Free NBA Picks Today for Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Free NBA Picks Today for Wednesday, October 20th, 2021
Wed 20th October 2021

Our free NBA Picks are out for Wednesday, October 20th, 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 @ Charlotte Hornets – 7pm EDT

The Charlotte Hornets kick-off their 2021-22 regular season by hosting the Indiana Pacers, the team that eliminated them from last season’s Play-In Tournament. Both teams will be hoping that they did enough to move up the standings in the Eastern Conference, but that starts with a win tonight. 

Tim Newton

While these sides faced each other in last year’s postseason, both teams were dealing with injuries and looked very different to the sides that will be lining up here tonight. The likes of Myles Turner and Gordon Hayward were on the sidelines for that game but will be backing the starting lineups tonight, adding some more punch to this matchup. 

Charlotte is expected to take a big leap this season, with the natural progression of LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington, along with Hayward, Terry Rozier and their new acquisition, Kelly Oubre. That is a dynamic lineup, at least offensively, it is just a matter of whether they can piece it together defensively, especially since they gave up 144 points in that Play-In game. 

Indiana has been a middling team in the East for quite some time now, led by Domantas Sabonis, a back-to-back All Star, Malcolm Brogdon and Turner. The issue for the Pacers is that they can never seem to be healthy at the same time, and that is still true to start the season. T.J. Warren is an important piece for Indiana but he is still out with his foot injury that kept him out of most of last season. 

Based on this, with the Pacers being slightly under full-strength, while the Hornets are expected to be a big improver, I like Charlotte to win their home opener. 

Tim’s NBA Pick: Charlotte Hornets (-130)

Denis Kirilov

The Charlotte Hornets welcome the Indiana Pacers in their opening game for the 2021/22 NBA season. The Hornets, who are owned by Michael Jordan, have struggled to make a name for themselves over recent years and even suffered one of the biggest defeats in their history last season, as they lost by 67 points against the Dallas Mavericks. Cody Zeller, Devonte’ Graham, Malik Monk, and Caleb Martin are no longer with the Hornets. In return they got Mason Plumlee from Detroit, Ish Smith from Washington, and Kelly Oubre from the Warriors.

The Indiana Pacers are far away from their glorious times back in the 90s, or even from their team in the 2013/14 season led by Paul George. Nowadays they are finding it hard to be consistent as they have been on the edge of the Playoffs on separate occasions in their previous seasons. They managed to keep most of their key players like Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, and Myles Turner. Sabonis will surely record a double-double in this game, while Malcolm Brogdon will be a nightmare for the defensive line of the Hornets. I think that we can play it smart here and choose the superior team, which is the Pacers.

Denis’ NBA Pick: Indiana Pacers (+110)

Michael Lantz

The Charlotte Hornets may have lost some quality players from last season, but in an attempt to turn this into “LaMelo Ball’s team” I think they made some quality additions with Kelly Oubre Jr. and dark horse Rookie of the Year candidate James Bouknight. They’ll also have Gordon Hayward back, who before a season-ending injury was looking like the all-star version of himself circa his unmemorable years in Boston.

Charlotte hosts the Indiana Pacers, a team that has so much talent, but just doesn’t seem to get it all clicking. Last year ended up being a disaster as the team did not get along with coach Nate Bjorkgren—which got him fired after one season. So, the team brought back a familiar face in Rick Carlisle. Carlisle was the franchise’s head coach from 2003-2007, before heading to Dallas where he coached for 13 seasons and won an NBA title. The Pacers are hoping coach Carlisle can get this team of all-star Domantas Sobanis, and future all-stars, Malcolm Brogdan and Caris Levert, on the right track and not out after barely making the play-in game like last year.

I’m excited to see what they can do under a championship winning coach.

Michael’s NBA Pick: Indiana Pacers (+110)

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Noah Dunlap

In a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference play-in game, we have the Charlotte Hornets getting set to take on the Indiana Pacers in each team’s season opener.  One thing we know about Charlotte this year is that they’re going to score points.  With LaMelo Ball entering his second season, with returning pieces such as Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier, adding Kelly Oubre from Golden State, and what should be a healthy Gordon Hayward coming back from injury, look for the Hornets to put up points, but also give up more than you’d like.  

