The 2021-2022 NBA season will tip off with a rematch of a second round series in last year’s Eastern Conference playoffs. In this Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks matchup, both teams will look a little different than they did last season, but both will look to make a statement that they are the team to beat in the East this year. With the Bucks raising their championship banner before this game, Milwaukee will hope to start their championship defense with a victory.
Of course, the Bucks got the better of the Nets in the second round of last year’s playoffs, with the Bucks winning in overtime in Game 7 of that series. Milwaukee went on to win the NBA Finals, earning a championship that the Nets felt like they were just inches away from claiming in their place. In this preview of Nets vs. Bucks on NBA opening night, we provide three best bets for this massive matchup.
Brooklyn Nets – Looking To Answer The Questions
The Brooklyn Nets are technically the favorites to win the NBA Finals this year, as they have the best odds to win the title before the season starts. But the Nets have a whole bunch of questions to address before they can even think about getting to the NBA Finals. Specifically, they need to figure out how they are going to replace Kyrie Irving while he is inactive due to the Nets’ decision not to keep him around while he isn’t allowed to play in New York.
Brooklyn’s starting lineup is likely to feature Bruce Brown in the place of Irving, which is a significant downgrade from a scoring perspective. But the Nets have plenty of veteran experience at the big spots in the form of LaMarcus Aldridge and newly added Paul Millsap. Steve Nash will hope that leadership will help his team get through the portion of the season that they will be without Irving’s services.
Expected Line-Up: James Harden, Joe Harris, Bruce Brown, Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge
with best odds
Milwaukee Bucks – Ready To Defend Their Title
The Milwaukee Bucks defied expectations and finished the job last season, winning the NBA Finals in convincing fashion. Heading into this season, they are dealing with some injuries that could impact their short-term prospects. But the Bucks are largely the same team that won the Finals last year and will look to show everyone just why they are expected to be one of the last teams standing again in the 2021-2022 season.
For this game, the Bucks have three stars to the two that are left for the Nets at the moment. Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo are all healthy and ready to play in this game. That should make up for the injuries to Donte DiVincenzo and Bobby Portis, who both played important roles in last year’s championship season.
Expected Line-Up: Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
Expert Pick #1 – Bucks -1 @ -110
The first bet to make on this game is the Bucks to cover the spread as one-point favorites at -110 odds. Milwaukee was dominant at home against the Nets during the postseason last year, and should continue that trend in this game. With no Kyrie Irving available for the Nets, the Bucks are going to use their superior star power to their advantage and send a statement to the rest of the league that they are here to stay at the top of the league.
Expert Pick #2 – Kevin Durant Over 2.5 Made Threes @ -105
Kevin Durant to make three or more three-point shots is a bet worth making at odds of -105. Durant averaged just under 2.5 threes per game last season, but he stepped up his production from long range against the Milwaukee Bucks. KD made three or more threes in more than half of the games in their playoff series last year, and he made more than two threes on multiple occasions during their regular season encounters.
Expert Pick #3 – Jrue Holiday First Basket @ +700
This is a bit of a longshot, but it is worth taking a shot at the first basket to be scored by Jrue Holiday in this game. This bet, at 7/1 odds, relies on the Bucks winning the opening tip thanks to Brook Lopez having a huge size advantage over the bigs of the Nets. From there, Holiday is a much better value to score the first bucket in this game than Giannis or Khris Middleton, even if those two will score more over the course of the full game.
This game is a textbook example of perception versus reality in sports gambling. The betting public will be all over the Nets, while the Bucks at home is the best bet to make in this contest. In what should be an entertaining affair, it is the right move to back the Bucks.