NBA Betting, Odds for Knicks vs. Hawks: Spread, Total Shift With Trae Young Still in COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols

NBA Betting, Odds for Knicks vs. Hawks: Spread, Total Shift With Trae Young Still in COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols article feature image
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Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young.

Saturday’s showdown between the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks was expected to be one of the most anticipated Christmas Day games based solely on the vitriol Knicks fans have for Trae Young after last season’s playoff series.

Now, it appears the New York faithful will have to wait a few more months to welcome Young back to Madison Square Garden as the Hawks’ star won’t clear the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols in time.

Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young (H&S protocols) is not expected to be cleared in time for the Christmas Day game against the New York Knicks, league sources tell @YahooSports.

— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 24, 2021

Young tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 19, but tweeted he was asymptomatic, meaning he could clear protocols with two negative tests across 24 hours. However, it appears he wasn’t able to produce a negative test.

The line opened at Knicks -5.5 at most books, which appeared to have accounted for Young not playing after a lookahead line was posted on Dec. 15 at Knicks -1 (before Young’s positive test).

But that hasn’t stopped the line from continuing to move in the Knicks’ direction. The number has climbed all the way to Knicks -7 on FanDuel and sits at Knicks -6.5 at most books.

The biggest swing after the Young news has been on the total. It opened at 215.5 at DraftKings on Friday morning and has fallen all the way down to 210. Despite the drop, the over is getting 42% of the public bets and 51% of the money.

No Young takes a lot of the luster out of this game. It’s rare to see fans disappointed a star player on the opposing team isn’t playing, but that’s exactly the case for this matchup.

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