As for Indiana, a lineup that has proven to be a borderline playoff team over the past few years, they will have to improve if they want to continue to be relevant in what looks to be an improving Eastern Conference.  In the end, I think the Pacer lineup struggles not only on opening night, but also for much of the year ahead.  I like the idea of Charlotte scoring too much for Indiana to keep up, but I also like Ball to dish out over 6.5 assists. Just put those two markets together in FanDuel’s Same Game Parlay and wait to get paid.  

Noah’s NBA Pick: Same Game Parlay – Charlotte -2 / LaMelo Ball o6.5 assists (+207)

Boston Celtics @ New York Knicks – 7:30pm EDT

The rivalry between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks is well storied but it gets even more intense here tonight. The two Atlantic Division playoff sides open their season inside Madison Square Garden and it will also be Kemba Walker’s revenge game, given Boston traded him to the Thunder, where he was released and then signed with his home-town team, the Knicks. 

Tim Newton

After both the Celtics and Knicks were eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs in 2021, they both endured quite interesting off-seasons. 

Boston saw Evan Fournier, Kemba Walker and Tristain Thompson depart, with all three being big parts of their postseason push, while their biggest acquisitions included Enes Kanter, Josh Ricardson and Dennis Schroder. New York on the other hand picked up two of Boston’s two departures, Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, with Reggie Bullock being the only key contributor to depart in the offseason.

On the surface, that makes it look as if New York had a better offseason than Boston and I feel that may be on show here. Jaylen Brown has been battling COVID-19 and is a game-time decision for this clash, leaving Jayson Tatum as the main man for the Celtics. Meanwhile, the Knicks have added key pieces while keeping Julius Randle firing, which was evident in the pre-season. 

While pre-season isn’t everything, I am liking what the Knicks are bringing to the table and think they should get the win at home. 

Tim’s NBA Pick: New York Knicks (-126)

Denis Kirilov

The New York Knicks welcome one of their biggest rivals, Boston Celtics, to Madison Square Garden to start the season. The team from Massachusetts made some interesting trades in the off-season. Boston parted ways with Kemba Walker, Tristan Thompson, Evan Fournier, and Semi Ojeleye, and in return they got Josh Richardson, Dennis Schroder, Al Horford, and Enes Kanter.

On the other side, the Knicks are looking better and better with each passing year. They acquired Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, who both played with the Celtics, and with their young prospects like Julius Randle, RJ Barrett and Nerlens Noel, the future seems brighter. The team from “The Big Apple” will also rely on their most experienced player, Derrick Rose, who is expected to lead the Knicks to another trip to the Playoffs.

The Knicks had some great pre-season games as they defeated Washington, Detroit, and Indiana. They have 6 wins in a row and they are planning to increase that number even further. The Celtics have been a tough opponent for the Knicks during the past couple of seasons and I expect things to be the same tomorrow. Although New York seems to be in a better shape, I would go with an “under” bet. The teams rarely make a show for their fans as they tend to focus on the defensive ends which puts even more pressure on the shooting guards. 

Denis’ NBA Pick: Under 218 (-110)

Michael Lantz

One of the game’s great rivalries, kicks off the NBA season back at “The Mecca”; you better believe Madison Square Garden is going to be rockin tonight. They have every reason to be: they finished fourth in the Eastern Conference last year and were led by Julius Randle who was voted the league’s Most Improved Player.  They also got help from veteran point guard Derrick Rose, who was an absolute menace off the bench, and future all-star RJ Barrett. They also added former all-star Kemba Walker, who’s looking for a bounce back season and Evan Fournier who enjoyed a great summer playing for France in the Olympics. Should also be noted: both men spent last season in Boston uniforms.

Boston has moved on from the two who were just mentioned, as they signed Dennis Schroeder on a great deal to fill that point guard position. They also are looking to youngsters such as Payton Pritchard and vets such as Al Horford to come in and assist their two under-25 superstars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Boston on paper looks like they could challenge the Knicks for a similar seed in the Eastern Conference, but I expect the Knicks to play off the crowd and win this one.

