NBA Picks for Knicks vs. Bobcats

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 3:02 PM GMT

After playing a tough game last night, the Knicks head down south to Charlotte to play the Bobcats, and the NBA Odds have the Cats as -1 favorites, with a total of 186 points. There are several key player updates for this game, and they could affect what should be a close game tonight.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":252853, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Tired legs

Carmelo Anthony played 46 minutes, while Raymond Felton played 44 in last night’s win. For a veteran team in the dog days of January, the Knicks are going to be exhausted tonight, and I see the Cats taking advantage.

Another big nugget of news is the health of Tyson Chandler. The Knicks’ big man has missed the last few games with an upper respiratory infection, and he is questionable at best tonight against Charlotte. If he is unable to play, Al Jefferson should have a monster game down low, and it could lead the Cats to the win. However even if he does play, this illness has to have left him weak.

The Knicks rank 3rd in the NBA in defending opposing centers when Chandler is on the floor, however without him, New York is forced to go small with Andrea Bargnani at the center. This will not be a very good look for Bargnani on the defensive end tonight, and even if Amare Stoudemire comes in and gives them some solid minutes, off of a back to back, his minutes will be watched very closely.

The Cats have had two full days off for rest before tonight and should be fired up on the defensive end. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist also looks like he is set to make his return tonight after being out over the last three weeks, and although he gives only modest offensive numbers, his defense on Anthony tonight will be key.

The Sharp Pick

Even though the Knicks are 5-3 ATS on the second night of a back to back this season, the tough game last night combined with the possibility of being without Chandler really gives the Cats value tonight on the basketball odds. Charlotte hasn’t been great ATS recently, but this season they have been undervalued in general.

Charlotte is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings with the Knicks, and this time they have their best team of those five games. This season they are 1-1 SU and ATS against one another, but Al Jefferson did not play in either of the first two games because of his early-season ankle injury. No matter the status of Chandler, I see Jefferson dominating the paint tonight in his first look at the Knicks this season.

New York is overvalued here because of their recent success and winning streak, but this Charlotte team is very undervalued defensively, and with MKG likely coming back into the lineup, their defense can only improve from here. The Cats have the 5th best home defense this season in points allowed, giving up only 96 per game. Opponents are also shooting only 44% from the floor when they play in Charlotte. As long as the Knicks don’t get too hot from outside of the arc, the Bobcats are going to likely win this game for our free basketball picks.

NBA Pick: Bobcats -1