The nine-game spectacle also promises to be a treat to all handicap betting fanatics with the Cavaliers, Warriors, Bucks and Jazz all returning to the spotlight.
So if you’re craving for more basketball action, the league’s Monday menu will certainly satisfy you!
Philadelphia 76ers @ Brooklyn Nets (January 9, 01:00 GMT+8)
A battle of the East’s bottom teams should only excite a few, though it will be interesting to see how the Nets’ three-heavy style will do against the Sixers’ defence. Talent, however, will still be the issue at Brooklyn, and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid will likely show why it matters to have someone with talent.
The Sixers +2.50 for 1.88 should be a good bet.
Washington Wizards @ Milwaukee Bucks (January 9, 03:00 GMT+8)
The Bucks are a good team at home while the Wizards are a horrible team on the road, so this meeting should heavily favour a home win. Milwaukee will be cautious of John Wall who will enter the game fresh from a season-high 18 dimes, but Washington’s lack of support behind a good starting five isn’t encouraging. Go for the Bucks -4.00 for 1.93.
Miami Heat @ LA Clippers (January 9, 04:30 GMT+8)
Hopes will be high when Hassan Whiteside returns to the Heat lineup, but Coach Erik Spoelstra knows that there isn’t any time to celebrate with the fourth-placed LA waiting for them. The Clippers have had their fair share of struggles, though Chris Paul should be able to keep their offence flowing and flourishing once again.
Houston Rockets @ Toronto Raptors (January 9, 07:00 GMT+8)
Kyle Lowry is having a phenomenal season, but so is James Harden who is displaying an MVP-level of play behind a remarkable offence under Mike D’Antoni’s system. Although you can expect a high-scoring affair from the two offensive juggernauts, the Rockets’ depth can prove to be a difference-maker in this game.
Utah Jazz @ Memphis Grizzlies (January 9, 09:00 GMT+8)
Following their second upset of the Warriors, Memphis will be full of confidence when they take on Utah. Gordon Hayward should pose a threat to the Grizzlies just like their December meeting; nonetheless, playing the second game of a back-to-back will make life (and getting a win) a lot harder for the surging Jazz.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Phoenix Suns (January 9, 09:30 GMT+8)
There should be no question in this clash between teams that are miles away in quality and talent. The Cavaliers are on top of the Eastern Conference for a reason, and the Suns are unlikely to stop them especially with their offence that doesn’t prioritise assists and set plays. With that said, Cleveland -9.50 for 2.04 is the best bet.
Golden State Warriors @ Sacramento Kings (January 9, 10:00 GMT+8)
After blowing a 24-point lead the last time out, the Warriors will want to make a statement and forget their embarrassing loss. Fortunately, Sacramento seem to be the perfect team for them to get back to winning, considering that the Kings’ defence has not much to boast after allowing the Clips shoot 41.9 percent from three.
If you’re punting, pick the Warriors -11.00 for 2.03.
Detroit Pistons @ Portland Trail Blazers (January 9, 10:00 GMT+8)
Andre Drummond must anchor the Pistons’ defence consistently to have any chance of taking the W in this rescheduled match against the Blazers who got an offensive boost with Damian Lillard’s return. However, Stan Van Gundy’s side needs to do so while also dealing with a much-improved Portland wall.
Orlando Magic @ Los Angeles Lakers (January 9, 10:30 GMT+8)
Los Angeles will need Julius Randle to make a repeat of his Wednesday performance against Memphis if they want to challenge the solid frontcourt of Orlando. Aaron Gordon and Serge Ibaka have been playing well for the Magic, and they will be difficult to handle for the Lakers who lack stability in the forward and centre positions.
Not to mention that Jodie Meeks can explode anytime and counter Lou Williams off the bench.
Choose Orlando +1.50 for 2.01.
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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.