next step in proving they’re playoff worthy comes against last season’s one-seed the Utah Jazz.
Utah’s goal of making the NBA Finals fell short last season as they were completely blanked by an L.A. Clippers team that was missing Kawhi Leonard. Utah has all the tools to lead the conference again, but they must put last season in the past and forge ahead. Their first matter of business is traveling to California’s capital and slowing down a speedy Kings team that wants to show it can shoot with the best. I think they’ll do just that, but I expect Sacramento to keep it close and at least beat the spread.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Sacramento Kings +6 (-110)
Sacramento managed to get an opening win against a Portland team that looked far more disappointing than I think many expected to see. Even with the Blazers playing atrocious defense, it took the Kings finding 101 points between Harrison Barnes, Buddy Heild, De’Aaron Fox, and Richaun Holmes for them to sneak away with a three point win.
Utah on the other hand, was the best team in basketball in last year’s regular season, and with a roster that returns many of the same pieces, I expect nothing but similar results this year. Rudy Gobert is going to be a double-double machine all year long, including tonight, and I don’t expect Mike Conley or Donovan Mitchell to look as bad as they did in the opener. With no real bench presence,and the fact that I don’t see Barnes going for 36 points against a solid Utah defense, Utah cruises to an easy win, including covering the 6.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Jazz -6 (-110)
If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our NBA hub page for all your basketball needs!
*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.