Michael’s NBA Pick: New York Knicks (-126)

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Noah Dunlap

The Boston Celtics travel to MSG to take on the Knicks in each team’s opener in what is sure to be an exciting matchup to open the year. New York’s offseason moves included signing Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker, who both played with Boston last season, so they’re sure to want to show up in a big way against their former team. Add in the fact that Jaylen Brown is currently listed as a game-time decision and I’m not sure what to expect from this Boston team. On top of the offseason acquisitions, New York is also bringing back Julius Randle and former league MVP Derrick Rose. 

I would normally say take the Knicks to get the win at home, but with it being the Knicks (a team utterly cursed for two decades) I don’t think I can give you that pick in good faith.  Instead, I like Boston’s Jayson Tatum to carry the load for the likely short-handed Celtics, giving us the easy over in terms of his player points at 27.5.  

Noah’s NBA Pick: Jayson Tatum – Over 27.5 points (-110)

Philadelphia 76ers @ New Orleans Pelicans – 8pm EDT

The Philadelphia 76ers have had one of the most news-worthy offseasons, but now that the season is here, their focus turns to the New Orleans Pelicans. While this game may be missing Ben Simmons and Zion Williamson, the likes of Joel Embiid and Brandon Ingram will ensure that this is must-watch basketball, but who will come out on top?

Tim Newton

How much has the Ben Simmons drama impacted the Sixers? They are clearly the better side in this matchup but given how their last week has gone, has it taken a toll. This is nothing to take away from New Orleans, but they are missing three of their starters from last season and have had to implement a new system under new head coach Willie Green. Lonzo Ball and Steven Adams both departed in the offseason while Zion Williamson is still on the roster, but is battling injuries and conditioning issues. 

That is a lot of change and turnover that the Pelicans have to deal with and given they are coming up against the best team from the Eastern Conference from last season, this may be a tough clash. Brandon Ingram is their clear best player but Embiid is better and Tobias Harris is potentially better. When you consider that the Sixers still have Doc Rivers, Seth Curry and Danny Green from last year’s side, they have a lot of continuity and talent that should get them over the line.

Tim’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers (-148)

Denis Kirilov

Philadelphia travels to New Orleans for their opening match for the season. Both teams will be battling for the Playoffs with Philly having the slightly easier task in the Eastern Conference. The segment between Ben Simmons and the 76ers’ management might take its toll on the team in their early games in the season. On the other side, Joel Embiid agreed to a 4-year contract extension. He is eager to stay in Philly and make the best out of the “Process”.

After trading Anthony Davis, the Pelicans have struggled to find their way to the top spots in their Southwest Division. However, this year might be different as Zion Williamson, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram are starting to adapt to each other and such games will determine their future. Ben Simmons and Shake Milton might miss this game for the 76ers while Zion Williamson is still suffering from a foot injury and will need some additional time to recover. However, based on how things are looking inside the teams, I would go with the New Orleans Pelicans at the current odds.  

Denis’ NBA Pick: New Orleans Pelicans (+126)

Michael Lantz

Not sure if you’ve heard, but there’s been a little drama in Philly. Their point guard (Ben Simmons) has been explicit in his desire to no longer be part of the franchise; quite honestly the players don’t seem to mind him being gone. Simmons’ antics haven’t prevented the Philly players from keeping their eyes on The Finals prize. In fact he won’t even be dressed up for the first game after coach Doc Rivers sent him home after a bad practice. Philly still has big man Joel Embiid, scoring options in Seth Curry and Tobias Harris, and a young defensive dog in Matisse Thybulle. 

NOLA on the other hand will be without superstar Zion Williamson, who is battling a foot injury. The Pelicans have plenty of other scoring talent, but with a new coach and playing against a team that’s eager to show they’re better without a certain diva, expect Philly to show focus and physicality. 

Michael’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers (-152)
Michael’s Bonus NBA Pick: Joel Embiid – Over 10.5 rebounds (-108)

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Noah Dunlap

Let’s not overthink this one too much. New Orleans is introducing a new coach and new scheme with head coach Willie Green. They’re also missing Zion Williamson, who, while a star early in his career, has had a tough time staying on the floor. Add in the departures of Lonzo Ball and Steven Adams this offseason, and I’m not really sure what we’re looking at with the Pels.  

