Uncertainty fills the NBA as COVID continues to deplete rosters. The Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks have each been hit hard by COVID-19 entering the Christmas Day matchup at Madison Square Garden. The latest news, stats, and injury reports make this one tough to call on the NBA betting odds.
Atlanta Hawks (15-16) vs New York Knicks (14-18)
Quarantine Adding To Knicks’ Woes
Have the Covid-19 issues given the New York Knicks a “legit” excuse to not win? This team has been crapping the bed so we can all hear Stephen A do what ESPN pays him millions to do.
New York has all but abandoned their winning formula from last season: hard-nosed defense. Their offense has improved but it’s bound to get worse with a hobbled Derrick Rose (ankle) and five players out due to quarantine, although RJ Barrett has been cleared to return from the Covid protocols.
The Knicks have been getting into shootouts but are ill-equipped to win them. Julius Randle has seemingly run out of gas this season as his stats have dropped across the board while New York has been snake-bitten at home: 6-11 straight-up and 5-12 against the spread (ATS). And yet they’re the favorites on the online sportsbook.
One huge plus has been the play of Kemba Walker, who is coming off a 44-point performance on Thursday and has scored at least 21 points in each of the games since returning from his exile to the bench.
The Hawks got destroyed by the Denver Nuggets despite being the favorites and lost to lowly Orlando before bouncing back with a two-point win at Philadelphia on Thursday night.
The loss of seven players to quarantine, including leading scorer Trae Young, only complicates this underachieving team’s situation. On paper, Atlanta is still a playoff team.
Atlanta also has the second-best offensive rating in the NBA. But without Young, the Hawks are 13.7 points worse. Few players have as large of an impact on a team’s offense as the fourth-year pro. If he can’t be cleared for this game, Atlanta may struggle mightily.
It will need for players like John Collins and Cam Reddish to fill the void on offense, although Reddish sprained his ankle vs. the Sixers on Thursday. Collins will need to have a big game for the Hawks could cash bets online.
Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks Head to Head
Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks Game Information
Time: Noon ET
Location: Madison Square Garden
Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks Betting Lines
Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks Prediction
New York shot down the Hawks’ seven-game winning streak the last time they met. Even with the Knicks’ struggles at home and the Hawks’ five-game road winning streak, New York has won three of their last five games at MSG against Atlanta.
Young has embraced the hostile crowds at the Garden as he put up 32.7 points on 8.7 assists in his three appearances in the playoffs. But without Young and center Clint Capela, who has shown he can lock down Randle, Atlanta will have to find offense elsewhere against the undermanned Knicks.