Can Knicks Carry Momentum From Shock Spurs Win Into OKC?

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 11:05 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 11:05 PM UTC

The struggling Knicks surprised the Spurs 94-90 as 8-point dogs on Sunday, their second-largest upset of the season. High on confidence? Maybe not. This franchise is in disarray and a trip to Oklahoma City Wednesday is not ideal headed into the All-Star break.

If there is one redeeming aspect about the spat between former Knicks legend Charles Oakley and team owner James Dolan is that it is drawing attention away from New York’s lousy play. Since Christmas, the Knicks are 7-20 SU and 11-15-1 ATS on NBA picks. Ouch. But is the franchise close to turning a corner? It defeated the Spurs 94-90 as an 8-point underdog at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, its biggest outright upset in the Big Apple since overcoming San Antonio (104-101) as 13-point pups back in March 2015. A competitive game against the Thunder, easing tensions between Oak and Dolan, and the upcoming All-Star break may be the prescription the team needs.

The big dilemma for NBA bettors is whether the Knicks can carry confidence into Oklahoma City, particularly with the extended rest coming up afterwards. History says this is a bad spot. In the last 15 years, home favorites are 56-40-2 ATS (58.3 percent) when squaring off against an opponent with each headed into the break. The public may reason the away dog is pining for a vacation, looking ahead to the much-needed rest and relaxation. A closer look at the trend shows the home team has enjoyed a rest advantage from its last game headed into the meeting in nearly half played. When this occurs, home chalk covers by 64 percent (34-19-1 ATS). When the away team is playing on equal rest or better, the trend levels out to 50 percent (22-21-1 ATS), where expected. The Knicks enter on two days rest to OKC’s one day off, so maybe the Knicks will be prepared, but some serious issues still linger.

The most troubling trend for the Knicks may be the fact they shut down the Spurs offense too well last time out. They held the Western Conference powerhouse 19.5 points below the betting market’s projection, the third-lowest shutdown for the franchise all season. When keeping teams equal to or below their predicted team total in a game, New York has allowed its next opponent to score more than projected in 17 of 23 outings. The opening line and total projects the Thunder to put up 112 points. This is bad news for the Knicks. They are 3-18 ATS and 17-3-1 O/U when foes score more than 112 points this season.

OKC, moreover, is 10-2 ATS as home chalk against opponents sporting a winning percentage less then 46 percent. It's tipping off as a 7-point favorite on average in this spot, winning by 10.8 points per game. Expect a similar result here. Thunder 113-102.

NBA Free Pick: Thunder -7Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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