Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks (BET and STREAM LIVE on Unibet TV from 00.35 GMT)
It’s been an unpredictable start to the new NBA season, with upsets aplenty.
All to be expected as teams settle into their usual (good or bad) rhythm in the coming weeks and as the accurate scouting reports start feeding back into coaches’ game plans.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some signs to pick up from the opening fortnight of the campaign. Indiana, with a franchise-best 8-0 start, have dropped to 8.00 to win the title and 4.75 to lift the Eastern Conference crown. With LeBron James admitting the Miami Heat are playing terrible defence, there are chinks of light for their rivals.
While in the West, Oklahoma City Thunder remain the 3.75 favourites but the likes of the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies have dropped off the pace. But don’t write off either just yet, given the huge adjustments they’re making from last term.
Miami host the Milwaukee Bucks tonight in search of some urgent improvements with James counting on three days rest to help his aching back. The champions are just 4-3 so far and giving up 100.9 points per game, almost six more than during the 2012-13 regular season. And they even contrived to lose at home to the lowly Boston Celtics last time out.
The problem for the Bucks is that troubled centre Larry Sanders is out for six weeks following hand surgery, joining Luke Ridnour and Ersan Ilyasova on the sidelines. That could provide Chris Bosh with a chance to score 20+ points by going inside and the Heat with a welcome opportunity to win big.
The Golden State Warriors could also do with a minor boost, having lost two straight, albeit to Memphis and San Antonio. They host the Detroit Pistons with David Lee, a sub-standard one-on-one defensive player, likely to give Greg Monroe ample openings to score in the post. Although the Warriors should prevail, go with Detroit on the handicap of +9 or head over the total points line of 201, both available at 1.91.
Best Bet: Take Miami on the handicap over Milwaukee.