One of the NBA’s biggest rivalries is renewed on Friday night, when the Miami Heat land in the Big Apple. After their scheduled season opener against the Nets was a washout, the New York Knicks get their campaign underway against the defending champions. The hosts will be without Amare Stoudemire for six weeks, their signature summer signing was Rasheed Wallace from retirement, and the days of Linsanity seem a long long time ago.
Miami tipped off with a battling win over Boston on Tuesday but they’ll look to find more of a rhythm second time out against the team they beat 4-1 in the first round of last season’s play-offs. LeBron James will relish the chance to shut down good friend Carmelo Anthony and with few alternative scoring options, it’s worth taking the Heat to scotch the Knicks by over 5.5 points at 1.91.
Two other rivals go head to head in Los Angeles, with the Clippers up against the Lakers. It’s the guys in gold who look vulnerable against their neighbours after losing their opening two games with offensive and defensive struggles. Steve Nash is a doubt for the Lakers so look at the Clippers to come out on top in regulation at 2.25.
The Golden State Warriors failed to back up their play-off guarantee last season and although they look to have improved, it’s hard to see them making massive strides. They host Memphis, who will regroup following a loss to the Clippers. At 2.03, back the big Bears. There’s another possible upset in Atlanta, where James Harden has clearly lifted Houston. The Rockets are great value at 3.05 to bring down the Hawks.
In Friday’s Euroleague slate, there are two mismatches which might be closer than people think. Chalon are 6.50 to win in Siena while Ljubliana are 9.00 to upset Khimki Moscow. Take Chalon at +8.5 after three quarters at 1.90.
Bet of the Day: Plump for the Clippers over the Lakers at 2.25.