NBA Odds & Picks for Knicks vs. Trail Blazers: Bet New York to Destroy Portland’s Defense (Jan. 24)
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: RJ Barrett.
- The New York Knicks head to Portland on Sunday night to take on the Trail Blazers.
- The Blazers haven't played since Monday due to COVID-19 cancellations, but are 3-point favorites Sunday. Will they be rested -- or rusty?
- Joe Dellera previews the odds in this matchup and shares his betting pick below.
Knicks vs. Trail Blazers Odds
|Trail Blazers Odds||-4|
|Moneyline||+146 / -174|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
The Knicks visit Portland to take on the Trail Blazers in this matchup between two teams that have won three of their last five games. The Knicks have been playing excellent defense this entire season, while the Blazers seemingly do not know what the word “defense” means.
Who will take home this matchup between these two teams who are surprisingly close in terms of Net Rating? (The Blazers are ahead of the Knicks by just 0.3.)
New York Knicks
The Knicks will be without Austin Rivers and Frank Ntilikina for this game. Rivers is out due to a sore Achilles and he’s been replaced by Alec Burks. The Knicks can’t complain about Burks, either. Per NBA Advanced Stats, when he’s been on the court this season, the Knicks post their best Offensive Rating (112.8) so their offense could see a bit of a boost.
I truly thought the Knicks’ defense was due for some regression given their third-worst expected allowed eFG%, but coach Tom Thibodeau has worked some magic, as they own the best allowed eFG% in the league, per Cleaning the Glass. The reason the Knicks’ expected allowed eFG% is so high is that they give up the 3-point shot at the fifth-highest rate in the league, but they have defended this shot at the best rate in the league, as opponents only shoot 31.1% from 3-point range.
This is something the Knicks will look to build on because if they’re able to force misses, they should win the battle of the glass against the Blazers. The Knicks have the 10th-best rebounding percentage in the league compared to Portland’s 25th-ranked squad, per NBA Advanced Stats.
Considering the Blazers have been without Jusuf Nurkic due to injury, their depth is a bit lacking in the front court. Look for Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle to have big games against Enes Kanter.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers are in an interesting spot as they have not played since Monday against the Spurs after both of their games against the Grizzlies were postponed this week. Cue the “Rest vs. Rust” debate.
Despite this time off, don’t expect some sudden defensive revelation from the Blazers. They give up 115.4 points per 100 possessions while allowing opponents to shoot a 55.6 eFG%, per Cleaning the Glass. Look at this team — they only have four players that are a plus defensively, and one of them, Nurkic, is out for the next eight weeks.
While the Knicks are not particularly talented offensively, they take the majority of their shots from the rim and the corner 3. The Blazers have done an adequate job defending the rim, but they have allowed their opponents to shoot 45.3% from the corner.
Unless they make a concerted effort to stop the Knicks from taking this shot, they could be in some trouble defensively even against this struggling Knicks’ offense.
Knicks-Trail Blazers Pick
The Knicks have been the most profitable team to bet on on the moneyline this season, with their 8-9 record returning a whopping 78.1% ROI. On the flip side, the Blazers have been one of just six teams that are profitable as a moneyline favorite with their 7-3 record. However, despite that winning record, they are just 5-5 ATS as a favorite.
Since 2004, home favorites that have had five or more days between games that play opponents on no rest or just one day of rest are 66-74-4 ATS, failing to cover by an average margin of 2.49 points, per BetLabs.
I think this is a good spot to fade Portland. They have not been good ATS as a favorite, and given the time off, they might take some time to get into a rhythm offensively against this Knicks’ defense. Additionally, given their own defensive struggles, the Knicks should be able to string together some offense against the Blazers’ porous defense.
Pick: Knicks +3