Our free NBA Picks are out for Thursday, October 21st, 2021! Make sure you check our NBA Picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free NBA Picks for tonight’s three games, including the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors, who are both coming off wins on opening night.
Dallas Mavericks @ Atlanta Hawks – 7:30pm EDT
With plenty of talk surrounding the 2018 draft, given that they have just been eligible for their rookie extensions, Luka Doncic and Trae Young are clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. It is now fitting that they open their seasons against each other, as the Atlanta Hawks host the Dallas Mavericks tonight.
Two playoff teams from last season face off tonight, with the Mavs opening their season in Atlanta, against the Hawks. Luka Doncic’s playoff performance, albeit in just seven games, showed why he is a true MVP candidate for now and the future of the league. The player that he was traded for on draft night, Trae Young, has made his claim that he should be regarded as the best player from the 2018 draft, carrying the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals with no other All Stars on his side.
Young played with such confidence and swagger in the playoffs, but it will be interesting to see if it carries across to the regular season. The Hawks didn’t make any big moves in the offseason but given they were one of the last four teams standing, and have an exceptional young core, they didn’t really need to.
It will be interesting to see how they matchup with Dallas, who is a much larger side than them and has a very good one-two punch with Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. When healthy, Porzingis makes the Mavericks a much better side and he enters the season with a full bill of health, for now.
When looking for a bet, it is easy to see that both sides thrive on offense however Atlanta is a much better defensive side than Dallas and that is where the game will be won.
Tim’s NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks (-144)
There have been 14 players with a 30-point game, tied for the most in season openers in NBA history.
Four teams have yet to play their first game: Mavericks, Hawks, Heat and Clippers. pic.twitter.com/Q9ABHbPZCJ
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 21, 2021
Two of the highest-scoring teams from last season are facing each other on Thursday evening in Atlanta. Trae Young and Luka Doncic know well how to make tough and clutch shots in such games. Dallas seems like the team that is in better shape ahead of this game, but this is mainly based on their pre-season performance. Atlanta, on the other hand, showed significant improvement during the last season as they reached the Eastern Conference Finals and lost to the eventual champions in six games.
This upcoming fixture is exciting for many fans as both teams have a good offense and both Trae Young and Luka Doncic are ready to put on an unforgettable show. Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Bogdan Bogdanovic can also contribute for the better experience of these fans in the arena and for the other in front of the TV screen at home. Therefore, I would highly recommend betting on the over for this game.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Over 225.0 (-110)
Luka Doncic and Trae Young: they’ll forever be tied after being traded for one another on draft night in 2018. These two electric, young players and future MVPs have both provided must-watch TV, with hopes that one day they can maybe face each other in the NBA Finals. Until that day, we’ll have to cherish their regular season matchups.
Last year Young showed how he can take over a game, and he embraced the villain role along the way – taunting the Madison Square Garden crowd in a first round series playoff win against the New York Knicks. He continued a rain of terror against the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers and then kept the series close against the eventual NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks. It was a breakthrough run for a Hawks team that has a healthy mix of young talent and quality vets. This was all after they started out slow, fired head coach Lloyd Pierce and elevated their veteran assistant, Nate MacMillan, who sparked new life into the team. They’ll be a thrill to watch for years going forward.
Meanwhile, Luka Doncic and the Mavericks have had a hard time getting over the first round hump in the playoffs. Doncic has been absolutely electric since his first minutes in the league and it’s majestic what he’s been able to accomplish while only being 22. He has some other key pieces on his team, but will need the likes of Kristaps Porzingis to stay healthy and be that number two to help take the Mavs to the next level. They’ll depend on new head coach and hall-of-famer Jason Kidd to help lead them there. Kidd’s coaching career has been subpar thus far, but after tasting the Larry O’Brien Trophy as an assistant with the L.A. Lakers, Mark Cuban and the Mavs are hoping the third time to be the charm. It may take a couple games to get comfortable with Kidd’s new system, so I’ll take the Hawks at home.
Anytime two rising stars, and potential (if not probable) future MVPs get together, we’re surely looking at a phenomenal show about to be put on for all basketball fans. Lucky for all of us, that’s exactly what we get with this one, as Luka Doncic goes head-to-head with Trae Young. As for the other players on the floor, with Dallas returning the likes of Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr., I do like the roster makeup of the Mavs this year and I expect them to be a sneaky good team as we came down the stretch in late April.
