Arena: Madison Square Garden
Home Floor: New York Knicks
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Anyway, for the NBA players, this is neither a holiday season nor has Christmas been any merrier because of the gruelling COVID-19 threat. For us, the writers, and for you the readers, the betting game has become only trickier with each day. Anyway, in this Christmas-based match-up, the New York Knicks host the Atlanta Hawks. Forget the records, both teams have fielded some makeshift rosters. The Knicks enter the game after a loss to the Wizards in a high-scoring game while the Hawks beat a comparatively loaded Sixers team in an upset scenario. Can the Hawks repel another team without Trae Young in the mix. To get an idea about my game result and points prediction, jump to “Expert Betting Tips”. For a quick look, jump to “Notes”.Claim Your Welcome Bonus!
Both teams have had a tough month
Lineups can change since the write-up is done in advance
Knicks options: New York Knicks have called back Kemba Walker into regular rotation minutes and he has breached the 20 points mark in each game since then. This is a huge lfit and the team has now increased options on offense. With Evan Fourneir and Alec Burks, although they have been inconsistent, you can get potentially four 20+ points scorer along with Julius Randle, who has scored 20 or more in five straight games after an inconsistent run from mid-November to mid-December. Obi Toppin is back and he comes after a considerable absence and may be a bit sluggish, but I expect him to get around 10 points a game soon. Mitchell Robinson can get around 6-8 points while Weyne Selden can get around the same mark.
Hawks options: John Collins and Cam Reddish have contributed majorly on offense without Trae Young. Both of them can get close to 20 points mark. Meanwhile, Bogdan Bogdanovic has shot horrifically after returning from injury but he can chip in with 15 or so on many nights. Skylar Mays showed some promise on offense but apart from that, the team will need Gorgui Dieng to step up his production too. Thus, compared to Knicks, generating offense can be harder for the Hawks, and they will need something from 10-day deal players like Lance Stephenson. The Hawks have scored under 100 in both of the games without Trae but they hold considerable promise.
Defensive comparisons: Knicks’ defense has faltered recently and a team that didn’t allow more than 100 points a bunch of times last season has conceded 110 or more repeatedly this season. Although Hawks are not among elite defenses, in the last two games, they have held opponents to 104 or under including Joel Embiid, Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey(all who can get past 20 points consistently) placed in the Philly squad. Still, Philly has not been among the most high-yielding points teams and I believe the Knicks can give more trouble to the Hawks(Not saying, the Knicks are the most efficient teams out there but I think the Philadelphia team is even more out-of-sync offensively).
Here are some quick-hitter related to the game.
- Hawks have scored 98 points in the last two games without Trae Young;
- Hawks have conceded 96, 104 in the last two games;
- Knicks have scored 117, 105, 107, 116, 96 in the last five games;
- Knicks have given up 124, 91, 114, 103, 105 in the last five games;
- Knicks have lost five out of the last seven games;
- Hawks have won and lost one without Trae Young;
- Kemba Walker has scored 44, 21, 29 in the last three games;
- Cam Reddish has scored 18, 34 points in the last two games;
- Mitchell Robinson has grabbed 9 or more rebounds in two of the last three games;
- Evan Fournier has scored 8, 22, 32 points in the last three games;
- Julius Randle has scored 20 or more points in the last five games;
- John Collins has scrapped 5, 12 rebounds in the last two games;
- Knicks injury report: Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett have cleared the COVID-19 protocols but may not end up playing here. Derrick Rose is out for around two months;
- Hawks injury report: Cam Reddish and Delon Wright are probable for this game. Kevin Huerter, Onyeka Okongwu, Wes Iwundu, Trae Young, Sharife Cooper, Lou Williams, Timothe Luwauw-Cabarot, Clint Capela, and Danilo Gallinari are in health & safety protocols due to COVID-19. Danilo Gallinari and Solomon Hill are also out;
- Take a look at the injury report before placing bets.
Expert Betting tips
Points Range: Knicks have been inconsistent on offense and guards Alec Burks and Evan Fournier have been scoring at an inefficient clip during many games. For the Hawks, the three viable options on offense are Bogdanovic, Collins, and Reddish. The Hawks are running thin in terms of playmakers, which is one of the reasons why the offense has struggled in the past two games. The Hawks defense did well against the 76ers but I think it is unlikely to field the same resistance here. I think the Knicks will go past at least 105 here and I believe Kemba Walker, Alec Burks, Evan Fournier, and Julius Randle will show up. For the Hakws, they will have trouble getting past 100 but the Knicks defense is not that boisterous. I think the points range here is 205-215 which is against the theme of the last two Hawks’ games which have figured in the 202, 194 points range.
Prediction: I give the Knicks an edge here despite the Hawks beating the 76ers in the last game? Why? Because I believe they can deploy better shooting than the Hawks right now and I don’t think Atlanta can win a ton without Trae Young. I’d select the Knicks to win here 110:97.
- Point Spread: New York Knicks -6.5 for 1.85;
- Total 1 108.5 Over for 1.94;
- Total U 209.0 for 1.90.