NBA Playoffs Round 1: Free NBA Picks Today for Thursday, April 21st, 2022

NBA Playoffs Round 1: Free NBA Picks Today for Thursday, April 21st, 2022
Thu 21st April 2022

Our free NBA picks are out for Thursday, April 21st, 2022! Make sure you check our expert NBA picks before the action kicks off.

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

Memphis Grizzlies @ Minnesota Timberwolves – 7.30pm ET

It’s Game 3 in the series between the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves, and that means the next two games are played at Target Center in Minneapolis. The series is all locked up after the Timberwolves got the win in Game 1, 130-117, then the Grizzlies were able to strike back instantly, winning the second game 124-96.

Noah Dunlap

The Memphis Grizzlies responded in a big way in Game 2 of this Western Conference first round series, as they tied the series up with a 28-point drubbing of Minnesota. Now the series shifts to Minnesota, where the T’Wolves will try to rebound, and see if they can hang on, having flipped home-court advantage. The key with Minnesota in this one is how well Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards play, as in Game 1 they both played extremely well, which led to a win, while in Game 2 their play fell out and they took a resounding defeat. With this one being back in Minneapolis, I think they play well, but the question is whether that’s going to end up being enough. 

Memphis got back on track in Game 2, and it was an all-around collective effort that got them there. Desmond Bane, Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson, and Dillon Brooks all played pretty well, which led the way on the offensive side of the ball, but the biggest key was the defensive intensity. In the first game, they spent much of the game looking as if they didn’t want to be there, but in Game 2 the energy and effort was there, and it ended in a massive win. Minnesota has a really good core, but I’m not sure about the depth, which is where this series ends up being determined for me. KAT and Ant play well, but it’s not enough to get them over the hurdle, so give me Memphis on the road in a close one. 

Noah’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies -1.5 (-114)

Tony Battalio

The Memphis Grizzlies bounced back in a big way in game number two of this series. As Ja Morant put up 23 points and led the Memphis Grizzlies to a 124-96 victory to even up the series. Now they will be looking to win their second game in a row and take a 2-1 lead in this first round series. Memphis is a serious contender to win the NBA Championship this season as long as they can stay healthy. Memphis has been one of the best teams in the league this year even without Ja Morant. 

The Minnesota Timberwolves are clearly still fired up after their emotional playoff play-in win and their Game 1 win in this series. Now they will be looking to bounce back in Game 2 and put themselves ahead for the second time in this series. Minnesota has all the tools they need to pull off the upset in this series as long as Anthony Edwards and Karl Anthony Towns can remain healthy. However, as for the result of this game, I am taking the Memphis Grizzlies to pick up the victory over Minnesota. 

Tony’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (-124)

Dallas Mavericks @ Utah Jazz – 9pm ET

Much like the Grizzlies and Timberwolves series, this Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz one is also all squared up at one game apiece. In the first game it was Utah that managed to get the win in a low scoring affair, 99-93, and then the Mavericks hit back winning Game 2, 110-104.

Noah Dunlap

Utah missed a golden chance to put real pressure on Dallas in this series in Game 2, and now I think they may end up paying for it. After winning Game 1 in tight fashion, the Jazz once again got the Mavs without Luka Doncic, and should’ve been able to capitalize, by taking the second game as well, which would’ve given them a 2-0 lead going back to Utah. Instead, they allowed Jalen Brunson to drop 41 on them, and let Dallas tie the series going to Salt Lake City. Luka still isn’t a guarantee for Game 3, and probably won’t be 100% if he does try to go, but he was a full participant in practice on Wednesday, which is a good sign moving forward. If he plays, I think this game, and possibly the series, are just about over, as Doncic just brings a different level and intensity to this Mavericks team. 

