Monday’s slate of nine NBA games should give bettors plenty to look forward to on their days off on MLK day, but there are a few that stand out, not only as potential money-makers, but as entertaining hardwood battles. Here are the top three games in the Association today:
Los Angeles Clippers -4 at Golden State Warriors +4
The Pacific Division leading Clippers visit Golden State today in a match-up of two surprising West powers.
Many knew the Clippers would be strong, but they didn’t know they would be the strongest team in L.A., much less the entire Pacific Division. The Clippers will put a four-game winning streak on the line today against the 24-15 Warriors, which are in a distant, but still respectable second position in the Pacific Division.
The Clippers have steamrolled just about every team this season, that is except for the Warriors, which have already claimed two victories off the team that has lost just nine all year. However, L.A. reigned supreme in the team’s most recent meeting on Jan. 5 and will come in with a 1-2 record against Golden State entering their final regular season battle today.
Although GS has gotten the better of L.A. this season, the Clippers have really found their groove in the last month and a half and should be able to handle a Warriors team that has endured some injuries to stars David Lee and Stephen Curry recently. Look for the Clippers to extend their streak to five wins in a row and cover -4 on the road today.
Brooklyn Nets+4 at New York Knicks -3.5
In-city and Atlantic Division rivals will clash at Madison Square Garden today, as the Knicks try to pick up their 15th home win of the year against the Nets.
The Knicks are 2-1 in the season series, winning the last two meetings after dropping a game to Brooklyn on Nov. 26. Of course, since then things have been rocky to say the least for the Nets, which underwent a coaching change and a nasty losing skid.
However, Brooklyn has picked up the pace in January and comes into today’s game as winners of eight of their last 10. The Knicks, meanwhile, have stumbled a bit and are just .500 over their last 10 contests. Look for Brooklyn to continue to close the gap in the division and stay hot today, covering +4 in the win.
Los Angeles Lakers +1 at Chicago Bulls -1
After losing their last two, the Lakers desperately need to rebound today on the road against a feisty Bulls team that hasn’t played their best ball at the United Center this season.
Interestingly, the Bulls are just 11-11 at home this season, which is good news for the Lakers, which are just 17-23 on the year and still very much on the outside-looking-in as far as the playoffs are concerned. The Lakers lost in pathetic fashion to the Toronto Raptors yesterday, hitting what they hope is the low point before a much-needed resurgence.
Although the Lakers will certainly come in determined, the fact is the Bulls are just a better basketball team. Chicago is strongest where the L.A. is weakest–on the defensive side of the ball–and that should shine through again today as Chicago looks to put in plenty of points against a team that allows 101.6 per game. Take Chicago to cover -1 and win outright today.