The only question I have with Philly is whether the Ben Simmons drama has affected the rest of the roster. I would lean no, as most of the team doesn’t seem to want Simmons there anyway. The rest of the roster remains largely intact: Embiid returns, Tobias Harris returns, and Doc Rivers is sure to be a great coach until we get to the postseason. With all of this in mind, the Sixers take this one easily, even being on the road for their opener.  

Noah’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -3 (-110)

Denver Nuggets @ Phoenix Suns – 10pm EDT

The last time the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns faced off, the Suns swept Denver in the Western Conference Semifinals last season. Phoenix went on to make the NBA Finals, losing to the Bucks in six games, while Denver was sent packing, despite last season’s MVP Nikola Jokic leading the way. They now face off in their season openers and you know that Denver will want revenge, but have they done enough in the offseason to overcome the Suns?

Tim Newton

While it is a brand new season, it is hard to see how Denver will be able to flip the result in Phoenix in this matchup. The Suns dominated the Nuggets in the playoffs last season and both sides are relatively similar heading into this season. 

Denver is still without Jamal Murray, who is recovering from a torn ACL, and they haven’t added much in the guard department in order to help fill the void. Will Barton does have improved health, which is massive given he was just returning from injury last postseason, but is he enough of a difference maker against last season’s Western Conference Champions?

Phoenix have their entire starting five returning and while there is some contention over Deandre Ayton, given he was unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension, this is still one of the best lineups in basketball. While Nikola Jokic was the MVP last season, Chris Paul was an MVP candidate while Devin Booker is an MVP in-waiting. This is a pretty straight forward one for me and I think the Suns won’t just win, they should cover comfortably.

Tim’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns -6 (-110)

Denis Kirilov

The finalists from last season, the Phoenix Suns, welcome in the Denver Nuggets to the Phoenix Suns Arena. The two teams faced each other in the second round of Playoffs, where the Suns swept their opponents. Following that, the Suns went on to beat the Clippers in six games before falling short against the Bucks in the NBA Finals.

Since then, nothing much has changed as both the Nuggets and the Suns weren’t that active on the transfer market during the off-season. However, the Nuggets parted ways with Paul Millsap, JaVale McGee, and Shaquille Harrison. In return they received Jeff Green from the Brooklyn Nets. The Suns kept its main roster and they will be definitely looking to build up on last year’s performance. However, I don’t think that this will begin to happen from the first games of the season. I am expecting a bumpy start for the team from Arizona. Although Jamal Murray is still missing for the Nuggets, I think that Nikola Jokic will have a great impact on the game and help his team cover the spread given by the bookmakers. 

Denis’ NBA Pick: Denver Nuggets +6.0 (-110) 

Michael Lantz

This one should be quite fun. The defending Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns will try to erase from their memory the 2-0 Finals lead they had over the Milwaukee Bucks  before losing four-in-a-row and ultimately the NBA title. They still have everlasting point guard Chris Paul, scoring titan Devin Booker and the former first overall pick in Deandre Ayton to help lead them back to The Finals floor.

Denver on the other hand, has plans of their own. They made a great trade for Aaaron Gordon at last year’s trade deadline, but unfortunately lost point guard Jamal Murray not long after. In a season where center Nikola Jokic was named MVP, this season they will continue to think: what if? Murray is still on his road to recovery, but in the meantime Denver wants to show they can continue to compete with the best. I expect the Suns to have a little bit of a Finals loss hangover, which like any hangover won’t last forever, but can definitely hit hard the next day. So I’ll go with a Nuggets upset pick here.

Michael’s NBA Pick: Denver Nuggets (+190)

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Noah Dunlap

In a rematch of the destruction that was last year’s Western Conference Semifinals, where the Suns swept the Nuggets, the result isn’t changing in this one. Phoenix is returning all five starters from last year’s Finals run, all healthy, while Denver is still struggling in the health department. Jamaal Murray is still out as he recovers from a torn ACL, and while I think Will Barton is a decent player, he’s not enough to make up the difference that is felt between these two lineups with where they stand right now.

Last year’s MVP Nikola Jokic, looks to have a massive night, quite possibly a triple-double, but Denver doesn’t get much else from their remaining roster, and the Suns get the win. A fan of the go big or go home notion, look for the returning MVP to get off to a hot start with a short-handed roster, as Jokic records a triple-double, despite the Nuggets loss.   

