For the first time this season sports fan will have the choice of football or basketball on a Monday night when they get home and switch on their television sets tonight.
Of course, die hard football fans won’t want to miss a minute of Monday Night Football while fans of the round ball have an eight game slate to choose from, meaning there’s betting a plenty for everybody tonight.
NFL: Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints
(8:30 PM ET)
When a Monday Night Football game features teams with a combined 5-9 record you might first ask what the schedule makers were thinking before deserting football in favor of something altogether different.
This week’s match-up between Philadelphia (3-4, 1-2 road) and New Orleans (2-5, 1-2 home) however is must-see TV, despite those hideous records.
Three early wins for the Eagles have been followed by four losses, and questions as to whether Andy Reid should still be in a job. The Saints meanwhile stunk the joint out to start the season, before coupling together a pair of wins. Last week’s primetime loss to Denver suggested that the Saints hadn’t yet turned the corner.
Both teams need a win tonight. Desperately need a win. New Orleans to have any hope of remaining in the postseason picture – those fingertips are slipping away quicker and quicker – and Philadelphia to avoid any more questions about Reid and Michael Vick’s suitability.
Odds: The Saints opened as 1½-point favorites and have seen that stock rise to three-points. The over/under is 52.
Take: New Orleans – Despite a setback last week, the Saints have had more to be pleased with over recent weeks than the Eagles, who look intently focused on having a disastrous season. The Saints are at home which could play a huge factor here, while Philadelphia has only won one of the last three meetings. Take the Saints to cover the short spread, with the total going over.
NBA: New York Knicks @ Philadelphia 76ers
(7 PM ET)
New York (2-0, 0-0 road) travels to Philadelphia (1-1, 1-0 home) for the second part of a home-and-home series with the Sixers. The Knicks took Sunday night’s game 100-84.
Both teams will be looking to assert themselves in the Atlantic Division, which looks as though it could be one of the toughest divisions in basketball this season. Only Toronto appears to be a flop.
Odds: New York’s victory over the Sixers last night hasn’t transferred to tonight’s odds. The Knicks are underdogs (+4) on the road. The over/under is 189½.
Take: Philadelphia – Away from the emotions of the Big Apple, it’ll be interesting how the Knicks fare. The chances are they’ll be a letdown of sorts. The Sixers will take advantage and narrowly cover the spread in a close game. Take the under on the total.
NBA: Indiana Pacers @ San Antonio Spurs
(8:30 PM ET)
Indiana (2-1, 1-1 road) travels to San Antonio (3-0, 2-0 home) with the tough task of beating the undefeated Spurs. The Pacers have yet to find true form and will hope a big game against Tim Duncan and the Spurs will be the catalyst to take charge of the Central Division.
San Antonio will look to improve to 4-0, putting the Lakers and Thunder further behind in the rearview mirror, something few experts predicted preseason.
Odds: Indiana enters the AT&T Center as underdogs (+6½) against the undefeated Spurs. The over/under is 194½.
Take: San Antonio – The Spurs have never started a season 4-0, an unbelievable trend considering the team has won 50-plus games 13 years running. It’s time for history to be made. Take the Spurs to cover the spread and the under to go under.
NBA: Golden State Warriors @ Sacramento Kings
(10 PM ET)
Let’s be honest, a match-up between Golden State (2-1, 2-0 road) and Sacramento (0-3, 0-0 home) rarely makes your radar, unless you live in Northern California of course. But this game has a number of advantages going for it.
Firstly, if the Saints-Eagles game is a blowout, you can switch channels and catch the game, indulging in some in-game betting if you so desire. Secondly, there will be precisely zero defense played in this one which should at least be interesting. Thirdly, the Warriors might not suck this season, and an early encounter with perennial doormat Sacramento should give us some idea of what to expect from Mark Jackson’s side this year.
Odds: The Kings are favorites (-3) in the home opener at renamed Sleep Train Arena. The over/under is 202½.
Take: Golden State – The Kings (along with the Wizards) look set to be this season’s long losing streak side. It’ll probably be 10 games in before the team gets a ‘W’. Take the over as these two sides should light-up the scoreboard.
Remaining NBA Fixtures (Favorites highlighted)
Minnesota @ Brooklyn | Phoenix @ Miami | Utah @ Memphis | Portland @ Dallas | Cleveland @ LA Clippers