With Atlanta, locking up Clint Capela and John Collins is a plus for the roster, but despite making a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals last year, I still have doubts about this Hawks team this year. With the Hawks being the pretty decent favorite in this one, I think there’s great value in taking Luka to lead Dallas to a win in their opener. The wrong team’s favored in this one, so jump on board the Mavs train.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks (+118)
Milwaukee Bucks @ Miami Heat – 8pm EDT
After playing, and beating, Brooklyn on Tuesday, the side they eliminated in the second round of the playoffs last season, the Milwaukee Bucks now face the side they eliminated in the opening round. That is the Miami Heat, who will be opening their account for the 2021-22 NBA season by hosting the Bucks, a side they have now faced in back-to-back postseasons, with the two sides winning one series each.
I like what Miami has done this offseason. Adding another main ball-handler in Kyle Lowry and bringing in some hard-nosed defenders in Markeiff Morris and P.J. Tucker. Tucker will know the Bucks very well, given he started on their Championship winning side last season and will also be the perfect defender to slow down Giannis Antetokounmpo.
It certainly is much harder than it seems, and that was on show again on Tuesday night as he finished with 32 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks in Milwaukee’s 127-104 win over Brooklyn. The Bucks finished with six players in double figures for the game and did most of it without Jrue Holiday, who rolled his ankle and didn’t take part in the second half.
He is listed as probable for tonight’s clash and that is a massive plus for Milwaukee, as the Heat have clearly gotten a lot better in the offseason. Lowry will take pressure off Jimmy Butler on the offensive end, allowing him to get back to what he does best, get buckets and make stops. Tyler Herro, albeit in the preseason, looks to have progressed nicely and might be a Sixth Man of the Year candidate by the time the season ends. However, has Miami done enough to beat the Bucks in this clash?
I would typically say no, but Milwaukee will have some sore bodies from their opener on Tuesday, with Miami coming in fresh, and the Bucks were also not that good on the road last season. Milwaukee were just 20-16 straight up and were a dismal 14-22 ATS on the road, indicating that they shouldn’t be giving the Heat points in this clash.
Tim’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat +2.5 (-110)
24 hours 🔥🏀
turn that sound all the way up and get hyped with our intro pic.twitter.com/5STnUp5i7C
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 20, 2021
After the amazing performance in the opening game of the 2021/22 NBA season against Brooklyn, the Bucks are traveling to Florida to face the Miami Heat. Giannis Antetokounmpo put on a show with a double-double (32 points and 14 rebounds). Pat Connaughton and Khris Middleton also had a vital role in the victory, with each of them scoring 20 points. The team proved that this year, they are still the ones to beat.
The Miami Heat are entering this game after a great pre-season run where they recorded 5 wins out of 6 games. Although the teams in such matches are mostly experimental, they managed to demolish teams like Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics. However, even with Tyler Herro back in good shape and with their leader, Jimmy Butler, firing on all cylinders, I don’t believe they can match the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo. That’s why I am giving my preferences towards the Bucks covering the spread.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -2.5 (-110)
The Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat have built up a bit of history over the last two seasons. The Heat eliminated the top-seeded Bucks in the 2020 playoffs. They then faced off in the first round of last year’s NBA playoffs—which was competitive for all of one game. After a fierce game one, the Bucks took over and ended up sweeping the Heat; eventually going on to win the NBA Finals, something the Heat fell just short of the year before.
Milwaukee dominated the Brooklyn Nets in their first game this season and it looks like now that Giannis Antetokounmpo has won that first championship he’s playing even more loose, which should be a red flag for every team in the league. The Heat, on the other hand, made some offseason additions in their pursuit of returning to a deep playoff run. They signed all-star veteran guard Kyle Lowery and other veteran intimidators P.J. Tucker (a former Buck) and Markieff Morris. Despite that bolstered depth, the Bucks just seem to be on cloud nine right now in the aftermath of their title victory. I foresee this one turning out like that game one in the playoffs—close, but ultimately a Milwaukee victory.
Clearly I botched the season opener for Milwaukee, as I told you all to take Brooklyn. Instead, Giannis decided to continue to perform at an MVP level and proceeded to put up 32 points and 14 rebounds. Add in Khris Middleton throwing in 20 of his own, and they handled the Nets with ease. Now they set their sights on a Miami Heat team that is looking to rebound from a disappointing season last year. The Heat do bring back a healthy Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo, which assuming they all stay healthy should allow them to improve from last year’s debacle.
