The Brooklyn Nets might have Kevin Durant, but the New York Knicks are the obvious NBA pick for Wednesday’s tilt at the Garden. Let’s take a look at the odds and make an informed pick at the best betting sites.
Brooklyn Nets vs. New York Knicks
Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 – 7:30 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden
These are the chances you take when you sign Kyrie Irving to a contract. Irving has played very well for the Brooklyn Nets since he came aboard last year – when available. Problem is, he only played 20 games last year, and after apparently violating the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, Irving won’t be playing this Wednesday when the Nets (6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS) visit the New York Knicks (5-6 SU and ATS).
Normally, we’d say this would be a great opportunity to put Brooklyn in your NBA picks. As well as Irving has performed, he hasn’t done much of anything to elevate his teammates; plus, the Nets will be playing on zero days of rest after hosting the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. Although, they did prevail 122-116 as 1.5-point home faves after trailing for most of the night. Factor in Brooklyn’s other missing personnel, along with the improvements the Knicks have made since last year, and they’re the clear choice as 4.5-point home dogs.
What’s The Point?
This is one of those games where the betting public is easily misled. Brooklyn obviously has the best player in this contest in Kevin Durant (plus-6.3 BPM heading into Tuesday’s game), who looks pretty spry for a 32-year-old coming off a torn Achilles – or anyone else, for that matter. But Nate Silver’s computers know better; the fine folks at FiveThirtyEight project the Nets to win this Big Apple matchup by 1.5 points, giving us a 3-point cushion between the projections and the actual NBA lines.
Maybe Brooklyn should play Durant at the 1-spot. In addition to Irving (plus-7.3 BPM), the Nets are missing Spencer Dinwiddie (torn ACL, plus-1.8 BPM last year) and Tyler Johnson (protocols, minus-1.1 BPM last year) in the backcourt. Bruce Brown (minus-1.2 BPM last year with Detroit) started at point guard against Denver, with Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (minus-2.9 BPM) once again logging major minutes off the bench. This wouldn’t be as much of an issue if Landry Shamet (minus-5.5 BPM) weren’t struggling so badly, but he is, so there you go.
The Knicks, meanwhile, appear to be on the right track after clearing out their front office, hiring super-agent Leon Rose as their new president and Tom Thibodeau as their new head coach. That awkward collection of power forwards they had last year has been whittled down to Julius Randle (plus-3.2 BPM), who’s easily enjoying his best season since coming out of Kentucky as a lottery pick in 2013. Mitchell Robinson (plus-2.3 BPM) is still flying under the radar at center, too.
Of course, life would be better in New York if RJ Barrett (minus-3.8 BPM) weren’t playing like a bargain-bin Andrew Wiggins. And the Knicks probably won’t have Reggie Bullock (minus-3.7 BPM) in uniform thanks to a sore left hip. But that’s okay; Bullock’s 3-and-D contributions have been limited by his poor overall shooting at just 38.4 percent from the field. His absence would mean more time for Austin Rivers (minus-0.2 BPM), and for a change, that’s a good thing for his employers. Make it a small bet to account for how crazy basketball has been this year, and may the sphere be with you.
*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.