Knicks Is Our NBA Pick To Keep It Close When Hosting Warriors

Jason Lake

Sunday, January 31, 2016 3:38 PM GMT

One day after nearly losing to Philadelphia, the Golden State Warriors head to New York to face the Knicks. You can guess which side's favored on the NBA odds board.

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Free NBA Pick: Knicks +10 (-105)
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Jan. 29: 16-18-1 ATS, 5-1-1 Total

Someone had better get Stephen Hawking on the phone, because the universe nearly collapsed upon itself. The Golden State Warriors, the top team in the NBA standings, were 16.5-point road favorites on Saturday versus the last-place Philadelphia 76ers. Final score: Golden State 108, Philadelphia 105. The Warriors were up by 10 with just over two minutes remaining, but they let the Sixers tie the game before Harrison Barnes sank the winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Next, it's off to the Big Apple, where the Dubs have a game Sunday night (7:30 p.m. ET, MSG) against the New York Knicks. As we go to press, Golden State is a 9.5-point chalk on the NBA odds board with a total of 217. Is it safe to fade the Warriors here?

 

No Disco
Is it ever safe? We tried it last Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks (+17.5 away), then Dallas hosed us by sitting Dirk Nowitzki, and the Warriors won 127-107. That improved Golden State (43-4 SU, 28-18-1 ATS) to 17-11 ATS this year when laying at least nine points. Better make that 17-12 ATS now.

We liked the Mavs anyway, with all those points, because they've been such a good NBA pick overall. So have the Knicks (23-26 SU, 29-20 ATS). They got paid in each of their last three games, and they're a perfect 5-0 ATS this season at +9 or more. They're not 100 percent healthy right now, though. Point guard Jose Calderon (13.3 PER, +0.6 BPM) is day-to-day with a tender groin and looks iffy for Sunday. Carmelo Anthony (20.8 PER, +2.8 BPM) has a sore left knee, and Kristaps Porzingis (18.5 PER, +0.8 BPM) has an upper respiratory illness, but both are expected to play Sunday.

 

Strength In Numbers
That 9.5-point spread matches up well with the Simple Rating System at Basketball-Reference, so we really don't see too much profit in this situation. The Knicks have the benefit of rest after taking Saturday off, but then you've got those health issues. Even if Langston Galloway (13.3 PER, +0.8 BPM) plugs nicely into Calderon's starting spot, rookie Jerian Grant (9.5 PER, -4.6 BPM) is next in line off the bench.

We're going to take our chances with the Knicks anyway. We could give the total a shot, but there isn't anything in the numbers that jumps right out at us. However, there's a non-zero chance the Warriors decide to give someone a maintenance day in the second of back-to-back games; they already gave Andre Iguodala (13.5 PER, +3.0 BPM) the day off on Saturday. As with most of our basketball picks here at the ranch, wait until shootaround to see who's likely to play, but we'll make the Knicks our overnight pick. May the sphere be with you.

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