Knicks vs. Nets NBA Odds & Picks: Total Presents Value in Brooklyn (Monday, March 15)
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: James Harden.
- The Knicks will make the short trip over to Brooklyn on Monday night for a matchup with the Nets.
- Both teams have been playing well defensively of late, and neither plays at a particularly fast pace offensively.
- Those factors lead Joe Dellera to see value in the total at Barclays Center.
Knicks vs. Nets Odds
|Moneyline||+275 / -350|
|Time||Monday, 7 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via BetMGM|
It’s the battle for New York, and it’s the first meeting between these two teams this season that will have fans in attendance.
The Nets won this matchup back in January but that was before the addition of James Harden. Kyrie Irving did not play, and Kevin Durant was active.
Now, these two teams face off as the Nets make a run for the 1 seed in the East and the Knicks look to stay in the playoff picture.
New York Knicks
The Knicks are dealing with a few players on the injury report as Immanuel Quickley is listed as probable, Elfrid Payton is doubtful, and Derrick Rose is out due to health and safety protocols. Austin Rivers was initially downgraded for personal reasons and is not listed as available.
The Knicks play at the slowest Pace in the NBA at 96.69, according to NBA Advanced Stats, but they rank 23rd on the season in Offensive Rating.
The Knicks have been at their best when Derrick Rose has gotten more minutes and with him out, they will lean on their other guards to facilitate the offense. Considering Payton is doubtful, Immanuel Quickley and Frank Ntilikina could see extended run.
The Knicks play about two possessions slower when Rose is off the floor, so his absence should impact the flow of this game.
On the flip side of the ball, the Knicks’ defense has been excellent this season, even against some of the best offenses in the NBA. This season, against top-10 scoring units, the Knicks are allowing opponents just a 54.8% effective field goal percentage (eFG%), according to Cleaning the Glass. Tom Thibodeau’s team does an excellent job of closing out on 3-point shots and limiting its opponents to just 35.5% shooting from beyond the arc.
The Nets are listing a few players on the injury report for this game, as well. Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin remain sidelined, but Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot has been upgraded to probable after missing the last four games.
James Harden has been incredible since he was traded to the Nets and probably should garner some MVP consideration. However, what’s actually shocking is that in 956 minutes this season with the Nets, he is a -3.9 points per 100 possessions on offense, per Cleaning the Glass.
This seems like an anomaly, because when I’m actually watching the games this type of stat certainly does not match the eye test. He facilitates the offense with ease and always seems to find an open look.
One thing we do know is that Harden slows down every offense he’s played on as the primary ball handler. When he is on the floor, the Nets play about five possessions slower than when he is off the court, per NBA Advanced Stats.
The Nets have gotten some bad press for their defense this season. Over their last 10 games, the Nets have the 12th ranked Defensive Rating, about three points better than their season average, per NBA Advanced Stats. Brooklyn also has the 10th best eFG% allowed while its expected allowed eFG% ranks fifth in the league. For a defense that has its flaws, the Nets have some reason for optimism.
While this game favors the Nets, and they are rightly favored, I cannot confidently play a spread here. I’m looking at the total instead.
Both of these teams play at slower paces and over the last 10 games, the Nets have actually played slower than the Knicks. New York’s defense has been strong this season, and the Nets have picked up their intensity on that end of the court.
With Harden at the helm and the Knicks piecing together a point-guard rotation due to injuries, I can easily see this game turning into a slow-paced slugfest.
Pick: Under 225.5