Bucks at Knicks Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 4/5/2013
This has been a season of winning streaks, and the Knicks are the latest team to forget how to lose. After looking more than mortal earlier in the season, the team has now won 10 in a row — the longest unbeaten stretch for the franchise in 19 years. Unfortunately, the wins haven’t had the effect it could have — the Pacers have won five straight, so the Knicks still only have a half-game lead in the race for the second seed in the playoffs. The obvious storyline for this game, then, is whether the team can keep winning.
The Bucks certainly aren’t in the midst of a winning streak. They have dropped six of their last eight games, and they are undoubtedly in a slump. That’s a real problem for a team that is destined for the playoffs — they haven’t clinched yet, but despite their inept recent play they inevitably will because they have a six-game lead over the Sixers with just eight games left to play. In fact, with a win and a Philly loss they can wrap their spot up on Friday night. When they do make it, though, they are heading for a first-round date with disaster — in the form of the Heat. While the Bucks almost certainly can’t win that series no matter what, they need to be playing a whole lot better than they have been to give themselves any chance at all. That puts the pressure on them here and the rest of the way to shake their funk and get back on track.
Bucks at Knicks Betting Storylines
If the Bucks want to have any chance against the Knicks they need to find a way to slow down Carmelo Anthony. As his former college squad prepares for the Final Four, Melo is playing some of his best ball ever recently. He had a career-high 50 points two games back against the shorthanded Heat, and then he came back with 40 points last time out. He’s shot 66 percent from the field in those two games, and he has no shortage of confidence. When he’s playing that well, opposing defenses clearly have to focus on him, so his teammates have had more room to operate than normal and have benefited from it. J.R. Smith, in particular, has played very well and had 19 off the bench last game.
The Bucks are playing under an interim coach — Jim Boylan took over in January when Scott Skiles resigned — and they are playing like it. When you watch a game you can’t help but spot countless times when they just look sloppy. Careless ball handling. Bad passes. A lack of hustle. Selfish play. This is a team that is lacking focus despite the fact that they are on the verge of their first playoff experience in three years.
While the Bucks have been a disappointment in general recently, a bright light has been third year former VCU star Larry Sanders. He’s averaging just 9.9 points per game this year but has averaged 16.3 over his last six games. He’s also second in the NBA in blocks and has been solid on that front lately as well. He is a spark for this team. Unfortunately, his surge has coincided with some downright awful play from Brandon Jennings — just 10.9 points in his last seven while shooting very poorly. If he doesn’t get his act together soon — like in this game — then it could be a short, brutal playoff run.
The Bucks have lost their last four games to the Knicks, including two this year by double digits. They have also dropped their last four on the road and have done so by an average of 13.2 points.
Bucks at Knicks NBA Odds and Betting Trends
The Knicks aren’t just winning straight up — they are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games. The Bucks are 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings between the teams but 7-2 ATS the last nine times they have played in New York. Eight of the last 11 games in New York have gone “under” the total.
Bucks at Knicks Picks and Betting Predictions
There is no way you can avoid picking the Knicks in this one. They are playing with incredible confidence and know how valuable finishing in second could be in the second round of the playoffs. Melo is feeling it right now, and the matchup for him and the rest of the team is very good. The Bucks are lousy on the road, they aren’t focused at all, and they are extremely vulnerable. The Knicks are the pick.
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