Despite being back at home, and after not playing a full game of minutes last night, the Knicks are still +5 home underdogs against the Warriors, with a total of 201. Will New York bounce back after getting beat down, or will the newly healthy Warriors run the Knicks out of the Garden tonight?
Knicks get punished
It was a third quarter to forget in Miami last night for the Knicks, but the good news is that they are coming off a game where they only played their starters for just over three quarters. Carmelo Anthony started off the night hot, however did not score in the final 21 minutes of the game, which is almost baffling to think about, but it happened. While I doubt that kind of Carmelo scoring drought happens tonight back in the Garden, it is more concerning for the Knicks overall that their last glimmer of escaping out of irrelevancy is fading fast.
Warriors’ full tribe
Golden State has been struggling some since the All Star Break, and part of the reason has been their health. Both of their big men have missed some time recently, however both have made their return after their respective injuries. David Lee will be especially amped up tonight after making his return two nights ago from an illness, as he is returning to New York to face his former team, the Knicks.
Besides Lee’s motivation tonight, the Warriors should have an advantage at nearly every position outside of whoever is defending Antony tonight. Anthony looked like he was on his way to another huge game last night, but the Knicks laid an egg in the second half in Miami. I doubt anyone on the Warriors can slow Carmelo down tonight, and while they may do an average job defending him, he will still have plenty of buckets.
In fact this matchup screams offense, and that’s why I am laying off the spread and going with a wager on the total.
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The Sharp Pick
The Knicks are 8-4 cashing the over this season when playing on the second night of a back to back, and tonight is a perfect scenario for the over. Golden State plays the 5th fastest pace of any team in the NBA this season, and while New York is near the bottom of the league in pace, they rank 12th in offensive efficiency, so they do well with the few possessions they have during a game. The Warriors are going to try and run on the Knicks coming off the back-to-back travel night, and with New York’s defense already hurting, 201 is simply way too low for what the pace of this game should be.
One statistic that is a bit concerning is the Warriors playing as road favorites. This season when playing away from home and favored, the Warriors have cashed the under at 14-6 this season. However I also think a main reason for some of this has been how overvalued Golden State and their totals have been in a lot of those games. The Warriors are 10-10 ATS as road favorites this season, but they are third in most games as road favorites this season as well. New York is 6-5 cashing the over this season as home dogs, so I feel better about the over tonight.
My Pick: OVER 201