Free NBA Picks New York Knicks: Season-Long Handicapping and Specialization 11/20/2023
The Knicks are hot, having won 6 of their last 7 games, climbing up the Eastern Conference standings. This season, Doc Sports will be bringing you best bets for every single Knicks matchup, churning a consistent profit by the season’s end.
On Friday night, the Knicks took down the Wizards 120-99, keeping their in-season tournament hopes alive. They brought their record back up to 1-1, thanks to a quality showing on the defensive end, and 32 points from Jalen Brunson. Their rebounding advantage couldn’t have been more apparent, as they out-hustled Washington on the glass, securing 48 rebounds compared to 32 for the Wizards.
From a betting perspective, we went virtually even. The Knicks easily covered the 6.5-point spread in their blowout victory, but Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson failed to log double digit rebounds, finishing with 7 and 8 rebounds, respectively. We accurately predicted the Knicks domination on the glass. However, with Isiah Hartenstein (8), Jalen Brunson (7), and Immanuel Quickley (6) all posting season best rebounding totals, the usual suspects had fewer opportunities to grab easy boards.
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On Saturday night, the Knicks kept their winning streak alive, beating the Hornets 122-108. Brunson once again carried the bulk of the offensive workload, scoring 32 points for the second consecutive game, as the Knicks were able to overcome the 34 points LaMelo Ball put in the hoop.
Tonight, the Knicks (8-5) face one of their tougher tests of the season, as they travel to Minnesota to take on the streaking Timberwolves (9-3). After decades of disappointment, the Timberwolves are desperately searching for their first playoff series win since 2004, and their perch atop the Western Conference is a great place to be at this stage of the season. Anthony Edwards has been leading the way, pouring in 26 PPG, shooting 47/39/83. The former first overall pick is finally starting to show signs of development and is more than capable of leading a defense first Timberwolves lineup to a successful season. The only other player on the Timberwolves scoring more than 13 PPG is Karl-Anthony Towns, with 21.7 PPG. Towns made history as the first center to win the 3-point contest, And while his ability to score from all 3 levels is certainly a bonus, his game is much more complex than that. Towns’ relationship with Rudy Gobert in the paint has allowed the Timberwolves to be the 2nd rated defensive unit, giving up very few points in the paint. With Gobert behind him, Towns has the freedom to roam in the open floor, and he has the footwork to both guard, and cook up fellow power forwards. The Timberwolves have gotten just enough scoring to push them over the line. And in a serious defensive battle with New York, they will once again need Edwards and Towns to continue to hit their shots in the clutch.
This is a great test for the Knicks. We’ve seen them beat up on the Hawks, Hornets, and Wizards over the last week, but a trip to Minnesota is a very different matchup. The Knicks biggest advantages, defense and rebounding, will be mitigated as they are marginally worse defensively than the Timberwolves, but slightly better on the glass. When two defensive teams square off, the victor often relies on one player getting into the microwave and heating up for a few significant stretches. In this matchup, that will be Jalen Brunson. The Timberwolves have the size with Gobert and Towns to handle Randle and Robinson inside. And while Barrett possesses a real challenge Jaden McDaniels to handle, Brunson will be the difference-maker. His effort on both ends of the court will allow him to outwork Edwards. And with Brunson occasionally anchoring the bench unit, he will have plenty of opportunities to run up his points total in the second quarter. His back-to-back 32-point performances have been against weaker opposition, but there is no doubt he can take advantage of the occasionally lackluster Edwards.
Additionally, the Knicks own one of the best benches in the league, with Immanuel Quickley doing significant damage from the pine -- he has inserted himself into the 6th man of the year conversation. There is no disrespect to Shake Milton or Nickeil Alexander-Walker, but both role players do not have the talent to keep up with Quickley, who has been a real difference-maker for New York. Once you factor in the impacts of Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Hart, and Hartenstein, the Knicks have the talent up and down the roster to prevail.
The first bet of the evening will be on the Knicks moneyline, at +115 odds. Minnesota has relied on their sharp shooting and excellent defense to put themselves in this position, but their luck will inevitably run out. I love fading the hot shooting teams early in the season, as they are due to regress back to the mean, rather than truly being several percentage points over the league average. When New York brings their Tom Thibodeau defense to Minnesota, they’ll be able to shut down the Timberwolves long enough to pull away on the scoreboard.
Speaking of defense, while a 214.5-point total is low, it still has enough room for the Under to cash. Two top 5 defenses with middle of the pack offenses is a recipe for an Under. And in what should be a close game throughout, the defensive intensity will not be relenting. Both of these teams can heat up in a hurry, but they both also have the potential to shut down their opponents for long stretches.
Pick: New York Knicks Moneyline +115 2 Units
Pick: Knicks vs Timberwolves Under 214.5 2 Units
2023-24 Season record:
ML Record: 3-1
Spread Record: 4-3
Total Record: 2-2
Player Props Record: 5-9
Down 3.3 Units
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