We made it, friends. The NBA is back. After an offseason full of drama (looking at you, Ben Simmons) and controversy (you too, Kyrie Irving), it’ll be nice to have some meaningful on-court action to talk about instead. Tuesday’s two-game slate will give us a heavy dose of star power, too. The Bucks will face the Nets in the early slot, and the Warriors will face the Lakers in the late slot.
Here are my top NBA betting picks for Tuesday’s action.
1. Kevin Durant o30.5 Points | +102 at FD Sportsbook
Let’s start the year off with a shockingly low line. Durant averaged 34.7 points per game against the Bucks in the regular season last year. He played each of those games with either Kyrie Irving or James Harden, too, so it wasn’t like the Nets needed him to do everything in those games. Durant also averaged 35.4 points per game against the Bucks in the playoffs despite drawing defensive attention from the since-departed P.J. Tucker.
With Tucker gone, who will defend Durant? The answer is probably Giannis Antetokounmpo. If that’s the case, Durant will get open on the perimeter, and he will make plenty of shots. He nailed seven 3-point shots in a single game against the Bucks last May, and he averaged 4.3 made threes per game against them in the regular season. Notably, that number fell to 2.7 per game in the playoffs, which we can credit to Tucker. It’s worth noting that the Bucks allowed the most made threes per game (14.7) in the 2020-21 regular season.
There is another reason to smash Durant’s over in this spot: Jrue Holiday. Milwaukee’s point guard can shut down whoever he faces; that much was evident from last year’s NBA Finals. While no defender can really shut down James Harden, he will have a harder time scoring than Durant, especially as he adjusts to the NBA’s new foul rules. Look for him to kick out to Durant somewhat frequently.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo 2+ Made Threes | +250 (.5u) at FD Sportsbook
I’ll tip my hat to John Hyslop for pointing this one out on Twitter. Antetokounmpo had his best games from deep against the Nets last season — he averaged 3.3 made threes per game against them in the regular season despite averaging just 1.1 per game on the year. He hit a pair of 3s when these teams met in January and nailed four of them in both May games. However, that number fell off in the playoffs.
That said, he may have found time to fix his shot in the offseason.
Giannis’ jumper last year compared to last night pic.twitter.com/99w5angMSn
— Jonathan Gauthier (@jgauthier_23) October 14, 2021
With odds this generous on a line that cashed in all three regular-season matchups last season, let’s roll the dice with a half unit.
3. Giannis 3+ Made Threes & Durant 4+ Made Threes | +4234 (.1u) at FD Sportsbook
Let’s double-down on the two above picks with this same-game parlay, shall we? The individual markets for these lines (Antetokounmpo: +790; Durant: +205) already offer decent value, but I like the value here more. This parlay actually went 2-1 in these teams’ regular-season meetings last year, and it’s not often that the empirical odds of a play (in this case, 66.7%) are so far from the implied odds (2.31%).
While I don’t recommend that you bet the house on this play, just a tenth of a unit would net a 4.23-unit profit. Risk-reward here, folks.
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