NBA Playoffs Round 1: Free NBA Picks Today for Sunday, April 24th, 2022

NBA Playoffs Round 1: Free NBA Picks Today for Sunday, April 24th, 2022
Sun 24th April 2022

Our free NBA picks are out for Sunday, April 24th, 2022! Make sure you check our expert NBA picks before the action kicks off.

Look below to find our free NBA picks for the four Round 1 games on today’s schedule!

Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls – 1pm ET

The first game on today’s schedule in the NBA will see the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls come together for Game 4 of their series. The Bucks won the first game, 93-86, then the Bulls were able to snatch Game 2, 114-100, before the Bucks were back in their winning form again in Game 3, beating the Bulls by a score of 111-81.

Jeffery Thomas

The Chicago Bulls once again find themselves down in this first round series with the Milwaukee Bucks and they’ll hope for a similar performance to the first time they were down. The series saw its first blowout in Game 3, when the Khris Middleton-less Bucks went to Chicago and beat up on the Bulls 111-81. It’s been a pretty simple formula for the Bulls in this series, when they shot well in Game 2, they won, and in the other two games, they shot horribly and lost. Their three main guys, DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, have also been inconsistent throughout the series so far and will need big games on Sunday to avoid the huge hole of a 1-3 deficit. 

There’s something to be said about a team when their backs are against the wall but will the Bulls have what it takes to even the series up at 2? Going into this matchup, I saw the Bulls winning no more than 1 game in this series and I can’t say I’ve seen much to get me off of that prediction. Circumstances have changed due to injuries but I still think Milwaukee has plenty of depth and talent to wrap this series up in 5 and that starts with a big road win in Game 4 to take a commanding 3-1 lead. 

Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-196)

Noah Dunlap

Well, it would be nice if the Chicago Bulls at least pretended that they wanted to be involved in this first round series. After tying the series in Game 2, they had a great opportunity to take a 2-1 lead, as they were going back to the Windy City for Game 3, and it was also announced that Khris Middleton was going to miss the rest of the series for the defending champs. However, instead of taking advantage of the situation, they played dead and got blown out by the Bucks at home by 30. The other side of that blown situation is that they just gave Milwaukee the confidence that they can still come out and dominate in a major way. 

Giannis may already be the best player in the league, but when you give the rest of the team that confidence and momentum, it might as well be over. They’re also a team that won a title last season, so they know how to respond in these situations. When you have the chance to put them on their heels, you can’t miss, but that’s exactly what Chicago did. For that reason, even though this one is in Chicago as well, I’m still taking Milwaukee with relative ease. Don’t expect a 30-point blowout, but the Bucks do get the win. 

Noah’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -4.5 (-110)

Tony Battalio

The Milwaukee Bucks are coming into this one with the series lead after three games. As they hold a 2-1 lead over the Chicago Bulls and they will be looking to grab win number three in this game. The defending NBA champions were one of the top favorites in the league to win the title and repeat as NBA champions. In Game 3 they picked up a 111-81 victory as Giannis dropped an incredible performance, scoring 18 points, and adding nine assists and seven rebounds. 

The Chicago Bulls are facing what seems like a must win situation in this fourth game. As they will look to grab a win at home to guarantee at least another home game for them in Game 6 and even up the series at two games a piece. They will need DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine to step up after they had a disappointing performance as the two all-stars only combined for 26 points. As for the result of this one, I’m taking the Milwaukee Bucks to take a 3-1 series lead. 

Tony’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-196)

Golden State Warriors @ Denver Nuggets – 3.30pm ET

The Golden State Warriors can wrap up this series with a win here against the Denver Nuggets in Game 4. The Warriors have proved to be too good through the entire series, winning the first three games, 123-107, 126-106 and 118-113.

Jeffery Thomas

The Denver Nuggets come into their home game in a Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors with one thing on their mind, and that is to just win and avoid the sweep. The history of teams being down 0-3 is well known to everybody but their Game 3 effort can be something to build on. They kept it close, only losing by 5 after getting blown out the previous two games and will now try to replicate the efforts of the 1994 Denver Nuggets team that rallied from down 0-3 to force a Game 7 with the Utah Jazz. The Nuggets didn’t win that series but that fight was commendable and something that will need to be channelled in 2022. Even the 2020 Denver Nuggets showed tremendous fight in the playoffs, becoming the first team to ever come back from two separate 1-3 deficits in the same postseason. 

