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NBA Games on MLK Day Complete Betting Guide & TV Schedule

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

Mark Strotman  | 7 mins

NBA Games on MLK Day Complete Betting Guide & TV Schedule

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Martin Luther King Day has always been a significant day in the NBA, and the league is continuing its tradition in 2022 of airing games throughout the day. A whopping 24 teams will suit up this season, beginning with Pelicans-Celtics at 12:30 ET and running all the way through Jazz-Lakers at 10:30 ET. It’s truly one of the great days on the NBA betting calendar, and there will be plenty of opportunities for bettors to get in on the action.

Of the 24 teams in action, we’ve got title contenders in the Nets, Suns, Bucks, Jazz and Lakers. We also get MVP frontrunners Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo, Most Improved Player frontrunners Ja Morant and Miles Bridges, and Rookie of the Year candidates Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes. Get the picture? Here’s a preview of each game (all times ET) and what to watch for when placing your bets at sportsbooks and betting sites.

Make sure to also check out our daily NBA picks and daily NBA prop plays.

Complete Betting Guide & TV Schedule For MLK Day

Pelicans at Celtics, 12.30 p.m. (NBATV)

We had much higher expectations for this game when the season began, but Zion Williamson has yet to play a game for the Pelicans and the Celtics are on the outside looking in of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Still, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are must-see TV and the Pelicans have actually played better-than-.500 basketball since the middle of December.

Hornets at Knicks, 1 p.m. (NBATV)

Both these teams had high expectations entering the season and neither have delivered. But there’s still hope for both, and this could be a preview of the Play-in Tournament in the Eastern Conference. LaMelo Ball looks like an All-Star after his Rookie of the Year campaign as he looks to carry Charlotte to the postseason, while the Knicks have erased a woeful December to climb all the way back to .500. Both these teams will take all the wins they can get. BetMGM New York is now live in the Empire State! New users can sign up today, bet $10 on the Knicks game and win $200 in free bets regardless of whether their initial bet is a winner.

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Sixers at Wizards, 2 p.m.

Philadelphia is the hottest team in the East thanks to some MVP-like play from Joel Embiid. They’re legitimate title contenders and could improve further if and when they trade Ben Simmons before the trade deadline. The Wizards are playing well again and continue to keep their heads above water in the East playoff race. The Sixers smacked the Wizards by 21 earlier in the year, and to avoid a repeat Washington will need to find a way to slow down Embiid. Good luck.


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Nets at Cavaliers, 2 p.m.

Two of the best in the East square off here, with the Nets finally having their Big Three of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving available (for road games) and the Cavs continuing their wild resurgence. Brooklyn is the NBA’s best road team, while Cleveland is coming home after 13 days and six games away from home. This could be the best matchup of the entire MLK Day slate.

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RELATED: Brooklyn Nets NBA Title Odds Remain Steady After Kyrie's Return


Bulls at Grizzlies, 3:30 p.m. (TNT)

If you’re looking for excitement, this is the game you’ll want to watch. Ja Morant is exploding over the last month and is putting together a legitimate MVP case. The same can be said for DeMar DeRozan, who is looking more and more like the best free agent signing this past summer. The Bulls lead the East while the Grizzlies enter this one ranked third in the West. No one could have predicted either of those facts, even in a best-case scenario. This one will be fun.


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Pacers at Clippers, 3:30 p.m.

This certainly won’t be the highest-scoring or most exciting game of the MLK Day slate, but let’s jump into it. The Clippers are doing all they can to hang around in the West while they wait for Paul George to return, while the Pacers are underachieving in the East under first year head coach Rick Carlisle. With the postseason slipping away, they can’t afford to lose too much ground.

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Bucks at Hawks, 6 p.m. (TNT)

A rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals should be a good one between two of the best stars in the NBA today. Giannis Antetokounmpo has the Bucks moving up the Eastern Conference standings after a slow start, while Trae Young is doing all he can to keep the Hawks from falling out of the playoff race. Still, this Atlanta team can catch fire at a moment’s notice, and we expect this to be one of the premier games of the night.

Blazers at Magic, 7 p.m.

The Blazers are an absolute mess without Damian Lillard and it doesn’t appear to be getting any better for Dame Time or Portland. Still, they should have no problem getting past a Magic team sitting in the cellar of the Eastern Conference following a 10-game losing streak from Christmas until mid-January. This is the ugliest game of the night but young scorers in Cole Anthony and Anfernee Simons should make it sort of entertaining.

Raptors at Heat, 7:30 p.m.

The Heat have dealt with more injuries to key players than any team in the league, but they’re starting to get healthy at the right time. With Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo around, this team has the feel of a contender. The Raptors are in the playoff hunt thanks to some big performances from Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam. This should be a competitive one between two teams that are finally closing in on full-strength.

Thunder at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m.

Though the Thunder will likely tank toward the end of the season, they’ve been an incredibly fun team to watch and bet on. With young hoopers in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, and Lu Dort, they’re capable of winning any night (they have wins over the Nets, Grizzlies, Nuggets, and Lakers twice this season). The Mavs are staying afloat as long as Luka Doncic is in the lineup, but it’s gotten ugly when he’s not (Dallas is 6-9 when he sits). There’s a lot of fun young talent in this game.

Suns at Spurs, 8:30 p.m.

Last year’s Western Conference champion hasn’t skipped a beat, with the Suns hovering near the top of the standings all season long. The trio of Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton has the Suns soaring and showing no signs of slowing down. The Spurs are likely headed for the Lottery but have one of the bright young talented players in the game in Dejounte Murray. He’s a triple-double threat each night and a fun player to bet on your sports betting app.

Jazz at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)

We expected this to be a battle of juggernauts, but only the Jazz listened. The Lakers have struggled to stay above .500 despite LeBron James’ remarkable numbers at age 37, and LA’s season isn’t going to get much better with Anthony Davis still on the mend. Meanwhile, the Jazz have scuffled of late while dealing with some COVID cases but are every bit a contender as they head into the MLK Day nightcap. Amazingly enough, this could be a Round 1 Playoff preview in the West.

About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports betting journalist who has covered the Bulls and the NBA since 2012. His work has appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune and Yahoo Sports. He regularly provides NBA betting picks, as well as in-depth sportsbook reviews and the latest promo codes for all the major sports gambling operators, including Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and more.