Defensive teams square off in the Madison Square Garden Tuesday as the Golden State Warriors visit the New York Knicks. Online sports betting odds got this one as a tight one and I’ll lean on the home team Knicks here, but I’m not the most confident.
Both the Knicks and Warriors are looking to maintain their playoff spots in their respective conference. The Knicks have been doing decently since Tom Thibodeau took over as coach while the Warriors are finding ways to win despite some ugly losses.
Warriors vs Knicks Betting Preview
Warriors: Help For Curry
During the preseason, the Warriors were considered outside contenders to win the NBA title per NBA betting odds. But then Klay Thompson got hurt again and the team got off to a rocky start. Steph Curry has since carried the team on his back, especially on offense.
Curry has been putting up his best numbers since his last MVP season scoring at nearly 30 points a game and 6.2 assists while nailing five threes at 42.3 shooting. But he needs help on offense as forwards Andrew Wiggins (17.7 points) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (15 points) need to keep up their scoring.
The Warriors have been much better offensively and are 12th in February thanks to better performances from Oubre and the cast. Golden State has a net rating of +5.3 during this month despite having only a 5-6 record.
Golden State is only 2-4 in games decided by single digits. The team is finding it difficult to close out games, and a lot of it goes back to finding players who can score reliably. But as long as Curry is healthy, the Warriors have a shot.
Knicks: The Thibodeau Show Continues
Love him or hate him, coach “Thibs” knows how to get results from his teams. The Knicks have found themselves in the thick of the playoff race thanks to some good ol’ fashioned Thibodeau grinding.
The Knicks are last in the NBA in pace and until recently, were also a bottom-three offensive team (they’re now 24th in offensive rating). But Thibodeau has whipped his boys into shape and has now produced the third-best rated defense, 20 spots higher than last season.
Seventh-year forward Julius Randle is also blossoming under Thibs putting up All-Star worthy numbers in 23.2 points, 11 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.8 threes – all career-highs by quite a bit.
But like the Warriors have scoring issues beyond Curry, so do the Knicks beyond Randle. They are second-worst in the NBA in three-pointers made and assists. They also have the worst guards from an offensive standpoint hence why they traded for Derrick Rose. But with that defense, they will give plenty of teams a good fight.
Pick: Knicks Earn Edge
Even though the Knicks are my NBA betting pick, I’m not entirely sold due to how bad their offense can be. This team can be a chore to watch sometimes, but I am banking on them coming through by out-grinding the Warriors who are just a little bit less experienced.
The Knicks have a bevy of veterans like Randle and Rose and their backcourt players. The Warriors have plenty of sophomores and rookies who have little game experience beyond last year’s throwaway season. It also explains why they have issues winning close games.
And from a betting standpoint, the Knicks have covered seven of their last ten games all with single-digit spreads. I like them to get it done here though like most of their games, it will get ugly.