Six Wednesday Night Bets That Won’t Leave You Stinking Like The Lakers - NBA Week 2 Picks

Brooklyn needs more than just Durant and Irving firing to trouble the Bucks. The Nuggets can shine against a poor L.A. and don’t write off the 76ers.

NBA Week 2 Picks: Recommended Bets

  • Brooklyn Nets @ Milwaukee Bucks: Under 233.5 points scored, -110 at Caesars 
  • Brooklyn Nets @ Milwaukee Bucks: Kyrie Irving to score over 26.5 points, -123 at Caesars 
  • Los Angeles Lakers @ Denver Nuggets: Denver to win -6, -107 at PointsBet 
  • Los Angeles Lakers @ Denver Nuggets: Nikola Jokic to score over 26.5 points and Denver to win by Over 12 points, +461 at PointsBet 
  • Philadelphia 76ers @ Toronto Raptors: 76ers to win -1.5, -105 at BetMGM 
  • Philadelphia 76ers @ Toronto Raptors: James Harden to grab a double-double, -190 at PointsBet

Are the early surprises mere blips or setting the trend?

As we prepare for NBA Week 2 picks, who would have expected the Utah Jazz - seemingly destined for the draft lottery and a tank job - to have opened up with a longer unbeaten start than the Golden State Warriors? Or for the championship-contending Philadelphia 76ers to have lost their first three games by an average of almost seven points - a worse points differential than the still-rebuilding Detroit Pistons?

But as with any competitive environment, the pressure is on to come good, fast. This is why the Nets will want to impress on their Wednesday trip to the Milwaukee Bucks, and the 76ers must make a strong impression on their visit to the Toronto Raptors.

Yet, in the crystal ball, there was a clear view: The Lakers would stink. So far, they have. And even a midweek hop to defensively-challenged Denver may leave LeBron James and Co. wishing for some mystical powers. 

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NBA Week 2 Picks: Brooklyn Nets @ Milwaukee Bucks

Wednesday, October 26, 7:30 pm ET on ESPN  

It says everything about the wild nature of last season that a lack of any significant drama in the opening week is a major boon for the Nets. Following up a demolition at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans with a narrow triumph over the Raptors before a defensive nightmare versus Memphis doesn’t exactly scream NBA championship contender. But it’s still a considerable uptick on the mayhem and meltdowns of last term.

That leaves Brooklyn (1-2) among the most unpredictable NBA bets as they prepare for a Wednesday trip to Milwaukee, a team they lost to on three out of four tries last season by an average of 8.3 points.

And the X-factor within this bunch of wildcards remains Ben Simmons. After fouling out in the loss to the Pelicans in his first competitive NBA game in 18 months, the Aussie earned some kudos from Steve Nash for bouncing back in a win over the Raptors. Hardly a major leap, though, considering he landed a mere six points, adding 10 rebounds and eight assists and blocking two shots.

In his fifth professional campaign, Simmons has never been an elite scorer. His best haul was 16.9 points per game in his sophomore year in Philly. Averaging just four field attempts in his initial two appearances does not suggest his offensive mind block has evaporated during his year-long hiatus 

As potent as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are offensively, that figures to be a problem for the Nets in Milwaukee. The Bucks were the only team to come out of their first two appearances holding opponents below 100 points (96.5, to be precise), with a clearer emphasis, it seems, on limiting three-point success.

Milwaukee Bucks Player Stats Pack 2022


Kyrie Irving

Kevin Durant

Ben Simmons

Points Per Game




Field Goals Per Game




Field Goal Attempts Per Game




3-Point Field Goals Per Game




3-Point Field Goal Attempts Per Game




Data taken from: (Accurate as of 10/25/22)

Granted, that 2-0 start was a gift from the Rockets and 76ers. But if Milwaukee can ignore Simmons as a scoring threat, it hints at keeping Brooklyn below 105 points -- a target that would suggest great value as an NBA pick in going Under the Total Points line of 233.5, available at -110 with Caesars

Durant will be guarded by Giannis Antetokounmpo, which might limit his scoring numbers. That shifts some of the opportunity to Irving, and it’s worth backing the All-Star to go for 26.5+ despite his early long-range struggles, giving him a decent look as an NBA bet with backing the Over of 26.5 points at -123 with Caesars.  Yet, with the Nets, beware of the unexpected in the NBA Week 2 picks.

