NBA Picks: Suns +3.5 vs. Knicks

Jeff Grant

Monday, January 13, 2014 1:01 PM GMT

Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 1:01 PM GMT

The New York Knicks are one of the hottest teams in the league, as they prepare to host the Phoenix Suns Monday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting lines for this non-conference affair at Madison Square Garden, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

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Shooting woes

Phoenix has shot 40.6 percent from the floor in losing three of the first four on a five-game road trip, as it looks to bounce back from a 110-108 setback to the Detroit Pistons as 1.5-point underdogs last Saturday.

The Suns will need to try and get out in transition in this affair, as they pace the league in averaging 18.8 fast break points per game, while sitting behind just one team in knocking down 9.8 three-point baskets per contest.  

Turning things around

New York is certainly playing its best basketball of the 2013-14 campaign, as it has compiled a 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS record over its last six games, with the UNDER going 5-1 in that span.

The Knicks are allowing an average of 87.3 points over their current four-game winning streak—a surprising figure due to starting center Tyson Chandler being out with an illness since Jan. 5.

The franchise is 6-10 SU and 8-8 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record this year.

Good situation

NBA handicappers need to take a look at the road underdog in this matchup, considering the Suns have compiled a 14-3 SU record when playing on one day of rest, which is far better than their combined 6-12 mark when receiving two or more.

Phoenix is definitely aiming to hit the century mark, as it has won 18 of 23 games when accomplishing that feat offensively.

Series history

The Knicks won both meetings against the Suns last year—sweeping the season series for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

It’s still important to point out that New York has dropped four of its last seven home games against Phoenix, while the underdog is enjoying a 16-5-1 ATS run in this non-conference matchup.

Make sure to check out Monday's NBA Picks of the Day

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Suns for their free NBA picks, as sports bettors should shy away from laying points on Eastern Conference favorites when matching up with a Western Conference squad that possesses a winning record.

NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns +3.5

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