The Daily Sweat: The NBA is back with 2 marquee opening night matchups

·4 min read

The NBA season is finally here.

The 2021-22 season opens Tuesday night with two big games. First, the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks will host the Brooklyn Nets. Later on, the Los Angeles Lakers will host the Golden State Warriors. 

There’s a lot of intrigue to both matchups. Obviously, Giannis Antetetokuonmpo and the Bucks are coming off a triumphant win over the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. They are the slight favorites at BetMGM for opening night. The Bucks are listed as 1-point favorites and on -115 the moneyline. The Nets are -105 on the moneyline and the over-under is set at 235.5 points.

The Nets open the season as the betting favorites to win the NBA title at BetMGM. The Nets are listed at +240, ahead of the Bucks at +900. That status as betting favorite comes despite the absence of Kyrie Irving, who is not with the team because of the New York vaccine mandate. Irving is the only Nets player who decided not to get the vaccine, a decision that has made him ineligible to participate in Nets home games. The Nets later decided that Irving won’t participate in practice or games until he complies with the NY mandate.

That storyline lingers over the start of the season, but the Nets still are plenty talented with James Harden and Kevin Durant in the starting lineup. The Bucks, meanwhile, return almost every significant contributor from last year’s title team.

Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant plays during a preseason NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
The Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant plays during a preseason NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

In the nightcap, the Lakers are 3.5-point favorites over the Warriors at BetMGM with the total set at 227.5.

The Lakers saw their 2020-21 season derailed by injuries to stars like LeBron James and Anthony Davis. In the offseason, the Lakers added big-name veterans like Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan. Kent Bazemore, Wayne Ellington and Malik Monk are also among the new faces on the Lakers’ roster.

On the Warriors' side, Klay Thompson is slated to return at some point this season, but it won’t be opening night. Thompson has missed the last two seasons with injuries, first an ACL tear and then an Achilles injury.

The Lakers have the second-best preseason NBA title odds at +400. The Warriors are tied for third with the Bucks at +900. 

MLB playoffs continue

In the MLB playoffs, the Atlanta Braves have the chance to take a commanding 3-0 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS.

The Braves won both Games 1 and 2 at home in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth. Now they will head out to Los Angeles to Dodger Stadium with Charlie Morton on the mound against Walker Buehler. The Dodgers are the favorites at BetMGM, listed at -175, while the Braves are +145 underdogs. The total is set at 7.5 runs.

In the ALCS, the Boston Red Sox have a 2-1 series edge after crushing the Houston Astros 12-3 on Monday night at Fenway Park. Nick Pivetta, who threw four scoreless innings of relief in Game 4 of the NLDS over the Tampa Bay Rays, will get the start for the Red Sox. The Astros will counter with veteran Zack Greinke in his first start since Sept. 19.  

The Red Sox are the home favorites at -125 at BetMGM. The Astros have +105 odds. The over-under is listed at 9.5 runs. 

What else is there to bet on?

The NHL season is in full swing and there are 11 games on tap for Tuesday night. 

If you're into soccer, there's no shortage of UEFA Champions League action, including Atletico Madrid taking on Liverpool in the Group Stage. 

Most eyes, though, will be on the NBA's opening night and the MLB playoffs. 

Who cashed tickets on Monday night?

We already touched on the Red Sox taking down the Astros in Game 3 of the ALCS, but what about Monday Night Football?

The Buffalo Bills were 6.5-point road favorites against the Tennessee Titans, but the Titans — behind a monster performance from Derrick Henry — pulled the outright upset. In a 34-31 win, Henry rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns, including a 76-yard score. 

Henry's third TD gave the Titans the lead with 3:05 to play. The Tennessee defense then stuffed Bills QB Josh Allen on a fourth-down QB sneak from the 3-yard line to seal the victory in the final minute. 

That was a brutal turn of events for one BetMGM customer who had two massive parlays on the line entering Monday Night Football. In an 8-team parlay, the bettor needed the Bills to cover 5.5 points to turn $1,100 into $193,575. The same bettor had an 11-team parlay that also was relying on the Bills. In this one, the bettor just needed a Buffalo victory to turn a $1,000 bet into $144,987. 

But the Titans had other ideas and both parlays were spoiled. Whether the bettor opted to cash out at any point is not yet clear. 

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting