The Brooklyn Nets will open their 2021-22 season with a trip to the Fiserv Forum and a date with the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
Brooklyn will be without Kyrie Irving who was sent away by management until he complies with the league’s vaccination requirement. Without Irving, the Nets will have to lean on their duo of former MVP in Kevin Durant and James Harden. With Milwaukee eliminating Brooklyn in last season’s playoffs, this is a revenge game for the Nets.
Milwaukee will open their title defense with a home game against the team that is the current odds on favorite to win the 2022 NBA title. The Bucks have retained the core of their title team and have lost only P.J. Tucker. The Bucs will get their championship rings before the start of the game and will have their banner also raised in the rafters. Milwaukee eliminated Brooklyn in a thrilling-seven-game series during the 2021 playoffs.
The Nets will be looking for revenge here after their 2021 title hopes were ended by the Bucks in round 2 of the playoffs. Brooklyn will have the benefit of a healthy James Harden who was injured in Game 1 of their series against the Bucks and missed a good part of the series. Kevin Durant is also coming off a spectacular performance in the Olympics where he led Team USA to the gold medal.
Brooklyn opened as the odds on favorite to win this year’s title and they are still the favorites up to now. The Nets have even gotten better from last season with the addition of veterans like Patty Mills, Paul Millsap, and the returning LaMarcus Aldridge. With their new players, the depth on this Nets team is off the charts.
This team was dominant at home last season but were just 20-16 on the road. Beating the Bucks won’t be easy but the Nets don’t only have the talent to topple the champs but they have the motive to win this game after the Bucks ousted them from the playoffs.
Odds from BetOnline as of 10/19/2021
The Milwaukee Bucks will attempt to do what the Raptors and Lakers could not do after their title-winning campaigns and that is to repeat as champions. Milwaukee has retained most of their 2021 championship team and has lost only P.J. Tucket and Bryn Forbes primarily. But with Giannis Antetokounmpo continuing to improve his game, the sky is the limit for the Geek Freak.
Milwaukee also got better during the offseason, adding the likes of George Hill, Rodney Hood, Semi Ojeleye, and Grayson Allen to add extra firepower. With their Big three of Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday back in tow, the Bucks are expected to be in the thick of the championship hunt.
But the Bucks will be without cult hero Bobby Portis due to an injury while Middleton and Hood are currently listed as day-to-day. It’s going to be an emotional game for the Bucks with the ring ceremony and that could take a toll on their focus for the game.
The Nets are 1-4 SU in their last five games played. Brooklyn is also 1-4 SU in their last five games played on the road, and 1-4 SU in their last five games against an opponent from the Eastern Conference. The Bucks are 4-1 SU in their last five games played. Milwaukee is 6-1 SU in their last seven games as betting favorites, and 9-2 SU in their last 11 October games.
Head to head, the Bucks are 4-1 SU in their last five meetings against the Nets.
Brooklyn made the right decision to send Kyrie Irving away until he complies with the league’s vaccination requirements. They could have allowed him to play “part-time” but obviously, coach Nash doesn’t want him to be a distraction.
Without Irving, the Nets are missing 20 points and at least 5 assists per game but the Nets are so talented they have a lot of players who can step up and contribute, Patty Mills most notably.
Milwaukee will get their championship rings before the game and they will also unveil their 2021 championship banner. With these celebrations waiting, celebrating the 2021 title could be a distraction that they don’t want, especially against a team that wants revenge against them.
The Nets are still very dangerous with KD and Harden. They have a supporting cast that is one of the best in the league. Milwaukee also has a deep team but after winning the 2021 NBA title, they might still be a little hungover, especially with the pre-game celebrations.
Prediction: Brooklyn Nets
Other Bets to Make
Brooklyn is 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games played. The Nets are 4-0 ATS in their last four games when playing on three days or more rest, 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games after a straight-up win, 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games when their opponent scores more than 100 points in their previous game,
48-20-1 ATS in their last 69 Tuesday games, but 1-4 ATS in their last five games as road underdogs.
Milwaukee is 4-0 ATS in their last four games played. The Bucks are 4-0 ATS in their last four games as betting favorites, 5-0 ATS in their last five games as home favorites, 5-1 ATS in their last six games after an ATS loss, 4-1 ATS in their last five games after a straight-up loss, 4-0 ATS in their last four games after scoring 100 points in their previous game, and 5-0 ATS in their last five home games.
Head to head, the Bucks are 32-15-1 in their last 48 meetings. They are also 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings in Milwaukee.
Odds from BetOnline as of 10/19/2021
The Nets may be without Irving here but they added Patty Mills, Paul Millsap, and LaMarcus Aldridge during the offseason. These three are no longer spring chickens but they are still going to be able to contribute points to this Nets team that needs to offset Irving’s absence.
As stated above, the ring ceremony and banner unveiling could work in two ways. But most likely, it will be a distraction that is going to cost the Bucks this game. James Harden is healthy and we know what he can do at 100% strength. Brooklyn looks like they have more motive to win this than Milwaukee. This could be a close game, perhaps a single possession game. I’ll take the plus points here.
Prediction: Nets +1.5
The total has gone under in six out of the last eight games played by the Nets. The under is 5-0 in their last five games after a straight-up win, 5-0 in their last five games as road underdogs, 4-0 in their last four games when playing on more than three days rest, 12-3-1 in their last 16 games as underdogs, 4-1-1 in their last six Tuesday games, 7-3 in their last 10 road games, and 5-0 in their last five games as the road underdogs.
The over is 5-2-1 in the Bucks’’ last eight games played. The total has gone over in seven out of the last 10 games played by the Bucks after a rest of at least three days. The over is 5-2-1 in their last eight games when their opponent scores 100 or more points in their previous game. However, the under is 5-1-1 in the Bucks’ last seven games as betting favorites, 5-1-1 in their last seven Tuesday games, and 9-3-1 in their last 13 home games.
Odds from BetOnline as of 10/19/2021
The Nets are still a high-powered offensive team even without Kyrie Irving and they are capable of putting up tons of points in the score sheets. Kevin Durant and James Harden alone could combine to score 50 points already and they still have scorers like Patty Mills, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap, and Blake Griffin.
Meanwhile, the Bucks were the highest-scoring team in the NBA last season and with the Bucks retaining the core of last season’s championship team, you can’t expect them to play any different this year.
This is the first game of the regular season and it’s possible that the defenses aren’t going to be as tight especially coming off a long break. Both teams will be looking to make an early statement to the rest of the league. Their defense was never one of the strong points of the 2021 Nets. I expect these teams to try and beat each other with scoring, not defense because that’s where they are good at. The total is high but this is the first game of the year.
Prediction: Over 236.5