There were rare rays of light in New Orleans heading into the new NBA season, after Anthony Davis showed during the Olympics that he was ready to fit right in. But the absence of the one-time Rookie of the Year favourite due to injury has sent the Hornets spiralling to nine losses in their last ten games.
While six of those defeats have been by less than ten points, only twice have they held opponents to less than 100. And that is the key concern on Monday, when the slumping Milwaukee Bucks come to town. The visitors are 5-5 over their last ten, although they come in from a narrow win over Boston on Saturday. Crucially, they’re 4-1 when breaking through the 100-point barrier so far.
This is the kind of opponent which Monta Ellis relishes and it’s why the Bucks are good value on the handicap, even at -4.5 at 1.91. Also have a look at going over the total points of 188.5 at 1.90.
The Orlando Magic conjured up a surprise on Sunday with a win at the LA Lakers and they’ll bid to stay on a California roll on their visit to Golden State. The Warriors, however, are on a three-game winning streak and playing with increased confidence, with Stephen Curry pulling out consecutive double-doubles.
Orlando’s chief weapon has been to run and gun, and although they’re 6-10 overall, their record is 5-1 if they hit 100 points or over. That could see the teams head over the total points forecast of 195.5 but despite the Warriors' current form, expect this to be decided by less than 9 points.
The Denver Nuggets came away empty-handed from their mini road trip but after three successive reverses, they’ll love the sight of the lowly Toronto Raptors coming into town. Toronto are just 1-9 outside Canada this season and haven’t won in Denver for eight years. No wonder the Nuggets are favoured by 10.5 points at 1.91.
Bet of the day: Take the Bucks over the Hornets on the handicap at 1.91.