Our free NBA Picks are out for Tuesday, October 19th, 2021! Make sure you check our NBA Picks before the action kicks off.
The 75th NBA season is upon us and it opens with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks hosting Kevin Durant and the title-favourite Brooklyn Nets. The action doesn’t stop there, with Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors heading down to LA to take on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Look below to find our free NBA Picks for tonight’s two games!
Brooklyn Nets @ Milwaukee Bucks – 7:30pm EDT
The Milwaukee Bucks open the regular season with their ring and banner ceremony, hosting the Brooklyn Nets in a rematch of the most exciting series of the entire postseason. There has been plenty of speculation about Kyrie Irving and the Nets moving forward, but they still have Kevin Durant and James Harden on the squad and will come out with a point to prove tonight.
Well, well, well, the season is finally here. It is fitting that the Bucks open the season against the Nets, given the series that they had in the Eastern Conference Semis last season. Will there be a championship hangover? Does getting their rings distract them from the task ahead? While the Lakers lost to the Clippers on opening night last season, three of the previous four NBA Champions were able to win their opening night clash, which bodes well for Milwaukee’s chances tonight.
Especially when you consider the fact that Brooklyn has still failed to address their biggest issue, one that plagued them all season and in the series against Milwaukee, their defense. They still have no answer for slowing down the Bucks, especially Giannis Antetokounmpo. He was an absolute beast against the Nets and then obviously went on to win Finals MVP, averaging 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds and five assists against an exceptional defense in that series.
While the Bucks, behind Giannis, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, have an exceptional squad and were able to maintain most of their Championship roster, but they did lose P.J. Tucker and that is a massive defensive loss, especially against Kevin Durant. Given how the season ended for Brooklyn and Durant’s aspirations to be the best player in the game, I believe that he will have a lot to say in this clash, and it could be the difference.
Milwaukee can coast at times and given that both Durant and James Harden are coming in with full health, even without Kyrie Irving, the Nets will give the Bucks a run for their money. Their offense is world class and I think they might catch Milwaukee napping in this clash.
Tim’s NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets (+102)
24 hours until we celebrate once more. pic.twitter.com/6We3ZfDIHk
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) October 18, 2021
The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks will face each other in a rematch of the Eastern Conference Semifinals from last year. That series had everything – drama, comebacks, overtime in game 7, and whatnot. In the end, the Nets fell short, while the Bucks continued with their journey which led them to their first NBA Championship in 50 years. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton were the main reasons for this unforgettable season and they are coming into 2021/22 with an even greater hunger for glory.
The Nets will seek revenge for the loss during the Playoffs, but they will be once again without Kyrie Irving. However, Harden and Durant proved that it is possible to face the best teams even without the last part of the trio. Both teams are pretty high-scoring, but this didn’t show up in their Summer League. I am sure that the hype amongst the fans of the NBA will be huge as the season is already upon us, but I don’t believe that this game will live up to its expectations. I am expecting a spectacle on both ends with a bit more focus on the defensive plays. Hence, I will choose “under 237.5 points” as my opening pick for the 2021/22 NBA season.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Under 237.5 (-110)
For the 2021-22 season opener we get two of the game’s juggernauts as the Brooklyn Nets face the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in a matchup between arguably the game’s two best players – Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant. Last season, between the regular season and playoffs these two teams gave us some phenomenal games when going head to head. I expect this season’s opener to be no different.
Every NBA fan knows about the drama surrounding Kyrie Irving—it’s been ubiquitous. Him not playing with the Nets for the foreseeable future obviously hurts, but Brooklyn is so stacked across the board that they still remain the Eastern Conference favorites. In last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinals, they took the Bucks to overtime of game seven with no Irving and a James Harden at 50% health. With the added veteran presence of Patty Mills, Paul Millsap, and Lamarcus Aldridge (who temporarily retired before the playoffs due to health concerns), the Nets are fully built to take the Bucks crown.
That being said, don’t expect the Bucks to just hand it to them. They are riding high off a championship season, in which the pressure was heavy on them to succeed. They’ve overcome that obstacle and will only feel more comfortable playing with each other this season. Giannis will continue his pursuit to become one of the all-time greats, with his focus on another NBA championship. I also think Brooklyn will need a little time to get their rotations down, so don’t expect them to spoil the night the Bucks raise the banner.
With the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets opening the NBA season in a rematch of the Eastern Conference semis from last season, this is sure to be an exciting opener.
The Bucks still bring back Giannis and Khris Middleton off of the title winning team, while the Nets are missing one piece of their terrific trio as Kyrie Irving is out due to a personal decision surrounding the Covid vaccine. The problem is that I thought Brooklyn was the better team last year in the postseason, except for the injuries, and I don’t think that has changed.
