The NBA delivers a short but intriguing slate of games this evening with enough to get bettors fired up. A pair of nationally broadcast games sees the return of the new-founded Knicks-Nets rivalry as well as a tough trip for L.A.’s form side, the Clippers, to the Windy City.
To get you on your way, CasinoReview has had a root around and found the info you need for three of tonight’s games, starting with that potential blockbuster at Barclays.
New York Knicks @ Brooklyn Nets
With seven wins from the last nine, the high-flying Knickerbockers are one of the NBA’s form sides. Top of the Eastern Conference, and twice beaters of the defending champions, New York (15-5, 7-5 road) will look to continue its impressive start to the season.
Of course, one of the two losses in that streak came at the hands of the Knicks’ new crosstown rivals, the Nets. Brooklyn (11-8, 7-4 home) has had a solid start to the season – especially when you compare it to last year’s fiasco in New Jersey – but is currently mired in a four game losing streak, including three at home. A win over the Knicks could prove a turning point.
The Knicks are doing it at both ends of the floor, ranking fifth in points scored (102.8 PPG) and ninth in points allowed (95.2 PPG). The Nets have a solid defense that ranks fifth in the league (93.7 PPG) but have struggled somewhat on the offensive side of the ball, scoring just 96.1 points per game. 96 points was enough to secure an overtime victory against the Knicks earlier this season though.
Odds: This game remains off the board at time of publication. Oddsmakers appear to be waiting upon further news regarding whether or not Nets center Brook Lopez – a game time decision – is ready to go or not. Lopez had an outstanding game when these two sides met on Nov. 26, and could prove hugely beneficial to the slumping Nets were he to play. Expect the red-hot Knicks to open as favorites though.
Take: New York – Brooklyn’s current woes have exposed a few chinks in the armor, particularly in the absence of Lopez, whilst the Knicks appear to be going from strength to strength. Avenging last month’s loss will only make this rivalry that much more interesting.
Washington Wizards @ New Orleans Hornets
Before we get to the second of tonight’s nationally televised games, it’s worth dipping into the Wizards-Hornets game taking place down in Bayou country.
Washington (2-15, 0-8 road) has been horrible this season. New Orleans (5-14, 3-8 home) have been nearly as horrible. Both sides are propping up their respective conference. So tonight’s game is going to be a lame duck, right?
Well, yes. Neither side has been pretty to watch and that’s unlikely to change tonight, but this one might well be worth a wager or two, simply because when two teams suck this much, anything can happen.
Odds: New Orleans opens as favorites (-5) with the over/under at 188.
Take: Washington – It’s hard to imagine the Wizards opening as favorites ever again, but this game represents a real opportunity for Randy Wittman’s side to win a third game of the season, and a first on the road. Yes the Wizards are even more banged up than usual – A.J. Price and Trevor Ariza have been added to an increasingly long injury list – but the Hornets are susceptible to anybody. Even if Anthony Davis plays – he’s currently day-to-day – the Hornets are far from a safe bet. Why not take the underdog then? Take the total to go over; this isn’t going to be a defensive masterclass.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Chicago Bulls
Overshadowed by the constant hyperbole surrounding their crosshall rivals’ failures this season, the Los Angeles Clippers (14-6, 4-3 road) continue to lead the Pacific Division by winning. The side will be looking to win eight straight for the first time since the 1991-92 season with a visit to Chicago.
Chicago (11-8, 6-5 home) has turned round a 6-7 record with five wins over the last six. Derrick Rose doesn’t appear to be any closer to returning, but the Bulls have found a way to win, defense. Four of the Bulls’ last five opponents have been kept below 90 points.
The Bulls will hope the solid defense continues against a Clippers side that ranks sixth in the league at scoring (102.3 PPG), including some big performances from the bench, which averages 41.8 points per game.
Odds: The Clippers are a three-point road favorite heading into the United Center, with the over/under at 188½.
Take: Chicago – Another chance to make some money on the underdog, the Bulls recent run of form deems the earlier encounter between these sides – a 101-80 Clipper win at Staples Center – mute. For the Clippers it’s the first of four straight on the road, so it’s unlikely that the side will be tired, but a 4-3 road record is less than stellar. Vinny Del Negro’s side still needs to prove that they have what it takes away from Hollywood.
Remaining NBA Fixtures
LA Lakers @ Cleveland | Denver @ Detroit