In a game that appears to be the biggest mismatch on the board, you have the New York Knicks hosting the red hot Portland Trail Blazers at Madison Square Garden. New York is coming off of another hard luck loss against the Charlotte Hornets, who were previously on a 10 game losing streak. See who we like as our betting pick for this matchup.
Tip-off is scheduled for tonight at 7:30 pm ET at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This game can be seen on the MSG channel. Tune in before the beginning of the Sunday Night Football game as there are sports going on all day and this game might be more competitive than you think.
5 Dimes Sportsbook lists the Blazers as a 6.5 point betting NBA oddsfavorite and the total for the game is 194.5.
Knicks Are Value
I think that I see some value. If any of you have been watching the Knicks games, you've noticed that they've been keeping almost every game close. They just have an inability to close out games and Carmelo Anthony has had difficulty getting adjusted to Phil Jackson's style of play. New York is at least a 35 to 40 win team; They've just gotten very unlucky and need to play with more urgency.
Give Melo Credit
Even though he's been off the mark and can appear selfish at times, Carmelo Anthony could've went to a winning team like Chicago when he was a free agent, but instead he decided that New York was his home and he was going to wait for the Knicks to get better.That might look like a poor choice, but there are always growing pains at the beginning of a rebuilding process and like I said, the Knicks are losing a ton of games by 3 points or less.
I expect for Melo, who is averaging just 23.2 points per game,to improve as the season moves along and the Knicks will get a lot better. That said, they have a losing streak to break and can't have defensive lapses as they did at the end of the Charlotte game. The Knicks had the lead with seconds to go and Kemba Walker had an easy layup to the hoop as nobody defended him. It broke a 10 game losing streak for Charlotte. This is simply inexcusable.
An NBA Title Contender
WIth one of the best starting 5 in the NBA, Portland has had everything go there way, but make no mistake about it, this is a team that's loaded. Guard play will be key in this game. I'm not so sure that Jose Calderon can handle one of the best point guards in the game in Damian Lillard.
Portland is led by LaMarcus Aldridge, who is starting to reach that elite group of NBA players. While I'm not ready to put Aldridge there just yet, he's been a dominant force on the hardwood and plays on a team in which he's the perfect fit.
On the season, Aldridge is averaging 22.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. The only thing that I can say in favor of the Knicks where Aldridge is concerned is that he's a low key, small city type of player. The only thing that might affect him adversely is the bright lights and hostile environment known as New York. That said, he might not get 35 points, but he'll still be an unstoppable force. Samuel Dalembert will commit a ton of fouls and Amare Stoudemire will have a tough time guarding Aldridge as Stoudemire isn't the same player that he was before micro-fracture surgery.
We might see more of the same out of New York. They will work their way back into the game and it will go down to the wire. For you're NBA picks look for New York to cover the comfortable 6.5 point spread at MSG.
Free NBA Pick: Knicks -6.5 at 5Dimes