Knicks vs 76ers Prediction & Picks Tonight

Knicks vs 76ers Prediction & Picks Tonight article feature image

Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks takes a shot as Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers blocks in the second half at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Knicks vs. 76ers Prediction & Picks Tonight

Friday, Jan. 5
7:30 p.m.
Over 226

Here's everything you need to know about Knicks vs. 76ers on Friday, Jan. 5 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

New York has won its first two games with O.G. Anunoby while Philadelphia is coming off a win over the Bulls in Joel Embiid's return from a sprained ankle.

Let's get to our Knicks vs. 76ers prediction and pick.

Knicks vs. 76ers Prediction

Pick: Over 226

Knicks Betting Outlook

The Knicks defense has improved massively since the Anunoby trade, as they have a defensive rating of 90.6 with Anunoby on the floor. Overall, they have an elite +41.0 net-rating with Anunoby on the floor across a small sample size of 136 possessions.

The early returns are very good, but I fear the defense may struggle here with the size of Embiid. Anunoby is a top-five wing defender in the league, but he isn’t going to have as much of an impact here as he will not be matched up with Tyrese Maxey or Embiid. I expect New York's defense to struggle at the rim in this matchup. The Knicks lack center depth to match up with Embiid, especially if he draws quick fouls on Isaiah Hartenstein.

The Knicks will also be asking one of Donte DiVincenzo or Jalen Brunson to stay in front of Maxey, so expect defensive breakdowns at the point of attack. The 76ers have an offensive rating of 119.9 with Maxey, Embiid, Tobias Harris and Kelly Oubre Jr. on the floor this season.

76ers Betting Outlook

Offensively, I expect the Knicks to be fine here as they also have a 131.6 offensive rating with Anunoby on the floor. The 76ers actually rank third in defensive rating on the season, but they may be overrated defensively after playing a bottom-10 schedule of opposing offenses this year.

Philadelphia is fourth-best in effective field goal percentage allowed (52.6%) but also rank 23rd in location effective field goal percentage (55.4%), according to Cleaning the Glass. The 76ers also rank 26th in rim-rate allowed (35.7%), which is typically not a sign of a good defense. Brunson should be able to score at will against the perimeter defense of the 76ers, and I think Julius Randle has the size and strength to give Harris and Nicolas Batum issues as well.

Overall, a lot of the underlying indicators imply that this 76ers defense is overrated, and I have faith the Knicks have enough offense to capitalize here.

Knicks vs. 76ers Picks, Odds

Friday, Jan 5
7:30 p.m. ET
Knicks Odds
-110o / -110u
76ers Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

If you couldn’t tell already, I like the over here at 226. Both offenses have significant matchup advantages, so I would take the over 226 and play this up to 228.

Pick: Over 226

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