Wednesday night is the New York City basketball game, but it may not be the event ESPN was looking forward to when the New York Knicks-Brooklyn Nets were on the schedule.
The Knicks were good. 5-5. Not a bad start, given how last season went. Nets that are a nightmare.
The 4-7 Nets have already fired coach Steve Nash and dealt with a season of off-court distractions with Kyrie Irving, who is still suspended. The Nets were one of the shortest odds to win the NBA Finals before the season started. Now they are just trying to get it back to .500.
Despite the differences in records, the Nets are the Knicks’ 2.5 point favorite at BetMGM.
Part of this point spread is the ongoing preconceived notions about both teams. The other reason is that the Nets were 2-1 after Irving was suspended. Prior to Irving’s suspension, the Nets were the worst defensive team in the NBA and had never held an opponent below 100 points all season. They’ve kept all three of their opponents below 100 since Irving was suspended. It’s probably not a coincidence.
It’s also worth noting that two of his four games with less than 100 points came in his last three games. Frankly, it’s a different team without Irving.
The Knicks have had their ups and downs but won two of their last three games. They defeated the Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves away. They’re still trying to get back to where they left off in the playoffs two seasons ago, and this season’s team looks better with the addition of free agent Jalen Brunson to the mix.
Maybe you think the Nets are coming and scoring 2.5 points on Wednesday night isn’t so bad. I’ll be with the Knicks and make sure the Nets prove they’re really around the corner.
Here’s a first look at Wednesday’s sports betting roster:
Another great NBA roster
The NBA, which had a rare 15-game schedule on Monday, returned after election day for 13 games on Wednesday.
There is another cross-country game that is not as exciting as previously hoped. The Los Angeles Clippers face off against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers are disappointing at 6-5. The Lakers are simply bad at 2-8. That doesn’t seem high enough considering the Clippers are 3.5-point favorites and how badly the Lakers have played all season.
The best game is the Utah Jazz at the Atlanta Hawks. It’s not a big shock that the Hawks started 7-3, but it’s a shock that the Jazz started 9-3. They are playing very well after completely changing the roster in the off-season. Preferred by Hawks 3.5.
Some MAC games on the grid
There are three MAC football games on Wednesday. Western Michigan is a 1-point favorite over Northern Illinois, Central Michigan is a 1.5-point favorite over Buffalo, and Kent State is a 2.5-point favorite over Bowling Green. That’s a bunch of midweek MACtions.
College basketball starts slow
As of Wednesday morning, there are 11 college basketball games listed on BetMGM, and none of them are particularly interesting. There are no really interesting matches scheduled until Friday.
The two best games in Wright State’s Davidson (-4.5) or Boise State’s South Dakota State (-5.5) program will do if you get into the mid-large hoops.
Hurricanes-Panthers highlight NHL
There are four NHL games on Thursday, and the best is the Carolina Hurricanes on the Florida Panthers. The Hurricanes are 8-3-1 and seem to be one of the best teams in the league. The Panthers, which were the top team of the NHL’s regular season last year, are 7-5-1. Panthers -120 favorites.
What is the best bet?
Taking road favorites in any sport isn’t a good long-term strategy, but I’ll go with the Phoenix Suns as the 1.5-point favorites with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota haven’t been able to defend four of their last five games, and the Timberwolves have been pretty disappointing after adding Rudy Gobert in a big trade this season. The Suns are good again and I’m counting on them as a minor favorite on Wednesday.