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Knicks vs. Mavericks NBA Picks: Surging New York Will Put Up a Fight

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Knicks vs. Mavericks NBA Picks: Surging New York Will Put Up a Fight
Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks. Rich Schultz/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Rich Schultz / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Julius Randle and the red-hot New York Knicks face a tough test when they visit Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and free picks.

New York Knicks vs. Dallas Mavericks

Friday, April 16, 2021 – 09:30 PM EDT at American Airlines Center

The Mavericks opened as 4.5-point favorites and over at FiveThirtyEight, they have them at -7.5. This leaves a 3-point gap between the projections and the actual NBA odds. We need at least two points between the projections and the lines before we lay any serious wood. Here we are getting enough. FiveThirtyEight gives the Mavericks a 77 percent chance to win. The equivalent moneyline is -335.

For support, we turn to USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin’s projections; he has the Mavericks at -3.83 using his Rating numbers, and at -2.60 using his eigenvector analysis. Overall there's some room to grab potential betting value with the Knicks +5 at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review).

Can the Mavs Stop Randle?

The Knicks have won their last four games and Julius Randle was unstoppable against the Lakers and Pelicans, averaging 33.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists in those two contests. Randle caught fire from 3-point range, making 7 of 15 attempts in the last two games.

Randle led the way with 32 points, eight rebounds and five assists on Wednesday's 116-106 road win against the Pelicans. Alec Burks had 21 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench and Reggie Bullock added 16 points and rebounds. Randle, Burks and Bullock were a combined 13-for-22 (percent ) from beyond the arc and the Mavericks are letting their opponents shoot 38.4 percent from distance so this could decide the outcome of this game.

It's Hard to Trust the Mavericks

The Mavericks are playing up to the competition at times. They recently beat the Jazz, Bucks and Grizzlies but they also played down to their opponents in losses to the Rockets and Spurs. The win against the Jazz came without former Knick Kristaps Porzingis but he shined in his last four games, averaging 25.25 points and 12.5 rebounds while shooting 45.8 percent from 3-point range.

Luka Doncic hit an unbelievable 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Mavericks a hard-fought 114-113 road win against the Grizzlies on Wednesday. "I was really surprised when it went in," Doncic said about his final shot. He finished with 29 points and Porzingis added 21 points and six rebounds. The Grizzlies were 13-for-34 from 3-point range (38.2 percent) and the Mavs have to do a better job defending the 3-point line against the Knicks.

Prediction

The Knicks will likely be without Nerlens Noel (plus-3.3 Defensive Box Plus/Minus), who is questionable with an ankle injury. Noel was a late scratch on Wednesday due to right ankle soreness and if he misses this game then Taj Gibson (plus-1.9 Defensive Box Plus/Minus) would likely start again. Gibson had eight points on 4 of 5 shooting in 35 minutes against the Pelicans and the Knicks need him to step up again.

The key to this game for this Knicks will be RJ Barrett, he's been a difference-maker all season long but he's averaging just 6.5 points in his last two games. He has to produce more if the Knicks want to cover on Friday. Can Gibson contain Porzingis if Noel is out? That can be the X-factor in this game but I can't fade the Knicks right now and they have enough talent to at least keep up with the Mavs.

NBA Pick: Knicks +5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

Knicks +5(-108)
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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.