LA Lakers 3.70, New York Knicks 1.28 - BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 02.35 GMT
There’s a new era under way at the New York Knicks and its genesis has been stolen from within the heart of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Phil Jackson’s arrival as Knicks president when he had irrevocable emotional and familial ties in LA could change the course of both franchises. Yet if it has given New York a huge boost amid a season which has gone up and down like a rollercoaster, then it leaves the Lakers in a funk.
They are out of playoff contention by mid-March. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash are out and a shadow respectively but their salaries hang like a millstone around the necks of the front office. Another title is a long way off.
In the short-term, at least the Knicks have a shot at the post-season and their recent upswing of eight wins out of nine puts them back in the frame to avoid both Miami and Indiana in the first round. And even amid the chaos, the scoring of Carmelo Anthony means they will remain a threat.
The Lakers, with Pau Gasol doubtful, are folding fast and going nowhere. Which is why it’s worth backing New York on the handicap of -9.5 and for Jackson to savour the victory.
Dallas Mavericks 2.35, Oklahoma City 1.60 – BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 00.05 GMT
A possible playoff preview and one which may discomfort the Oklahoma City Thunder when they travel to the Dallas Mavericks.
Just last week, OKC were crushed 109-86 by the Mavs on their own court as their offense stuttered and the weapons proved numerous.
And, with Dirk Nowitzki defying time, there is enough quickness in the Mavs backcourt to put pressure on Reggie Jackson should All Star guard Russell Westbrook sit out again. Kevin Durant, as ever, is peerless as a scorer but OKC really want their full line-up together as the post-season looms despite a stretch of four straight wins.
The Mavericks, a pesky team, are good value in Dallas where they are 23-12 and expect scoring over 110 points.
Best bet: Back New York on the -9.5 handicap at 2.25.