This Warriors team they are facing is looking like the best team in the league at the moment though, so it’s going to take a Herculean effort to get a win on Sunday. The scary part of playing the Warriors in an elimination game is that one 5-minute stretch could see your season slip before your eyes. The death lineup of Klay Thomson, Jordan Poole and Steph Curry on the floor at the same time can literally turn a 2 point Golden State lead into a 21-point lead in the blink of an eye and that’s just something I don’t want to bet against. The home crowd will do their best to rally their troops, but in the end the Warriors will come away victorious on Sunday and await the winner of the Memphis-Minnesota series.

Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors (-198)

Noah Dunlap

This is another series that I think is just about over. The Golden State Warriors came out from the very beginning of the series clearly looking to prove a point, and that’s exactly what they’ve done, as they’ve dominated for much of the series en route to a 3-0 series lead. Steph Curry is playing well despite limited minutes, but the real key has been Jordan Poole, who has shown that he’s a future superstar with his performance on the major stage. They also have Klay Thompson playing well, and with Draymond Green continuing to be the emotional leader of the team, they’re a team that is going to have a real chance at making a title run, as they’re one of the most balanced teams in the NBA, and they’re certainly clicking at the right time. 

For Denver, they played much better in Game 3, but that still wasn’t enough to get a win. The biggest reason for that is the fact that they still haven’t been able to get all that much help for Nikola Jokic, who is still having to seemingly take care of things himself. If they can get him some help then we could see a Nuggets win, but down 3-0, I think it may be too little too late anyway. The other side of this is Jokic’s demeanor. He may very well be the best player in the NBA, but his frustration in showing, and it’s not helping matters, as he was ejected in Game 3, which made this the second straight playoff series that he’s been ejected in, at some point at least. Without Jokic on the floor, and keeping his head on straight, Denver doesn’t have a chance, and I’m worried that his frustration is going to boil over again, especially if he continues to not get much help. Give me the Dubs to get the sweep here, as I think they just have too much talent, and are too balanced, even on the road in this one. 

Noah’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors (-198)

Tony Battalio

The Golden State Warriors have looked like the most dominant team in the National Basketball Association after the first week of the NBA playoffs. They currently hold a commanding 3-0 lead over the reigning and defending Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. Golden State has rolled out a new death lineup and so far it looks like it’s going to be the death of the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. 

The Denver Nuggets are on the brink of elimination in this one. They absolutely have to get a win in Game 4 at home or their season is over. They looked like one of the better teams during the regular season as it looks like Nikola Jokic is going to win his second straight Most Valuable Player award. However, despite some amazing performances from Jokic in the first three games of this series, no one else has really stepped up and helped them get some wins. However, I think this one will be different as I’m taking the Nuggets to get the win and extend the series. 

Tony’s NBA Pick: Denver Nuggets (+166)

Miami Heat @ Atlanta Hawks – 7pm ET

It was a must win for the Atlanta Hawks in Game 3 of their series with the Miami Heat, and that’s exactly what they did. After the Heat took out the first two games, the series switched to Atlanta, and the Hawks were able to grind out a win, 111-110.

Jeffery Thomas

The Miami Heat will once again be on the road for Game 4 against the Atlanta Hawks, and this time it’s likely without the services of Kyle Lowry. Lowry injured his hamstring of Game 3’s 110-111 loss on Friday night that cut the series to 2-1 in favor of the Heat. Jimmy Butler stepped up in the fourth quarter without him, and nearly had a triple-double (20 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists) but the Hawks were determined to not fall into a 0-3 hole at home. Trae Young hit the game-winning floater with 4.4 seconds left to practically save the season and the Hawks now have a chance to really make this a whole new series with a win in Game 4. 

The status of Kyle Lowry will go a long way in determining the outcome of this game but with hamstrings being tricky, I’ll assume he misses the game. That not only hurts the Heat’s offense, as he is the facilitator, but hurts their defense tremendously. He’s done a great job at neutralizing Trae Young’s offensive output and with him not out there, we could get a vintage Trae performance. With that being the case, I have to roll with the home team here to even up the series on the back of their franchise point guard.

Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks (+110)

Noah Dunlap

The Atlanta Hawks managed to stay alive in this series in Game 3, as they watched a game-winning floater from Trae Young fall with four seconds left, to give them the one-point win. They still trail in the series 1-2, but that’s much more manageable than the 0-3 hole that they would’ve found themselves in. Now the concern is still there that they’re a team that is way too reliant on Young to do everything for them, and that he doesn’t get enough help, but they have now at least shown the ability to get a win even with that being the case. 

