SIX teams have emerged as standout contenders for the 2017-18 NBA Championship title.
The Boston Celtics (25-7) continue to lead the Eastern Conference despite a recent dip in form, but it might not be long until LeBron James and the in-form Cleveland Cavaliers (22-8) overtake them.
Not far behind those two are the Toronto Raptors, who have climbed to 20-8 with nine wins from their last 10 games.
The Western Conference is all about the Houston Rockets (24-4) and Golden State Warriors (23-6), with San Antonio Spurs rounding out the top three at 20-10.
This week’s NBA odds come courtesy of William Hill – one of the world’s most trusted sports betting operators.
NBA parlay picks for Monday, December 18
- Celtics to beat Pacers – -138.89
- Heat to beat Hawks – -142.86
- Sixers to beat Bulls – -125
- Mavericks to beat Suns – -250
Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers
7pm ET – Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
Celtics – -138.89
Pacers – +115
The Eastern Conference leaders have endured some choppy returns of late, dropping winnable games against the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz amid a run of three defeats in six outings. The form lines suggest a real opportunity for the Indiana Pacers to stake their playoff claims, although they are backing up from an away date in Brooklyn on Sunday night. It’s a tight one, but we think it is time for Boston’s defense to lift.
Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks
7:30pm ET – Philips Arena, Atlanta
Heat – -142.86
Hawks – +120
The latest out of the Heat camp is that James Johnson will miss at least the next week with an ankle problem. That is unfortunate news for a team that’s been travelling nicely with four wins from five games. The Hawks, meanwhile, are firmly entrenched at the bottom of NBA East after four consecutive defeats. Even with Johnson out, Miami should have enough class to get the job done in GA.
Philadelphia 76ers at Chicago Bulls
8pm ET – United Center, Chicago
Sixers – -125
Bulls – +105
Five defeats in six games have seen Philly slide out of the playoff places and down to 10th in the Eastern Conference. Now they come up against a Chicago side that has leapt off the bottom of the ladder with five wins on the bounce – a run that includes shock results over the Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks. Nevertheless, we like the Sixers to hit back with big performances from Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks
8:30pm ET – American Airlines Center, Dallas
Suns – +200
Mavericks – -250
Phoenix snapped a five-game losing streak with their win over the Timberwolves last time out, yet they remain a long, long way from playoff contention. The Mavericks showed their wooden spoon credentials with an epic collapse against San Antonio on the weekend, shipping 27 points to 16 in the last quarter to lose by two. Despite that, most of the money – including ours – is on Dallas to register their ninth win of the season.
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