Bulls vs. Knicks NBA Odds & Picks: Bet On New York To Not Lose Consecutive Games (Wednesday, April 28)
Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Julius Randle.
- The Knicks are headed for the playoffs and trying to get home court for the first round.
- The Bulls have been scuffling, and are on the outside looking in at the play-in tournament.
- Matthew Trebby breaks down their Wednesday matchup and makes his pick below.
Bulls vs. Knicks Odds
|Time||Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday and via PointsBet|
Before this season began, if you had to pick one of the Chicago Bulls or New York Knicks to break through as a playoff team, the vast majority would’ve said the Bulls would be the one.
Scratch that, everyone would have said it.
Chicago had reason to believe with Billy Donovan coming in after leading Oklahoma City to an unlikely playoff berth. The Knicks — while Tom Thibodeau is respected around the league — didn’t enter the season with much in terms of noteworthy talent.
Well, here we are, with the Knicks trying to host a playoff series and build upon their 39-22-1 record against the spread (ATS) this season. Let’s break down whether they get their 40th cover.
The Bulls started out the season as bettors’ best friends. They were covering left and right, even if that meant losing close game after close game. Chicago is still a respectable 32-28-1 ATS, though.
All-Star playmaker Zach LaVine has missed the Bulls’ last seven games, during which they’re gone 4-3 straight-up (SU) and ATS.
Over those last seven games, the Bulls rank 22nd in Offensive Rating and 11th on defense, per NBA Advanced Stats. Chicago is shooting two more 3-pointers per game over its last seven games than it is over the course of the season, and it’s being led offensively by its big deadline pickup.
While the Nikola Vucevic experiment might not even get Chicago in the playoffs this season, he has carried the offensive load without LaVine. Over those seven games, Vucevic is shooting 53.3%/44.7%/83.3% while averaging 22.1 points, 10.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the All-Star big man.
Chicago’s four wins without LaVine have come against the Cavaliers, Celtics, Hornets and Heat, which is pretty impressive. They’re one game behind the Wizards for the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference, which would get them into the play-in tournament.
The Bulls are missing LaVine and are another very good player short of being a true contender. There will be rumors galore about them in the offseason but for now, they’ll have to look at the opposing bench to see their former coach thriving.
New York Knicks
Even though they lost to the title-contending Suns on Monday night, the Knicks are red hot. Before that game against Phoenix, New York had won nine straight games and covered 12 in a row.
Over their last 10 games, the Knicks have the second-best Net Rating in the NBA at +8.2. That number isn’t so impressive because of their defense, though.
New York has the NBA’s most efficient offense over its last 10 games, with a rating of 118.5. The Defensive Rating in that span is 110.3 and ranks 11th, so not bad at all. But what’s happening offensively in New York?
The Knicks are red hot from beyond the arc. Over its last 10 games, New York is shooting 41.7% from 3-point range, second in the NBA to only the Clippers. They’re only taking 32.4 shots from deep per game in that span, which is the 21st-most in the league.
New York is shooting just 52.6% from inside the arc, which is also 21st in the league over its last 10 games.
While the teams’ defensive numbers are quite close of late, the Knicks have proven to be one of the NBA’s best defensive teams this season. If they’re able to keep even an ember of their recent hot stretch going on the offensive end, they should cruise past the Bulls.
I’ll back New York at -5 and up to -7. One team is playing for a big-time goal, while Chicago is just trying to get a couple extra games in.
Pick: Knicks -5 (play to -7)