After the light breeze that was the NBA’s three-game opening night, the league delivers a full-force second wind with 12 matches decorating the schedule.
Below are our best three bets for the evening:
Phoenix Suns (-12.5) to beat LA Lakers @ 91/100
As the LA Lakers slumped to a sobering defeat at home to the Houston Rockets on opening night Charles Barkley quipped: “The weapons the Lakers got ain’t even enough to beat Guam in a war.”
A long, arduous season lies ahead for Kobe Bryant as he looks to put the storied franchise on his 36-year-old back. The load will be heavier too after seventh-pick Julius Randle suffered a fractured tibia in his NBA debut.
Now, one night after his first game since December, the 16-time All Star will struggle to get his teammates close to a fully-rested Suns line-up bristling with speed and youth. The Suns have won six straight at home against the Lakers.
171-180 total points in Philadelphia 76ers @ Indiana Pacers @ 15/4
Injuries and departures leave the Pacers emaciated, with All Star Paul George suffering a fractured leg in the offseason and the club’s promising shooting guard Lance Stephenson following the cash to Charlotte.
Knocks to other role players leaves the hosts’ line up in tatters for Philadelphia’s visit, leaving no doubt that this will be a low scorer.
Following a woeful 19-win season, the 76ers spent the lowest amount this offseason by $20m, leaving one coach to claim that 15 victories this term would be a serious overachievement.
Portland Trail Blazers to beat Oklahoma City Thunder by 6-10 points @ 3/1
The Trail Blazers have lost nine of their last 11 matches with the Thunder, including four of the last five at home.
However, Oklahoma would have had Kevin Durant to call on in that stretch, but begin this term without the defending MVP.
That leaves the divisive Russell Westbrook in the OKC driving seat and it’s unclear if he can keep the car on the road.
Portland, on the other hand, are fresh from their best play-off run in 14 years and have all their stars healthy.