There a lot of games on tap in the NBA tonight and it will be interesting to see if the league can go a day without fighting between players or players and refs. That’s a prop bet that will probably make its way to sportsbooks before too much longer at the rate the teams have been going. In the meantime, focusing on the basketball action will have to suffice.
The Boston Celtics will take on the New York Knicks tonight and the Knicks are looking for revenge. The two played this past Saturday, with Boston taking an easy 118-95 win. That was made to look easy with a run of three-pointers that vastly overshadowed New York’s performance.
Elfrid Payton is hopeful, but questionable, for the Knicks, having been out for a strained right hamstring. He would be a great asset to have, along with Frank Ntilikina. The former first-round draft pick has been a huge help the past couple of games. The Knicks need all the help they can get.
The Celtics haven’t lost a game since opening night. They exploded this past Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks, overcoming a 19-point deficit to control the second half and win by 11. That type of rally spells trouble for the Knicks and the odds are swinging toward the Celtics at -10.5.
The Detroit Pistons are heading to Chicago to take on the Bulls, a team that has lost its last three games. That has resulted in a 1-4 record and the Pistons are one game better. The Bulls have had a horrible defense while their offense continues to put the numbers on the board. They hope to turn things around tonight and, at the same time, break their losing streak.
The Pistons aren’t too much better on defense. They’re below the Bulls in the category and this can cause problems in tonight’s game. Both teams have been able to put up more than 105 points on average and, without a tight defense, the Pistons are going to be in a bad spot.
Both teams have key injuries to deal with – the Pistons are down Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson, and the Bulls are going to have to work without the help of Chandler Hutchinson. Detroit has a slightly worse road record and, putting everything together, the Bulls, at -105, will most likely walk away with the victory.
The Orlando Magic is comfortably playing at home and will do so again tonight against the Bucks. Their win against the Knicks Wednesday put them at 2-2 and are hoping to add one more. Unfortunately for them, the Bucks are 2-2, as well. This is going to be the first time the two 2018 Eastern Conference playoff teams face off this season.
Nikola Vucevic has been a valuable asset to the Magic’s lineup – as long as he’s consistent, which he isn’t. When he’s on, he’s on, but he isn’t always on and this is a problem. He is one of just three Orlando players to have an average of 20 points and 12 rebounds in a season, but he hasn’t been consistent this year. His performance this past Monday against the Toronto Raptors was particularly devastating, hitting just one of 13.
The Bucks are first in the Central Division and with good reason. Giannis Antetokounmpo will shine again tonight for the Bucks and is expected to be a driving force. His team is fourth in the league in points per game – much better than Orlando’s spot at 30 – and this will be the difference. As much as Orlando has been able to rest up playing at home, it won’t be enough, and the -5 Bucks are going to win.