 NBA Week 2 Picks: Nets vs Bucks Picks

NBA Week 2 Picks: Los Angeles Lakers @ Denver Nuggets

Wednesday, October 26, 10 pm ET on ESPN 

We can already declare that Russell Westbrook will not be magically transformed under new head coach Darvin Ham. 10.3 points per game in a 0-3 start is down eight from last year’s torrid campaign, underpinned by a plummet to starting 1-for-12 from the three-point range. He scored 19 in a heavy loss to the Warriors, but the fit remains awkward. 

With Dennis Schroder injured, that offers Ham few alternatives, with the Lakers already out to +1600 with BetMGM to merely win the Pacific Division. It makes sense to jump on the NBA pick of the Lakers bagging Under 43.5 wins, available at -115 at Caesars Sportsbook

And the problems are polluting the ranks of Purple and Gold. LeBron James shot 47.7% in his first two games, down from his career average of 50.5. His team’s average of 103.3 points per night at the outset would have put them dead last in production last season. 

Following the Nuggets’ opening night aberration against the Jazz, they picked up a quality win over Golden State and saw off Oklahoma City but stepped back with a 25-point reverse to the upstart 4-0 Portland. Defensively, they remain a work in progress, giving up a league-worst 124.5 ppg.  

But Mike Malone’s men took those victories by scoring an average of 125. A Lakers team whose lack of shooting saw them make just 24 of their first 101 jump shots won’t come close, with the hosts surely destined to easily cover the Spread of -6 for the NBA Week 2 picks. 

It’s easy to imagine Nikola Jokic and Denver running riot and turning the Lakers’ night into a horror movie. A Parlay that sees the MVP rack up Over 26.5 points and the Nuggets victorious by Over 12 points is an NBA bet right in the script, especially when they made the Over in 57.7% of their games last term - the third-highest mark in the league.

NBA Week 2 Picks: Lakers vs Nuggets Picks

NBA Week 2 Picks: Philadelphia 76ers @ Toronto Raptors

Wednesday, October 26, 7:30 pm ET on NBA League Pass

Joel Embiid’s off-key start to the new campaign has left the Sixers toiling to unlock their true potential. Even though the center rebounded from two subpar starts to score 40 points against San Antonio, Philly still lost last Saturday to drop to a troublesome 0-3 before picking up their first victory against the terrible Indiana Pacers. Heading to Toronto, even when the Raptors stumbled out of the gates with losses to the Nets and Heat before a bounceback win over Miami, will hardly calm nerves.

Let’s not hop off the 76ers train just yet, though. It was on the defensive side of the ball where gradual growth would be needed to mask James Harden’s deficiencies and assimilate a different second unit into their system. Montrezl Harrell had a dreadful PER of -4.34 in his first two excursions as a Sixer, but he isn’t as bad a defender as his rep suggests. 

Nick Nurse would have liked better than a 2-2 start for the Raptors, and the ankle issue plaguing Scottie Barnes is an extra knock. Pascal Siakam has been sensational, averaging 26.2 points in his initial four cracks but, overall. His team is finding it hard to get points on the board.

Toronto went Under their predicted scoring line in their opening three games at a clip of 107.3, which opens the door for the Sixers to capitalize. If the 40+ Embiid shows up in tandem with the hot-shooting Harden, that will render Philadelphia able to cover the Spread with too many points on the board to repel, making it an interesting NBA bet.

James Harden Double-Double Stats Pack



Total Rebounds



Blocked Shots

2022/23 Season












Data taken from: (Accurate as of 10/25/22)

And consider taking Harden to go over 10 assists or to pick up a double-double. He has averaged 9.7 assists so far, and although that is down from his past four seasons, that is likely to be an early stat outlier.

NBA Week 2 Picks: 76ers vs Raptors Picks



The Nets will need more from Durant and Irving to hold off the bucks. If you're interested in more NBA betting picks, be sure to read our guide: How To Bet on NBA Games, and visit our odds comparison tool to compare betting odds and take advantage of the latest sportsbook bonuses.


Written by Mark Woods

Mark has covered the NBA and professional basketball globally for 25 years and has written extensively on the sports betting market.

He has been featured in various outlets, including ESPN,, and the Chicago Tribune, as well as for the BBC and The Guardian in his native UK.