After the opening evening’s curtain raisers, it’s into the full schedule on the second night of the new NBA season, and the first potential car crash as the favourites take on the side considered by most to be the longest shot in history.
With the win over Chicago on Tuesday, the Miami Heat showed a definitive intent to begin their title defence as they mean to go on and anything less than a three-peat come next June will be failure. For the Philadelphia 76ers, every win will be as miraculous as it will be counter-intuitive. At odds of 1000.00 to win the championship, one of the league’s storied franchises has clicked on auto-pilot and set course for oblivion.
The Sixers already own the worst-ever record in an 82-game season with just nine victories in the 1972-73 campaign, but with barely a starting lineup-worth of established NBA talent, and machinations required just to meet the designated minimum team salary, it’s clear that Philly is intent on rebuilding via maximising its chance of picking up the prodigious Andrew Wiggins by earning the top pick in next summer’s Draft lottery.
But they’ll likely have competition from the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and the perennially awful Charlotte Bobcats to come off worst. And the quartet will likely be on the wrong end of some heavy defeats this term. Those figure to be nights when opponents rest their starters and let their second-stringers get some burn which may, on occasion, keep it close. But with the Heat out to send out a message to their rivals, back Miami on a generous handicap of -12 at 1.91.
The game of the night is in San Antonio where Memphis come calling with a little revenge in mind for their loss to the Spurs in last term’s Western Conference Finals. The Grizzlies figure to put up more points than last season but the energy expended there might cost them their position as the NBA’s defensive kings. Have a look over the total points line of 188.5 at 1.91 with San Antonio favoured by -5 on the handicap.
Best bet: Go under 195.5 total points in Philadelphia-Miami at 1.91.