NBA
October 19, 2021

2021 NBA Opening Night Best Bets: Nets-Bucks, Lakers-Warriors

The NBA is back! 

It is officially time for some basketball as the 2021-2022 NBA season tips off tonight with an opening-night doubleheader. Tonight, the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks host the Brooklyn Nets then we have the Los Angeles Lakers clash with the Golden State Warriors.

It is great to have basketball back in our lives but it is even better to have some basketball best bets back in our lives. Here, we will go over the best bets for both games. All you have to do is place those bets responsibly and win some cash. Enjoy the games tonight and I hope you have great gambling success this NBA season. 

*Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Brooklyn Nets vs Milwaukee Bucks

Spread: Nets +1.5 (-110) | Bucks -1.5 (-110)

ML: Nets +102 | Bucks -118

Total: OVER: 233 (-112) | UNDER: 233 (-108)

Opening night is usually pretty tough to gamble on because of roster shakeups, rust, and any other unforeseen factors. Last year's stats do not really matter tonight, but it is important to note that these two teams met 10 times last season and the under-hit in seven of those tilts. 

A healthy Kevin Durant and James Harden should terrify any lineup. With P.J. Tucker leaving the Bucks for the Heat in the offseason, the Milwaukee defense is going to have a much tougher task, especially since the Bucks barely beat the Nets in the playoffs last season with a hobbled Harden and Kyrie Irving. Even without Irving, who will miss tonight's game and every game until he complies with the COVID-19 vaccine mandates, the Nets have a much bigger advantage over the Bucks this season.

From top to bottom, the Nets just have a better roster. The additions of Patty Mills, Paul Millsap, and the re-signing of LaMarcus Aldridge give Brooklyn an incredible amount of depth that not even the defending champions can compete with. That is not to say that the Bucks are not a deep and talented team, the Nets have just built a Death Star this offseason.

Even then, the Bucks are still a legit threat to repeat as champions. Losing Tucker was a big blow, but replacing him with another three-and-d player like Grayson Allen fills the gap and adds a bit of youth to this roster. He will have to play a big role tonight as Donte DiVincenzo, Bobby Portis, and Semi Ojeleye are all expected to be out. That'll put more emphasis on the play of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday

The Nets are the better team today, but I want the season to play out before we start crowning teams. With the depth and health of the Nets starting five, the Nets ML makes the most sense tonight, especially at +102.

Pick: Nets ML (+102)

Los Angeles Lakers vs Golden State Warriors

Spread: Lakers -3 (-112) | Warriors +3 (-108)

ML: Lakers -158 | Warriors +134

Total: OVER: 226 (-110) | UNDER: 226 (-110)

The Lakers added yet another superstar this offseason when they traded for Russell Westbrook from the Wizards. Not only did they add the former MVP and the all-time leader in triple-doubles, but like the Nets, Los Angeles acquired a number of key pieces to give the Lakeshow incredible depth. Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo return to the Lakers where they both won a championship in 2020 and Carmelo Anthony finally gets to play alongside his friend LeBron James.

The Lakers also added Malik Monk, DeAndre Jordan, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, and Kent Bazemore to fill out their roster. Combine that with a starting lineup that includes Westbrook, James, and Anthony Davis and the Lakers are ready to roll this season.

For the Warriors, they will still be without Klay Thompson, who has not played since Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. However, they will still rely on Stephen Curry, who just signed a massive extension to essentially make him a Warrior for life. Last season, Curry dragged the Warriors to the play-in round of the playoffs against the Lakers thanks to his NBA-leading 32 points per game.

The Warriors will be down another starter tonight as James Wiseman is still rehabbing from offseason knee surgery. Even without Thompson and Wiseman, the Warriors have a solid starting lineup. Jordan Poole has shown the potential of being a solid guard in this league and Draymond Green, while banged up, is still the heartbeat of the Warriors.

The Warriors should get back to a level of competition this year, but for tonight, they are too short-handed to beat a team led by LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. The Lakers should emerge victorious in this one while covering the three-point spread. 

Pick: Lakers -3 (-112)

Photo: Getty Images