Noah’s NBA Pick: Nikola Jokic – to record a triple double (+420)

Sacramento Kings @ Portland Trail Blazers – 10pm EDT

Two West Coast sides with dynamic, exciting point guards square off as Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers host De’Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings. The Blazers always have great expectations surrounding their side, given how good Lillard is, but last season ended in another first round exit and they have brought in Chauncey Billups as coach, but will he make a difference in Portland?

Tim Newton

I am big on the Kings and their chances to make a bit more of a splash this season, but they aren’t on the level of Portland. De’Aaron Fox is one of the best young guards in the league but is still quite inconsistent and is nowhere near Damian Lillard’ output. 

It will be interesting to see how the Portland lineup adjusts to life under Chauncey Billups, given Terry Stotts was their leader for so long, but any change has to be a good change for them and Lillard’s dedication to the Blazers was on full show throughout the offseason. With him and C.J. McCollum, Portland should have the best two players in the game, with Fox a narrow third. 

While Portland saw a lot of changes, hoping to help Lillard turn Portland into a true contender, the Kings kept their core together, relying on natural progression of their extremely young roster. Richuan Holmes, Tyrese Halliburton and Buddy Hield join Fox as the main contributors for Sacramento, but all of them are quite young and still have a way to go in their development. Will that have happened between last season and this one? They are definitely on the right path but I don’t think they are quite there yet. 

Tim’s NBA Pick: Portland Trail Blazers -5 (-110)

Denis Kirilov 

The Portland Trail Blazers have shown us their potential over the past couple of years, but they didn’t manage to capitalize their chances. They tend to reach the Playoffs just to get a first or second round exit from teams like the Warriors, the Nuggets, and the Lakers. With Lillard on their squad, they need to be better as they certainly have the potential to reach the NBA Finals.

The Sacramento Kings have had probably their worst decade in their history during the 2010s. They haven’t done anything special for the past 10 years and things aren’t looking to change during the upcoming season. Harrison Barnes, De’Aaron Fox, and Richaun Holmes have their good days, but they aren’t as consistent as they would like.

Both teams are focusing on their offensive build-ups which make them one of the high-scoring teams in the League. Therefore, I expect to see a game full of 3-point attempts from both teams and buckets to come in one after another. 233 points seems like a good deal to me and I will take it. 

Denis’ NBA Pick: Over 233.0 (-108) 

Michael Lantz

The Sacramento Kings have many predicting they could at least be headed to a play-in game this season. They have phenomenal talents in De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield and a sophomore guard in Tyrese Haliburton, who during his rookie year looked like a seasoned veteran. 

They’ll start their season on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland ended last season with another disappointing result, as they got booted in the first round by the Denver Nuggets. There’s only so much their savior Damian Lillard can do, and he’s not getting any younger (turned 31 in July). Despite trade rumors, Dame insists he’s still completely committed to the Blazers franchise, as he hopes to have continued help from fellow guards CJ McCollum and Norman Powell. The Blazers are also praying that their new coach and former five-time all-star Chauncey Billups can bring some new fire to the squad and “Rip City” also added some quality bench players in Ben McLemore and Larry Nance Jr. 

I think this one ends in a battle, I definitely can see Sacramento beating the spread even if it ends in PDX victory.

Michael’s NBA Pick: Sacramento Kings +5 (-106)

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Noah Dunlap

There’s no doubt Portland has the better lineup in this opener between the Blazers and the Kings, but I do have questions as to how Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and company respond to new head coach Chauncey Billups, who is likely to have a more defensive minded approach, especially early in the season. Sacramento is sure to have improved, as De’Aaron Fox has another year under his belt, as do young up-and-comers like Buddy Hield, Terence Davis, and Tyrese Haliburton.

The problem is this Kings roster is still absurdly young, and I’m not sure they’re ready to take down Dame and the Blazers in the opener. If the Blazers play better defense at all, which I think is likely under Billups, I think they’re a dark horse contender in the West. That all starts with the opener, so give me Portland to cover the spread. 

Noah’s NBA Pick: Portland Trail Blazers -5 (-110)

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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.

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