The Philadelphia 76ers might be without many of their top guns, but they’re favored to beat the New York Knicks on Monday.
Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle and Ben Simmons are missing in action, so it won’t be easy for the home side. However, they have been a money machine for bettors. NBA basketball odds have Philadelphia at -3½ to hold off the wildly inconsistent Knicks, which could be the way to go.
Which Knicks Outfit Will Turn Up?
One of the streakiest and inconsistent teams in the NBA are the New York Knicks, who come off three losses from their last four games. Their only recent win came against the Milwaukee Bucks last Friday.
After starting 6-1 and looking like one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks have since lost to Toronto, Indiana and Cleveland.
Sunday’s 126-109 loss to Cleveland came at Madison Square Garden, despite closing above -300 on the moneyline. However, they are 4-1 on the road, so there is some hope for Knicks’ bettors.
Our biggest concern is their defense, which ranks 26th in points allowed. They gave up 126 to a young Cleveland side, which was worse than their 110.7 average.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 7, 2021
They are scoring third best with 112.6 points per game, but if the defense doesn’t improve, they could continue to lose games against their division rivals.
The Knicks also rank outside the top 20 in three-point defense and free throw percentage. Coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t happy with their defense, which he expressed after losing to Indiana 111-98.
“We have to do three things to put ourselves in position to win,” Thibodeau told ESPN. “We have to defend, rebound and keep our turnovers down. We did one of three. Our turnovers were down (10 turnovers). Our defense wasn’t there. The rebounding wasn’t there. We have to fix that part.”
The sportsbook has lost a little faith in the Knicks, but bettors will start getting better value in moneyline markets.
76ers Continue to Win
In spite of an increasing injury toll, the 76ers continue to win. They are now 8-2 after winning their last five games, including a gutsy 114-105 win over Chicago on Saturday where they closed as four-point road dogs.
Having the likes of Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle on the sidelines makes it tough, but Joel Embiid is putting the 76ers on his back. He is averaging only 21.4 PPG, but his efficiency is excellent and he’s the natural leader of the unit.
Bettors have been enjoying backing the 76ers, who are 7-3 against the spread. They are also one of the hardest teams to beat at home, and the 4-1 record is a testament to that.
The offense is firing on all cylinders; ranking top in three-point percentage, fourth in free throw percentage and sixth in points allowed. The defense is also solid, ranking sixth in points allowed and field goal percentage.
Philadelphia is on a five-game streak covering the point spread in the last 10 days, while the Knicks on a 1-3 ATS run over that same period.
Betting online markets are believing in the 76ers, who have covered the spread in their last five games.
Knicks vs 76ers Pick
The Knicks play well on no rest, but we can’t overlook how well they 76ers are playing short-handed.
Some teams play better when their backs are against the wall, and the 76ers are one of those teams. Their win over the Bulls was fantastic, which included a big second quarter run.
New York has been too inconsistent for us to back with confidence. Our NBA betting preview has the 76ers scoring a comfortable win, and although Eastern Conference clashes are typically close, the class of the 76ers should shine through in the second half.
They match up well against the Knicks, and Embiid should get whatever shot he wants in the paint.