The New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors square off Tuesday in a matchup of two teams clinging to playoff position. It’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Warriors-Knicks prediction and pick.
Golden State is the eighth seed in the Western Conference after a 16-15 start, while the Knicks have surprised basketball fans by jumping out to a 15-16 mark to open the season. The two teams last met on Jan. 21, with the Knicks earning a 119-104 victory over the Dubs.
How will Round 2 play out on Tuesday? Here is a closer look at some of the betting odds for Warriors-Knicks.
NBA Odds: Warriors-Knicks
Golden State Warriors -3 (-113)
New York Knicks +3 (-107)
Over 219.5 points (-115)
Under 219.5 points (-105)
All odds obtained via BetOnline.ag
Why the Warriors could cover the spread
Golden State tends to lock up against teams that play slower and struggle to score the basketball, and they usually excel against teams without 3-point shooters.
That is good news for the Dubs as they take on the Knicks. New York ranks last in the NBA in pace and points per game, ranking 23rd in offensive rating.
It makes sense a Tom Thibodeau team would hope to grind you down on the defensive end and be more methodical on the offensive end of the floor. But the Knicks might need to have some success from the perimeter against a Golden State team that ranks first in field goal percentage defending 2-pointers.
The Warriors rank second in the NBA in pace. They are at their best when they get out in transition, with Wiseman running the floor and filling the lane for easy buckets and Curry pulling up for triples on odd-man breaks.
Although the Warriors lack true bucket-getters outside of Curry, they share the ball (first in assists per game) and are relentless in terms of screening off the ball.
Perhaps most importantly, Kelly Oubre Jr. is starting to find a rhythm on the offensive end of the floor, and Andrew Wiggins has been a solid third scoring option.
Oubre has scored at least 23 points in each of the team’s last three games. He is shooting 28-for-52 (.538) from the field during that stretch, including 11-for-22 (.500) from beyond the arc. Wiggins, meanwhile, has also been fairly efficient and is making his presence felt on the boards.
The Knicks held Curry to 5-for-14 shooting from beyond the arc earlier in the year. But it could prove difficult to keep the former MVP down, especially if Oubre and Wiggins pose as scorers and the Dubs get a boost from Wiseman, who could return from a 11-game absence.
Why the Knicks could cover the spread
The Knicks have routinely relied on their defense to win games.
New York ranks first in defensive scoring average and third in defensive rating. The Knicks are fourth in rebounding and lead the NBA in defensive 3-point percentage. That second mark is obviously important against a Warriors team that needs the 3-ball to maximize their offensive potential.
Thibodeau has his guys run shooters off the line and drive into the likes of Julius Randle and Nerlens Noel inside. Noel in particular has excelled as a rim protector, averaging 1.9 blocks per contest.
Whereas the Knicks deny the ball and force contested 2-pointers, the Warriors have struggled to defend against the 3-ball.
New York does not have any top sniper, but Randle can space the floor. He is shooting 41 percent on 4.5 attempts per game and should pull Golden State’s bigs out to the perimeter, opening up driving lanes for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and Derrick Rose. Reggie Bullock and Alec Burks are also capable of heating it up from deep.
If the Knicks commit to driving and kicking, they could have success sucking Golden State’s defense in and getting open perimeter looks.
Of course, the obvious elephen in the room is the fact both Steph Curry and James Wiseman are questionable. The Knicks stand a much better chance of covering the spread (and winning) the game should those guys be inactive, especially Curry.
Ultimately, however, the Knicks will have success if they defend the 3 and make a few jumpers of their own.
Final Warriors-Knicks prediction and pick
Assuming Curry is healthy, this feels like one the Warriors will be hungry to get under their belt.
Golden State fumbled away a win against the Charlotte Hornets over the weekend despite missing Curry for the entirety of the contest. The Dubs are in a different groove when Oubre and Wiggins have it going well, and they could get a boost if Wiseman returns and adds more frontcourt scoring and playmaking.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION & PICK FOR WARRIORS-KNICKS: GSW 114, NYK 106 (GSW -3)