On the other side though, the question becomes how the Heat respond to the loss. They completely dominated the first two games of the series, but now they face their first bit of adversity. All in all, I don’t think there’s any real concern about this series, seeing as they didn’t actually play badly in Game 3, and I just think this Miami roster is too deep, as with a combination of Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo, I think they’re going to be able to take care of business over the course of this seven-game series, and I think they respond in a big way. Take the Heat here, with a win somewhere in the 7-9 point range. 

Noah’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat -2 (-110)

Tony Battalio

The Atlanta Hawks picked up a huge victory in Game 3 to put them one game away from a tied series heading into their second home game of the series. They pulled out a one point win in a game that felt like it was a must win game for them. Trae Young looked great during Game 3 as he scored 24 points including a game winning floater with four seconds left to put Atlanta ahead for good. Now they will be looking to get a second win at home to tie the series heading into Game 5. 

The Miami Heat seemed to be well on their way to taking a huge 3-0 lead in this first round series. Until the playoff Trae flashed his skills again and hit a game winner. Now Miami will be looking to regroup and steal a win on the road in game four to take a 3-1 lead back to South Beach. It was Tyler Herro who came big for the Heat as he scored 24 himself in defeat. As for the result of this one, I’m taking the Atlanta Hawks to grab the win at home and even this one up at 2-2. 

Tony’s NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks (+110)

Phoenix Suns @ New Orleans Pelicans – 9.30pm ET

The final game for Sunday in the NBA will see Game 4 of the Round 1 playoff series between the Phoenix Suns and the New Orleans Pelicans. The Suns won Game 1 and Game 3, 110-99 and 114-111, respectively, while the Pelicans managed to pinch a victory in Phoenix in Game 2, 125-114.

Jeffery Thomas

The Phoenix Suns were able to avoid disaster and fall behind in the series by stealing Game 3 on the road from the New Orleans Pelicans. They got the win 114-111 without Devin Booker and that is mainly because of the play of DeAndre Ayton and Chris Paul. Both guys had 28 points, and Chris Paul had 15 of his in the final quarter to seal the win. Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum both had 30 points for the Pelicans who were trying to take a surprising 2-1 lead but now they’ll have to put that game behind them and focus on not falling down 1-3. 

I like the fight the Pelicans have shown all season and I think Sunday will be another hard fought battle from them. They had chances to win Game 3 but just a few bounces didn’t go their way and Chris Paul was just too much to handle. In Game 4 though, I see them having a better game plan defensively to stop Paul and I think this is their game for the taking. I’m not 100% sold that they will capitalize and win the game outright but I do see them keeping it within a possession and covering this short spread.

Jeffery’s NBA Pick: New Orleans Pelicans +2.5 (-110)

Noah Dunlap

In what has turned into one of the more intriguing series of the first round, we get the one-seed in the West, the Phoenix Suns down in NOLA once again, to take on the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 4 of this first round series. This was one that a lot of people were looking at to be potentially a Suns sweep, with most of the games coming in easy fashion, but that’s exactly the opposite of what we’ve gotten so far. Phoenix is playing well, even without Booker for Game 3, and this one in Game 4, but Chris Paul is picking up the slack and leading the way, and then getting help from DeAndre Ayton, as well. If those two guys can keep performing the way they have been in this series so far, I just don’t think it’s going to matter how well New Orleans plays. 

The Pels have played well, being led by CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram, but even with those two playing well, and without Phoenix having Book, it still wasn’t enough to get the win, and I’m concerned that we get a similar situation in this one. New Orleans has played and shot well for virtually the entire series, but the defense hasn’t quite been good enough so far, and that continues in this one. Give me Suns in another close one, giving them a commanding 3-1 lead in the series, heading back to Phoenix for Game 5.  

Noah’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns -2.5 (-110)

Tony Battalio

The trajectory of this series had seemed like it switched once the New Orleans Pelicans got the win in Game 2. Especially after they learned that the Phoenix Suns superstar point guard Devin Booker was going to be out of action for the third and fourth game of this first round series. However the Phoenix Suns rebounded in a big way in Game 3 as they picked up a huge 114-111 victory to take a 2-1 lead. Now Phoenix will be looking to put New Orleans on the ropes in Game 4. 

I have to give credit to the New Orleans Pelicans because absolutely nobody expected them to be here at the midway point of the season. Now they find themselves with a chance to tie up this series before it heads back to the Phoenix for Game 5. They have played well through their series as they nearly picked up another win in Game 3 on their home court. As they only lost by a single basket and they had a shot right at the end of the game as well. As for the result of this one however, I’m going with the Suns to get the win. 

Tony’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns (-136)

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

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