Grizzlies vs. Knicks Odds & Picks: Bet New York As A Home Dog
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Julius Randle.
- Two teams battling for playoff position meet on Friday night when the Grizzlies face the Knicks.
- Memphis is rolling coming into this game but will face a stiff challenge in the form of New York's stifling defense.
- NBA betting analyst Joe Dellera breaks down where the betting value lies at Madison Square Garden.
Grizzlies vs. Knicks Odds
|Moneyline||-125 / +105|
|Time||Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday and via BetMGM|
The Knicks look to slow down the surging Memphis Grizzlies, who have secured four straight wins and seven consecutive covers.
Both of these teams are sitting at the edge of the playoffs and looking to secure wins to try and avoid a play-in game.
The Grizzlies list four players on the injury report for tonight’s game: Brandon Clarke (calf) and Gorgui Gieng (shoulder) are doubtful while Justise Winslow (thigh) and De’Anthony Melton (leg) are out. When these players have missed time over the past two games, John Konchar and Killian Tillie have entered the rotation.
The Grizzlies are led by second-year star Ja Morant and a top defense in the league.
One issue? Melton is their best defensive player in points per 100 possessions and Winslow is another of their best defenders.
What’s surprising about Memphis’ defense is it has a middling allowed eFG%, 54.3%, which is higher than league average, per Cleaning the Glass. In a way, they’ve gotten a bit lucky, because Memphis’ opponents have actually shot worse on open field goal attempts than on the ones they’ve defended. The Grizzlies offset this by being an elite defensive rebounding team, and they secure 75% of rebounds on that side of the floor, the 8th best percentage in the league, per NBA Advanced Stats.
New York Knicks
The Knicks are staying afloat in the Eastern Conference playoff race and need this game against their Western Conference counterpart in the eight seed.
New York’s offense is lacking this season, but it has secured its wins through grit and determination on defense. While the Grizzlies have the sixth-best defense, the Knicks edge them by ranking third and allowing just 108.1 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass.
While it’s seemed unsustainable due to the Knicks’ expected allowed eFG%, they’ve far exceeded that all season. New York defends every spot on the floor well, but it does a particularly good job of limiting attempts from mid-range, which is where the Grizzlies take the majority of their shots (37.7%). This could be a defensive edge against Memphis.
New York has leaned on their All-Star, Julius Randle, and Derrick Rose; however, there has been tremendous growth from New York’s own second year rising star, RJ Barrett. He is becoming a reliable offensive weapon as the year has progressed and since the All-Star Break he’s averaging 20 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists on 46.6% shooting, including 43.8% from 3-point range.
These are great numbers and if Barrett can also play strong defense, the Knicks will have another star to pair with Randle. When these two share the court together without Elfrid Payton (please stop playing him, Tom Thibodeau), the Knicks are +7.1 points per 100 possessions. This is a recipe for both immediate and long term success.
Both of these teams have been among the league’s best against the spread (ATS). The Grizzlies are the best at 34-19, and the Knicks are fourth-best at 33-22-1, per BetLabs.
So how do we project this game? Despite the Grizzlies being 6-2 as a road favorite and the Knicks 5-8-1 ATS as a home dog, I’m backing New York here.
Since 2020, in the second half of the season, when two teams with ATS win percentages greater than 55% play each other, the underdog is 19-10 ATS. This is a play on the Knicks.
New York’s defense has been incredible all season and against a Grizzlies team that leans on 2-point shots, Memphis’ margin for error will be razor thin. The Knicks’ defense has stopped elite offenses, and against an average Grizzlies’ offense, they should excel and this will lead them to at least an ATS win.
Pick: Knicks +1.5
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