The NBA season will tip off with the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks lifting their championship banner at Fiserv Forum before they play the Brooklyn Nets. Both teams are largely the same as they were last season, though the Nets have one important absence to overcome. In our NBA picks for this opening night, we look at Nets vs Bucks and pick a winner for this rematch of a closely contested seven-game series from last year’s postseason.
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New bettors at FanDuel Sportsbook can wager on the Nets and the Bucks using FanDuel’s NBA offer for the beginning of the season. Bettors can wager $2 on either team to win this Nets vs Bucks matchup and win $150 if that team does come through in the first game of the NBA season.
Nets vs Bucks Betting Pick
This game will be played at 7:30 PM ET at Fiserv Forum on Tuesday, October 19, 2021.
Why Bet The Bucks:
✅ Milwaukee beat the Brooklyn Nets in their seven-game series last year, playing especially well against Brooklyn at Fiserv Forum. Overall, Milwaukee covered the spread 55% of the time at home last season. That trend will continue here, as the Bucks will continue their dominance at home in front of a crowd that will have a tangible impact on the game.
✅ The Nets are going to be missing Kyrie Irving for this game and for all other games until further notice. Without Irving, the Nets only have one elite point guard on the floor at a time, who can be guarded by Jrue Holiday. Holiday is one of the best defensive point guards in the league and should make James Harden work with Irving out of the picture.
✅ Defensively, the Nets don’t have a good answer for both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton at the same time. Kevin Durant can guard one of them, but James Harden can’t guard their respective positions and there isn’t another lockdown defender on the roster to take that responsibility.
The Brooklyn Nets enter this season as the favorites to win the NBA Finals, as they are expected to do great things with Kevin Durant and James Harden as their leaders. But there are questions for the Nets coming into this season, namely about the future of Kyrie Irving and how that will impact their season. Against the defending champions, the loss of someone like Irving could really hurt the Nets.
Outside of the loss of Irving, the Nets are largely the same as they were last year, with some changes to their role players behind Durant and Harden. Bruce Brown is going to take Irving’s spot in the starting lineup, while contributors from last season in Landry Shamet and Mike James are gone. In their place are Patty Mills, Paul Millsap and Cam Thomas, who will look to make an immediate impact in Brooklyn’s opener.
The Milwaukee Bucks stormed through the postseason last year and brought home the NBA Finals. This year, the Bucks will enter the season with heightened expectations, as Giannis Antetokounmpo and company have proven that they can go all the way. Milwaukee will look to set the tone for their title defense with a win over the Nets, who they could very well face in the Eastern Conference Finals this season.
Milwaukee does have some injury concerns to look out for in this game. Bobby Portis and Donte DiVincenzo from last year’s championship team are not available, while Rodney Hood and Semi Ojeleye are also out. And with PJ Tucker no longer a part of the roster, the Bucks will need the newly acquired Grayson Allen to step in and contribute immediately.