The first true Big Apple derby takes place on Monday night, with the New York Knicks promising anything but neighbourly charity when they pay their first short visit to the Brooklyn Nets. The game was originally scheduled for opening night but postponed due to Superstorm Sandy. Will the newly-launched hosts find themselves blown away this time around?
Both teams are in a tight contest in the Atlantic Division, with the Knicks tightening their hold on top spot with a 121-100 rout of Detroit on Sunday that improved their record to 9-3. Carmelo Anthony has been in sensational form and his side have shot really well from long range, contributing to 103.4 points per night.
The Nets, just behind on 8-4, have won five consecutive games at home behind their new backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson and the consistency of Brook Lopez. They’ve been steadily grinding out results but New York look tempting, even at -1.5 on the handicap at 1.91.
There’s been no bigger surprise than the Charlotte Bobcats, who can exceed their entire win total from last season if they pick up victory number eight of the campaign in Oklahoma City. No longer the laughing stock of the league, new coach Mike Dunlap has helped his side take advantage of a gentle schedule, taking wins over Washington, Toronto and Milwaukee in recent days.
The Thunder are 6-2 at home and have had two days rest following a tough overtime win over Philadelphia. But although they’re favoured by -12.5, have a look at Charlotte on the handicap at 1.91 or maybe take the plunge on a Bobcats surprise at 9.50.
Two in-form rivals square off when the Utah Jazz try to protect their perfect home record against Denver. The Nuggets have won four straight after crushing New Orleans on Sunday and are a generous +4 on the handicap.
Bet of the day: Take the Knicks over Brooklyn on the handicap at 1.91.