NBA Odds & Picks for Knicks vs. Clippers: Target the Total for Value in Sunday’s Matchup (May 9)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers.
Knicks vs. Clippers Odds
|Moneyline||+250 / -333|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via PointsBet.|
The Knicks head to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers after suffering a loss to the Phoenix Suns. The Clippers have started to secure themselves in the third spot out West, but a win here against the Knicks would truly set them up considering their final four games are against the Raptors, Hornets, Rockets, and Thunder.
It’s exciting to see these two franchises play meaningful basketball on national television this late in the season. Let’s break down the matchup.
New York Knicks
The Knicks missed Alex Burks and Immanuel Quickley against the Suns due to injury, keep an eye on their status for Sunday’s game using the Fantasy Labs Insiders Tool.
The Knicks’ strength this season has been their defense, they have the fourth best defense and give up just 108.7 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass. They hustle, and their relentless pursuit of the ball has helped them make up for any mistakes they may make.
Critically, even against top 10 teams in Point Differential, the Knicks remain fifth in defensive points allowed, with just 113.1 per 100. Although their expected allowed eFG% is high, their actual allowed eFG% of 53.2% vs top teams is second best in the NBA.
New York’s ability to remain competitive and close against the best teams is due to their defense. However, they’ve struggled to convert these into wins, as they are just 5-14 straight up against the league’s top teams in point differential.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have continued to miss Serge Ibaka, and Amir Coffey missed their last game on Thursday against the Lakers. Keep an eye on their injury report using our Labs Insiders Tool. Of note, considering the Clippers’ last game was Thursday, and they have a day off after this game, I’d fully expect to see both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George play in this one.
The Clippers have been incredible this season, they have the second best point differential in the league, and now have the league’s best offense by a sliver (over the Brooklyn Nets) as they score 119.0 points per 100, per Cleaning the Glass. While they don’t have a top 10 defense, they’re close with the 11th and they give up just 111.9 points per 100.
What’s interesting about the Clippers is they have the second best eFG% in the league, 57.2%, but they have an expected eFG% of just 53.8%, 24th in the league. They love to take mid range shots, particularly long mid-range (~14 feet away but not 3s), and they shoot corner 3s at the second highest frequency, 11.6%.
When you have elite shooters, you can get away with this type of shot selection; while corner 3s are ultra high-value shots, the long midrange is not. The Clippers shoot 46.8% from the corner, and 43.1% from long mid range, these are both marks within the top 6 in the league, per Cleaning the Glass.
Against a Knicks team that limits midrange shots, but allows the 3’s at the fifth highest frequency in the league, this Clippers’ offense could be off to the races.
In this matchup between two top teams in their respective conferences, this is an instance where they’re similar, not the same. As strong as the Knicks have been this season, straight up and against the spread, the Clippers are in another league in terms of offensive talent.
While many will be rooting for an upset tonight, I don’t think that’s in the cards; however, I’ll be staying away from the spread tonight as I look for value. In the event the Knicks become double digit dogs I will sprinkle the spread.
This total sits at 216 and although both of these teams have been strong defensively since April 1, I think there’s value on the over. Both teams have offenses ranked in the top 10 in points scored per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass.
With the way these teams have shot the 3 ball over the last month, there’s significant room for variance, but also a strong scoring output from both teams. I’m taking the over in this Sunday afternoon showcase.
Pick: Over 216