Cleveland Cavaliers vs Miami Heat (BET and STREAM LIVE on Unibet TV from 00.35 GMT)
Emotions have cooled a little since LeBron James jumped ship for the Miami Heat three years ago, but the Cleveland Cavaliers will hope to make it an unhappy homecoming when they host their former star on Wednesday night. On current form, it is James who should be celebrating Thanksgiving with a feast.
The Cavs have been one of the NBA’s great under-performers so far with a 4-10 start and the deflating contribution of Andrew Bynum. Number one draft choice Anthony Bennett is averaging barely two points per game and is playing just 11 minutes per night.
Kyrie Irving has been inconsistent, with his average production dropping almost nine points in losses from his output in wins. And even in the very weak East, they’ve already sustained losses to Charlotte, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Washington. Although it’s too early to judge new coach Mike Brown’s second spell, they still look at least one player short from being even a solid play-off team.
That’s why Cleveland are 5.00 to win tonight with the Heat at -9 on the handicap. The champions now seem in a two-way race with Indiana to win the Conference crown with Miami at 1.65 and the Pacers at 3.25. And James still has value at 1.75 to retain his MVP crown. With his team on a 9-1 streak over their last ten games, back the Heat for a big win but stick under the total points line of 197.5, available at 1.91.
LA Lakers vs Brooklyn Nets (BET and STREAM LIVE on Unibet TV from 00.35 GMT)
The Los Angeles Lakers visit the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday with both teams holding losing records and in a search for form. Brooklyn picked up only a fourth win when they squeezed past Toronto on Tuesday but their veterans will now have to cope with a back-to-back. No easy task.
The Lakers are a tempting 2.00 and with defences under the fatigue factor, look over the total points of 200. But longer term, LA tied themselves to Kobe Bryant for another two years with a $48 million contract extension earlier this week. That limits the team’s room to sign two stellar free agents, so even though the future Hall of Famer is available at 12.00 to win a sixth title by July 2015, that plan looks a bust.
Best bet: Take Miami on the handicap of -9 over Cleveland at 1.91.