Nets at Knicks Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 1/21/2013
On Monday afternoon you have a choice. You can get swept up in all things Inaugural, or you can take a break from the pageantry and watch what should be a very good game from a rivalry that is only going to get better with age. This is the fourth time that the Knicks and Nets have played since the Nets bolted New Jersey for Brooklyn. Brooklyn won the first meeting at home in overtime, but the Nets have since lost the last two. Now they’ll look to even up the season series, though they will have to do it on the road as underdogs.
The Nets come into this one absolutely smoking hot. They lost to Atlanta two games back, but that was their only loss in the last nine games. If the playoffs started right now they would host a series thanks to this hot spell. They still aren’t performing particularly well away from home, though — they are just 8-9 straight up and ATS away from Brooklyn. The Knicks got off to a much hotter start than the Nets, but they have cooled off since, and are just 5-5 in their last 10.
Nets at Knicks Betting Storylines
The hero of the Nets over their recent spell of success is, remarkably, head coach P.J. Carlesimo. I state “remarkably” because, like many others, I rolled my eyes when he was announced as the interim choice after Avery Johnson was fired. It has been a long time since Carlesimo has been relevant, but he has found a fountain of youth in Brooklyn. The team is 10-2 under him and playing like a completely different team. Most striking is the shift in offensive efficiency. The team was averaging a pitiful 94.5 points per game under Avery. They have jumped up to 101.5 in the 12-game Carlesimo era. It’s not just the offense that is shining under Carlesimo. Deron Williams is playing much better as well, and his current streak of 47 consecutive free throws made is proof of his confidence levels. Reggie Evans is playing much better as well and is coming off a 20-rebound performance last time out.
While the Brooklyn story is largely positive lately, you do need to point to the schedule as a contributing factor. They do have some nice wins — a road win in Oklahoma CIty and home wins against Atlanta and Indiana. They have also beaten Washington, Sacramento, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Toronto over these nine games, though. That’s essentially a guided tour of the league’s cellar. The Knicks are certainly a step up from the average level of opposition they have been facing.
The Knicks need J.R. Smith to find his game again. He was doing his best to seal up the sixth man award in January with his recent hot streak — 24 points per game over 10 games. He has forgotten how to shoot in his last three, though, and has struggled to put points up as a result. He dipped into single-digit production for the first time since the beginning of December as well. His production against the Nets this year has been 3.4 points per game less than his average for the season, so he already has matchup issues in this one. His performance — and your expectations regarding that performance — will be key in handicapping this one. Also key will obviously be the play of Carmelo Anthony. He has been playing angry since serving his one-game suspension following losing his mind against the Celtics, and he has been very effective. He scored 31 last time the teams met, and he has averaged 37 against the Nets this year. New Jersey simply can’t afford to let him be that effective again if they want to succeed.
Nets at Knicks NBA Odds and Betting Trends
The Knicks are now four-point favorites. Almost two-thirds of bets have been on the Knicks. The total is listed at 194.5.
The Knicks are 0-3-1 ATS the last four times they have been a home favorite of 4.5 or fewer points. Nine of the last 11 meetings between these teams in Manhattan have gone “under” the total, and five of the last seven meetings overall have gone under.
Nets at Knicks Picks and Betting Predictions
I have to take the Nets and the points here. They are playing with much more confidence than the Knicks. They haven’t been strong on the road, but this is a very comfortable trip for them because it is right in their own backyard. The Nets’ players have been talking a lot about their desire to even the season series, and that kind of hunger is healthy — especially with Carlesimo channeling it so well right now. They are poised for an upset.
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