The Jazz have a roster that should still be able to compete, regardless of whether Luka is on the floor or not, but the problem is that they just haven’t seemed to be able to get anything going so far for much of this season, despite having an extremely deep rotation. If both Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell can go for big games, and get a little help along the way, maybe they can actually get the win, and take a lead in the series. But losing Game 2, and now with Luka potentially getting back, I think this is a Mavs win on the road, though I think it does come in a close one. However, with the line sitting at Dallas being a 7-point underdog, be confident in hammering them to at least cover the spread in this one. 

Noah’s NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks +7 (-110)

Tony Battalio

The Dallas Mavericks bounced back in a huge way against the Utah Jazz in Game 2 of this first round series. They picked up a huge 110-104 victory over Utah even without Luka Doncic on the floor. Jalen Brunson dropped 41 points to lead them to the victory and if he can replicate the performance in Game 3 the Dallas Mavericks shouldn’t have a problem picking up another victory. Luka Doncic will be a game time decision for this one and if he comes back then Dallas is going to get to another level. 

The Utah Jazz are looking to bounce back in the third game of this series as they will be looking to go back up 2-1. As long as Mitchell, Gobert, and Conley remain healthy, the Jazz will always be a serious threat to make a run to the NBA Finals. Utah has been consistent throughout the year. I have a feeling that Luka Doncic is going to miss this game, which is why I’m taking the Utah Jazz to pick up the win. 

Tony’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz (-280)

Golden State Warriors @ Denver Nuggets – 10pm ET

The final game on Thursday night in the NBA will see Game 3 of the series between the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets. This is the first game played in Denver and the Nuggets are currently 0-2 down, after the Warriors won Game 1, 123-107, and Game 2, 126-106.

Noah Dunlap

This is a series that easily had/has the potential to be much closer than it’s been so far through two games. Games 1 and 2 were both won by Golden State, and both were nearly by the same score, with one being won by 16 and the other won by 20. Through the first two, the Warriors are showing exactly why, despite a few struggles at times this year, primarily when Steph Curry was out with injury, they’re still a favorite among a lot of people to win the title. They have the depth, and experience, to be the best team in the postseason when they want to be. So far, Steph has been on a minutes restriction, but that hasn’t mattered, as Jordan Poole stepped up in Game 1, dropping 30, while Steph did a lot of it himself in Game 2, as despite only playing 23 minutes, he managed to score 34 points in a game that looked a lot like the Steph Curry from 4-5 years ago. If Steph can keep that up, with guys like Klay, Draymond, and Jordan Poole to help, this is a Warriors team that is going to be a force. 

Denver, on the other side, has to be extremely worried right now. I understand that the first two games were on the road, but the way they lost them, with them not really even being close, and the fact that Nikola Jokic can’t seem to get any help at all, is quite concerning. Jokic may be the best player in the league, but he can’t do everything himself, and right now that’s what he’s being asked to do, which looks as if it’s taking a toll on his attitude as well, as he was ejected in Game 2. A win here could quite a lot of those concerns, as it would keep things on track through three games, but I’ve seen nothing to suggest that Denver, even at home now, is going to be able to get things turned around. I like Golden State again in this one, though it may be a touch closer than the first two have been. Take the Dubs by 8-10. 

Noah’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors -2 (-110)

Tony Battalio

The Golden State Warriors always step up when it matters most. It’s been shown throughout the first two games of this series against the Denver Nuggets. They will look to take a 3-0 win in this one against the reigning and defending Most Valuable Player award winner Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. They will be looking to add another ring to their dynasty this season and as long as everyone stays healthy they certainly have a great shot of doing that. 

The Denver Nuggets backs are against the wall in this one as they are down 0-2 heading home to Colorado. This is absolutely a must win situation for Denver because if they get down 0-3 this series is certainly over. They can’t afford to allow Golden State to find that killer instinct and close them out in these next two games. As for the result of this one however, I think this is another game that the Golden State Warriors win and heading into Game 4, I think they will have a real shot at a sweep as well. 

Tony’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors (-134)

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

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