NBA betting predictions: Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors are back

The 2021/22 NBA season is a month old, and the Golden State Warriors and the Washington Wizards top their conferences. But where should your betting picks be going next?

You should take a team's record with a pinch of salt at this stage of the season, but that doesn't mean you can't get a good indication of where a franchise is headed.

Planet Sport takes a look at our pre-season predictions and sees how they are bubbling away a month into the NBA campaign.

Planet Sport pick: Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks' NBA title defence is not quite underway yet as they sit 11th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 7-8. Khris Middleton has only played seven games this season, and the champions missed him dearly before he returned against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.

With Middleton playing, the Bucks are 4-3 and the 30-year-old is averaging 19.4 points per game. Without him - if you haven't worked it out already - Milwaukee are 3-5. A stuttering start, to say the least, but it doesn't mean much.

We emphasised the importance of Giannis Antetokounmpo in our season preview, and while he is clearly the Bucks' most important player, he evidently needs his supporting cast. It is a case of Mike Budenholzer's team getting on a roll and riding the momentum.

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After their excellent win against the Lakers - in which Giannis had a monster 47-point performance - the Bucks have the perfect opportunity to build some momentum, especially with Middleton back playing.

They have four straight at home, facing the Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic (x2) and Detroit Pistons. With or without Middleton this should be four wins in a row and hopefully the beginning of their season as they aim to retain the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

Obviously, their record is unexpected, but not a worry at this stage of the season. Giannis is a very focused individual and will not allow his team-mates to give anything less than 100 per cent. They are going to rise up the East standings and will certainly be competing for the championship this season.

Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors

Well, what is there to say about Steph Curry? He has been on fire so far this season as the Warriors boast an impressive 12-2 record. The two-time MVP is averaging 28.7 PPG and dropped 37 in less than 30 minutes on the favourites to win the whole thing, Brooklyn Nets, on Tuesday night.

It is important to emphasise that you can't take a lot from teams at this stage of the season, however, the Warriors have sent a clear message to the rest of the league: they are back.

With Klay Thompson still to return, many are jumping back on the Golden State train, and rightly so. Andrew Wiggins is chipping in with a very healthy 18.1 PPG and Jordan Poole is doing his thing as well, averaging 17.1 points a night.

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Not to mention Draymond Green, who is still a phenom on defence. After a couple of difficult years for the Oakland fanbase, things are fun again. Curry is playing like an MVP, and if he continues as he has started, he will fulfil our prediction and become a three-time winner of the award.

Can the GSW continue to ride the wave and remain on top of the Western Conference? The main thing is to make the Playoffs, however, and their start has indicated that finishing in the top six of the West won't be an issue at all.

Curry was 15/2 to be named MVP before the season began, he is now 9/4. The Warriors were 11/1 to win the championship, they're now 13/2. The bubble may burst, but if things begin to go pear-shaped they will take solace in knowing Thompson and James Wiseman will be back soon.

Clear favourites: Brooklyn Nets

Without Kyrie Irving, the Nets are doing fine. They sit third in the East with a 11-5 record with Kevin Durant averaging 28.6 PPG and shooting 56.7 per cent from the field. Steve Nash is relying heavily on Kevin Durant as he plays over 34 minutes per night.

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James Harden is still nowhere near his best, and for the Nets to win it all they will need him to step up, especially in Irving's absence.

Having said that, their roster is very deep; filled out by some very handy players. Joe Harris, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Patty Mills, Paul Millsap, Bruce Brown and Nicolas Claxton will all contribute to Brooklyn's title push.

Surprising leaders in the West: Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards are looking very good under new head coach Wes Unseld Jr. It is safe to say they are winning the Russell Westbrook trade so far, acquiring Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell for the former MVP's services.

Kuzma and Harrell, in particular, are contributing greatly. Kuzma is hitting clutch shots whilst averaging 13.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, whereas Harrell is averaging 17.8 PPG, 8.5 RPG and a block per night.

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Bradley Beal is the leader of the team and could be an MVP candidate if the Wizards finish in the top four of their conference come the end of the regular season.

Deni Avdija, Spencer Dinwiddie, Daniel Gafford, Aaron Holiday, Raul Neto, Corey Kispert and Davis Bertans contribute to a team with tremendous depth. Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura are yet to play this season and will be exciting returns for Unseld.

At 100/1, it might be worth seeing where the Wiz stand this time next month, but it is the first time in a long time that Washington fans have any form of optimism. At 10-4, Wednesday's loss to the Hornets snapped a five-game win streak. They will hope to get back to winning ways against the Miami Heat, who they face in their next two encounters.

Analysing the rest

This NBA championship race may be a lot more open than first anticipated. The Chicago Bulls look great with DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine balling out.

The Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers have started well, meanwhile, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will obviously remain a contender all season long.

The Suns have won ten in a row and are second in the East behind Golden State. Chris Paul, Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton as a 'big three' can definitely compete, and Monty Williams has some very capable role players on his roster.

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Denver's 9-5 record is impressive as they remain without Jamal Murray - with his return date still unknown. Also, Nikola Jokic is doing what he can to retain his MVP crown, averaging 26.1 PPG and 13.8 RPG.

The Lakers changed a lot in the off-season, bringing in Westbrook whilst adding some old heads in Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard. Getting the roster to gel whilst keeping LeBron and Anthony Davis healthy remains imperative in their title quest.

The opening month has been entertaining, first and foremost. Not a lot has changed in terms of predictions but seeing our expected re-emergence of the Warriors has been excellent. The Bulls are fun again and are probably every neutral fan's team to watch at the moment.

A title should be a step too far for the likes of Washington, Chicago, Dallas and Miami but the Clippers and Jazz are teams to keep an eye on alongside the Lakers, Suns and Nuggets.