Look for Milwaukee to play sluggish early, while James Harden and Kevin Durant come out seeking to avenge last season’s loss. Look for the Nets to hold off a late push from Milwaukee, and get the outright win.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets (+102)
Golden State Warriors @ Los Angeles Lakers – 10pm EDT
After a spectacular clash to open the night, we have this blockbuster to close it. LeBron James v Steph Curry, again. The Los Angeles Lakers had themselves an off-season, acquiring Russell Westbrook, to join James and Anthony Davis, while the Warriors maintained status quo with their roster. Given the Lakers defeated the Warriors in last season’s Play-In game, there will be plenty of feeling in this one.
How will the chemistry work for Russell Wesbrook, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers? There is plenty of talk about the results from the pre-season, but ultimately that is just the pre-season and this is the real deal now. In saying that, James-led ‘superteams’ typically take a while to get things in order and there is no team better positioned to take advantage of that than the Warriors.
Given the amount of times these teams play each other, the Warriors know James and the Lakers like the back of their hand. Given that they are bringing back a very similar roster to the one from last season, led by Curry, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins. While that trio isn’t quite the same as LA’s, Curry could easily be the best player in this game, especially off his pre-season form. Last season’s MVP finalist put up 41 points in just 30 minutes against the Blazers, reminding the league just how good he can be.
While we know Westbrook dislikes Curry and the Warriors, is his defensive edge, along with the rest of the Lakers, enough to slow him down? I don’t think so. This may be biased by the fact that I have Curry in my fantasy side for this season, taking him at pick two, but he seems like he isn’t wanting to waste too much more of his prime. While I’m saying this, the Lakers are incredible in their own right, especially with James, Davis and Westbrook leading the way. They are just over 12 months removed from winning an NBA Championship themselves and have had a proper off-season to prepare for the challenge ahead of them. However, I am expecting the chemistry issues to be on display here and given that is not a problem for the Warriors, they may get the upper hand to start the season.
Tim’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors (+136)
— NBA (@NBA) October 18, 2021
The Warriors are traveling to Los Angeles to face the Lakers in their opening game for the season. The Lakers signed Russell Westbrook with the idea to bring even more athleticism to the biggest team from California. LeBron James is desperately looking to get another ring for his legacy, but only time will show whether this will happen. So far, things aren’t bright in Los Angeles as the team finished the Summer League with 6 straight losses, most of them with a huge difference. Both teams faced each other twice and the Warriors prevailed both times, winning by seven and 12 points.
On the other side, Golden State recorded 5 wins against high-quality teams like the Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, and Denver Nuggets. Steph Curry is feeling the basketball once again and is ready to show the world that he is not done. Klay Thompson is still recovering from his achilles surgery and is expected to be back on the court around Christmas. Up until then, Steph will need to lead its team the way he can. Although the team from San Francisco didn’t reach the playoffs last year, they shouldn’t be counted out just yet. With Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins, the Golden State Warriors are looking sharp and will definitely be a tough opponent for the rest of the NBA. Therefore, I will choose them to win their opening game against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors (+136)
After a disappointing end to last season, “The Lake Show” is back to prove their 2020 championship was no fluke. Their early exit last season likely benefited this aging and at times injury-plagued squad, giving superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis time to get back to 100%. They also bolstered their squad in the offseason, adding walking triple-double Russell Westbrook and a variety of former super-stars turned reliable veterans including Carmelo Anthony, a welcome back to Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo, and Kent Bazemore.
They’ll start their season off against the team they beat in the play-in game last postseason: the Golden State Warriors. After winning three titles over five straight Finals appearances, the Warriors have battled injuries across the board since the 2019 postseason. Steph Curry fought back last year and led the league in scoring and the team is oh-so-close to the return of all-star and pure shooter Klay Thompson. Along with former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green and sophomore protege James Wiseman, Golden State could be close to getting back to dominant form. That being said, tomorrow night Staples Center will be rocking and expecting big results from this Lakers squad littered with future hall-of-famers. With no Klay back quite yet, I’ll give the Lakers the advantage. Expect a close game with L.A. pulling away on late game free-throws.
The Lakers have continued to go out of their way to try to buy LeBron James another ring to add to his collection, however, for the most part they keep adding the wrong pieces to do it. Adding Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo does nothing to help the offense and more specifically the Lakers shooting woes, and it creates an interesting dynamic between them and LeBron, as they are all primary ball-handlers. Dwight Howard is getting too old to make a real impact, so while he starts as a backup behind Anthony Davis, Davis has shown no signs of being able to stay healthy. The one move I did like was adding Carmelo, who, while a liability on the defensive end, is still a solid shooter as he gets older.
Even if all of these moves prove to work out, expect it to take time for these guys to mesh, which is not something that Golden State will need, as Steph, Draymond, and that Warriors core has been playing together for years. Due to this familiarity with each other, take Golden State outright in the opener, and feel comfortable about your pick.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors (+136)
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.