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By Mark Strotman | | 5 mins

NBA Games on MLK Day Complete Betting Guide & TV Schedule

NBA Games on MLK Day Complete Betting Guide & TV Schedule

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The NBA has celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a host of games spanning the entire day for decades. An increase in nationally televised games has occurred, and the 2020-21 NBA season is no different. With 18 teams in action and start times spanning from noon to 10 p.m. ET, there will be plenty of NBA betting opportunities.

Teams in action include the top contenders in the Lakers, Nets and Bucks, as well as a handful of teams trying to legitimize their title hopes in the Suns, Warriors, Trail Blazers and Mavericks. We’ve got you covered here with a betting guide for 12 hours of NBA action.

CHECK OUT: NBA Expert Picks Throughout The Season

Knicks vs. Magic, noon (NBATV)

These two teams began the season with a combined record of 11-5 through January 6. As many expected, it ultimately wound up being a mirage. Both teams are struggling mightily, and ironically both find themselves in difficult scheduling situations, playing their third game in the last four nights. The MLK Day opener could get ugly between two teams that simply aren’t as good as they looked in the small sample size of the first few weeks.

Hawks vs. Timberwolves, 2:30 p.m. (NBATV)

Two of the more underappreciated All-Stars in the NBA square off in a battle between Trae Young and Karl-Anthony Towns. The Timberwolves continue to stockpile top picks in search of a combination that will fit, while the Hawks are hoping that Young and John Collins can co-exist well enough to turn a high-powered offense into victories. This one could be a high-scoring affair between two of the fastest teams in the league.


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Heat vs. Pistons, 3 p.m.

After making the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat have looked like a team that could struggle to make the postseason in the Eastern Conference. COVID-19 protocols have certainly played a role in that, but losses all count the same, so Miami looks to get back into contention following a slow start. The Pistons are solely focused on the future and their recent play indicates they’re more interested in Lottery balls than wins. This could be one of the most lopsided games of the day if the Heat have their players available.

CHECK OUT:The Latest NBA Odds From Top Online Sportsbooks

Trail Blazers vs. Spurs, 3 p.m.

What could have been the year in which the Trail Blazers finally became contenders, they’ve had a ton go wrong through the first month of the season. Jusuf Nurkic has a broken wrist, Robert Covington has done next to nothing and their bench remains wildly inconsistent. Still, a healthy Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum give Portland a chance to win on any given night. The Spurs continue to chug along with a mix of veterans and young pieces. This is probably the most evenly matched game of the day.

Grizzlies vs. Suns, 5 p.m. (TNT)

We all expected the Phoenix Suns to be better after adding Chris Paul, but few thought they would be this good so early in the season. They feel like legitimate contenders thanks to a balanced attack on both ends of the floor. The Grizzlies should get Ja Morant back after a sprained ankle forced him out of action for a few weeks, and the reigning Rookie of the Year will keep the Grizzlies competitive at home.

CHECK OUT: Updated NBA Title Odds

Nets vs. Bucks, 7:30 p.m. (TNT)

It’s far down on the list, but it’s also the game of the night as the top two teams in the Eastern Conference – and two of the three favorites to win the 2021 title – square off. James Harden is talented enough to mesh with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (assuming he is playing), but the continuity with the Bucks could be the difference in a regular-season matchup, especially with Milwaukee playing at home. This will be a great early test for the new-look Nets.


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Raptors vs. Mavericks, 7:30 p.m.

The Raptors had the roster to compete for another title, but thus far it has been a struggle for Nick Nurse’s group. They’re on an opposite trajectory of the Mavericks, who continue to impress while getting healthier as the season goes on. Despite the teams heading in different directions, this one will be closer than their records indicate. Any game involving Luka Doncic is one worth watching.

Bulls vs. Rockets, 8 p.m.

The Bulls feel like a rejuvenated team playing under Billy Donovan, and the Rockets can relate after the Harden burden was lifted from them last week. Assuming Victor Oladipo has joined the team, the Rockets have an intriguing core of Oladipo, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Christian Wood. Expect the points to be flowing in this one with a host of scorers and a lack of defense.


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Lakers vs. Warriors, 10 p.m. (TNT)

The MLK nightcap is a special one, as is any matchup between LeBron James and Steph Curry. The Warriors have been the league’s best team through the season’s first month, while the Warriors have rebounded from an abysmal start. Though the Lakers are the better team on paper, Steve Kerr and the Warriors have always played LeBron tough. This will be a fun one to end the night.

About the Author

Mark Strotman for
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports journalist who has covered the Bulls and the NBA since 2012. His work has appeared on,, The Chicago Tribune and Yahoo Sports.