I think the Heat play good enough defense to keep this one close, but in the end, Giannis and Milwaukee improve to 2-0 on the season. With the spread only being 2.5 points, I wouldn’t touch that, instead, playing it safe by taking the Bucks straight up and being happy when they win.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-138)
Los Angeles Clippers @ Golden State Warriors – 10pm EDT
Two nights after going into LA and defeating the Lakers, the Golden State Warriors return home to host LA’s other side, the Los Angeles Clippers. While Golden State have shown that they are still a force to be reckoned with, there are questions over whether the Clippers will be able to do the same, as they take on season 2021-22 without Kawhi Leonard in uniform.
While I picked the Warriors to beat the Lakers on Tuesday, it was surprising to see them win the way they did given Steph Curry shot just 5/21 from the floor and 2/8 from deep for the game.
While he did finish with a 21 point triple double, along with three steals, it wasn’t the efficient shooting game from Curry that we are accustomed to. They managed to get over the line because Jordan Poole has developed exceptionally well in the offseason and looks like he will be their second leading scorer until Klay Thompson gets back, while they had three players score in double figures off the bench. That shows the cohesion and depth of this Golden State side, and it will be interesting to see how the Clippers compare.
Kawhi’s absence leaves Paul George as the lone star on the roster, however if Reggie Jackson can play like he did against Phoenix in the playoffs, then this LA roster should be just fine. Jackson was a legitimate secondary ball-handler and scoring option besides George, which took pressure off him throughout the game and allowed him to score with ease. But is that enough, along with the addition of Eric Bledsoe, who is replacing Patrick Beverley on the roster, to compete with the best?
I think Golden State showed that they are more than capable this season and given they now return home, where they played much better last season, they should be able to get the job done again.
Tim’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors (-162)
It’s only a matter of time till Steph Curry finds his range 💦 pic.twitter.com/v2erJOp4lq
— Warriors Nation (@WarriorNationCP) October 21, 2021
The last game for this Thursday in the NBA puts the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors up against each other. The Warriors have already got a victory against the Lakers in their opening fixture for the season where Steph Curry recorded a triple-double (21 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds). Apart from Curry, Jordan Poole and Nemanja Bjelica made a decent game recording 20 and 15 points respectively. The Serbian also added 11 rebounds and 4 assists in 25 minutes of playing time off the bench.
The Los Angeles Clippers are struggling to meet the expectations from the management and from their fans. Paul George, Reggie Jackson, Terrance Mann, and Nicolas Batum will need to level up their game if they want to get their hands on the NBA Championship rings at the end of the season. In my opinion, if the Clippers find a way to shut down Steph Curry for most of the game tomorrow, they will have a huge chance to leave San Francisco with a win. It is a tough game to predict, but I will go with my guts and take the victory for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Los Angeles Clippers (+130)
The Golden State Warriors look to knock out both L.A. teams in their first two games of their season. In the opener, Steph Curry and the Warriors spoiled a new look Lakers team at Staples Center. They look to continue that run against a Clippers team that went surprisingly deep last year despite injuries to their stars Paul George, during the regular season, and Kawhi Leonard, during the playoffs.
Leonard is still out with a torn ACL and still has no set timetable for return. The Clippers will also be without veterans Nicolas Batum and Serge Ibaka, but as they proved in last year’s playoffs, they’ve got guys that are always ready to step up to the challenge, so look for big games from Reggie Jackson and Terrence Mann. The Warriors have their health issues as well, and will be without Klay Thompson for a few more weeks—so both teams have their disadvantages. I think the Clippers continue to ride off the momentum of last year’s payoffs and have players come up with big plays. This one will be close, it’s hard for me to come to a conclusion, but from what I’m seeing I like the Clippers at least covering the spread.
The Golden State Warriors are coming off a comeback win over the LA Lakers in their season opener, despite a horrible shooting performance from Steph (he did record a triple-double, however) and now they set their sights on LA’s other team, the Clippers. This would be the same Clippers team that is coming off of its best finish in franchise history, as last year they made the Western Conference Finals for the first time, where they fell to the Phoenix Suns. This year’s Clippers squad looks similar to that roster, with one downside being that Kawhi Leonard is out for at least a decent portion of the season due to a partially torn ACL that he suffered in last year’s postseason.
With Kawhi and his defensive prowess out, I’m hesitant to think that LA plays much defense than the Lakers did in this one, and I can virtually assure you that Curry isn’t going to have two horrible shooting games in a row. I could easily see defense being optional in this one, so take a risk in this game, and use FanDuel’s same game parlay option to take Steph to light up the Clips to the tune of more than 33.5 points, and the game total to go over 226.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Same Game Parlay – Steph Curry o33.5 points / Total Points o226 (+208)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.