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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Top 10 best bets for the 2021-2022 NBA season

18 Oct 2021

By Dan Ippolito
Tomorrow night, the 2021-2022 National Basketball Association season kicks off with the Brooklyn Nets taking on the defending champs Milwaukee Bucks, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers facing off against the Golden State Warriors. There were several big offseason moves made by many teams that are sure to shake things up in the standings this season.

Here, we take a look at 10 bets to consider for this year’s basketball season.

10. Milwaukee (-1.5) over Brooklyn
Tomorrow night, in the opening game of the season, the Bucks square off against the Brooklyn Nets, but Kyrie Irving won’t be in the lineup or on the roster due to vaccination requirements. Irving won’t be a part of the team for the time being.

That said, I like the Bucks -1.5 on Intertops Sportsbook but not just because Irving is out. The Bucks will celebrate opening night with their championship ring ceremony prior to the game and they will have their home crowd, which is always loud and a factor, behind them.

Then you get into the offensive duo of Kris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Middleton, the sharpshooter, can score from anywhere on the floor while Giannis is able to get to the rim anytime he wants and is nearly impossible to stop. I don’t see a player on the Nets capable of shutting down Giannis so if Brooklyn wants any hope of winning they will need to quiet the supporting cast such as Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez.

Bet $110 on Bucks -1.5 to win $100

9. LA Lakers (-3.5) over Golden State
Following that game, the Staples Center in Los Angeles will see the hometown Lakers go up against the Warriors. At -3.5, I really like the Lakers especially with new additions Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony.

It is the depth of the Lakers that will be the major problem to the Warriors’ defense. There are too many scoring threats to worry about in the Lakers’ roster, but the biggest reason I like the Lakers here is the gaping hole in the Golden State lineup.

Many are predicting the Warriors to be “back” this season and I think that they could be as well. However, Klay Thompson, one half of the “Splash Bros.,” is still working his way back to being able to play so he will be sorely missed in tomorrow night’s matchup. The Lakers will have the entire focus on Steph Curry and force the others on the team to beat them.

I think -3.5 may be a low line, I am even going to throw a score prediction out there. I like the Lakers to win 117-106 tomorrow night. It is opening night so anything can happen with teams learning and figuring out how to play with the new players on the team, but I think the Lakers take care of business at home.

Bet $110 on Lakers -3.5 on bet365 Sportsbook & Racebook to win $100

8. Atlanta Hawks season under
They made it to the Eastern Conference Finals where they lost to the eventual champs, but the Atlanta Hawks showed that they could keep up with the best of the Easter Conference.

However, the Eastern Conference did see some major changes. The conference as a whole is much better and will be more competitive.

The Knicks, Celtics, Heat and Bulls all improved their rosters in the offseason and during free agency. This will make the regular season a little more difficult for the Atlanta Hawks as they matchup against these opponents.

I think Atlanta can still make the playoffs, but because of the number of good teams in the East increasing, I see Atlanta struggling more than they did last season.

In a 72-game season last year, the Hawks collected 41 wins but in this year’s 82-game schedule, I see the Hawks finishing below 46.5 wins.

Bet $100 on Hawks under 46.5 wins on bet365 to win $100

7. Northwest Division winner
In my predictions for last season, I took the Denver Nuggets as my favorite to win the NBA Finals but that was derailed by an injury to Jamal Murray.

Murray is still going to be sidelined until at least January as he recovers from an ACL injury. But I think the Denver Nuggets at +400 on Unibet Sports & Racebook to win the Northwest Division is a steal.

The Nuggets still have reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, who is a triple double machine at the center position and one of the best passing big men I have ever watched.

Jokic will have Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon to help lead the way in the scoring department with him. Then, you also look at the depth. You have Will Barton, Monte Morris, Austin Rivers and Jeff Green all to help pick up the slack that Murray leaves behind in his absence.

When the Nuggets do get Murray back, they will be a big problem in the Western Conference and I think they can beat out the Utah Jazz to win the division.

Bet $100 on the Nuggets to win the Northwest Division to win $400.

6. Sixth Man of the Year
The Miami Heat added Kyle Lowry this offseason which adds scoring and experience to a young roster. A piece of the young lineup is Tyler Herro, who recently said he feels he is in the same category as Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Ja Morant.

While many may not feel that way, he does still have something to prove and will be looked at to back that statement up this season.

Last season, Herro dropped 15 points per game while shooting 36% from behind the arc. I am expecting both of those numbers to go up this year. I could easily see Herro around 18 points per game and shooting 39% from three.

Herro showed in the preseason that he isn’t just a shooter. He was taking defenders off the dribble and getting to the rim or pulling up for a mid-range jumper. He’s added a few tricks to his bag and they will be on display starting this week.

He is also great value to win the Sixth Man of the Year award on bet365 with +1100 odds.

Bet $100 on Tyler Herro as Sixth Man of the Year to win $1,100.

5. Most Improved Player
As I just mentioned, Kyle Lowry is no longer with the Toronto Raptors, he is in Miami with the Heat. He was the face of the team and with him gone, the Raptors are looking for a new leader and it will have to be either Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam or OG Anunoby.

VanVleet is already a proven scorer and Siakam has won the Most Improved Player before back in the 2018-2019 season.

I also think Anunoby has been improving his game tremendously. When he first got legitimate minutes for the Raptors he wasn’t a major threat on the offensive end of the floor and was more of a defender.

OG became a much better scorer while keeping his defensive efficiency up. With Lowry gone, there are a lot more shots and offensive chances to be had in Toronto and I think OG will get a good piece of those.

Bet $100 on OG Anunoby to win Most Improved Player to win $1,400

4. Leader in assists
The new-look Lakers have a plethora of all-star caliber players. One being Russell Westbrook, who comes over from the Washington Wizards after leading the league in assists last year with 11.7 dimes per game.

Westbrook joins a team with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony and a couple of shooters in Malik Monk and Wayne Ellington.

I think it is safe to say that Westbrook has plenty of options to move the ball around to on offense and rack up the assist category.

There are plenty of scorers on the team to get Westbrook first place in this statistic.

Bet $100 on Russell Westbrook to lead the NBA in assists to win $260 on bet365

3. Rookie of the Year
This year’s NBA Draft was filled with some high-level talent in the first several picks of the draft. There was one that stood out to me more than others. Jalen Green who was the No. 2 pick overall in the draft to the Houston Rockets out of the NBA G League Ignite, forgoing college ball.

Green averaged 17.9 points per game last season in the G League. As a member of the Rockets, Green will have plenty of opportunity to put up some solid numbers as the Rockets are predicted to be one of the bottom-level teams in the league.

Green will have plenty of minutes played and shots put up as the Rockets now have a top draft pick to begin hopefully building around.

Jalen is one of the more athletic players out of the draft and can really make some highlight plays so he is my pick for this award.

Bet $100 on Jalen Green to be the Rookie of the Year to win $250 on Intertops

2. Most Valuable Player
We saw proof of it in the Olympics and the NBA Playoffs last season, Kevin Durant is a walking bucket. Durant is arguably one of the best scorers to ever play the game.

The Brooklyn Nets forward is able to use his length to shoot over almost any defender and his skill to get to any spot he wants to on the floor for his jumper.

When healthy, any time KD steps onto the floor, everyone knows he is capable of dropping 40 points or even 50. He is a defender’s worst nightmare.

His Nets would have been in the NBA Finals if KD’s shoe was a size smaller as his foot was on the line but still hit an incredible shot nonetheless in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Bucks.

Bet $100 on Kevin Durant to win the MVP on Intertops to win $650

1. 2021-2022 NBA Champion
As a Celtics fan, it does bring me pain to type this item out but I think the Los Angeles Lakers have too much fire power, depth and playoff experience on their roster to not make a deep run and win the NBA title.

If the Lakers do win it all, the Lakers would be in sole possession of the most titles, passing my Boston Celtics, who currently have 17.

I think the Lakers will be in one of the top seeds in the West after the regular season comes to an end. Then teams will have to deal with playoff LeBron, and despite him beginning to get older, we have seen year after year what The King can do come playoff time.

Bet $100 on the Lakers to win it all to win $300 on Intertops
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