76ers vs. Knicks Odds & Picks: Philadelphia’s Strengths Should Dominate New York’s Weaknesses
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Joel Embiid #21 and Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers.
- The New York Knicks take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday with tipoff slated for 7:30 p.m.
- The Knicks face a tall task against Philadelphia’s interior size and talent, but can they do just enough to beat the 7.5-point spread?
- Phillip Kall previews Saturday's matchup and shares his betting pick below.
76ers vs. Knicks Odds
|76ers Odds||-7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Knicks Odds||+7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-340 / +260 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||219 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
Daryl Morey’s moves to bring in shooting disappointed in the season opener as the 76ers shot 29% from deep. Despite the struggles, Philadelphia escaped with a win thanks to star Joel Embiid’s 29 points.
Against the Knicks, who allowed 32 points to the Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis, Embiid will be positioned to replicate his performance.
In their first game, the Knicks started strong as they entered halftime with a five-point lead against Indiana. Unfortunately, a second-half collapse led to a 14-point loss. Through the loss though, second-year player R.J. Barrett showed his ability to lead the Knicks offense as his 26 points came just one shy of tying his career-high.
The Knicks will do what they can to remedy the struggles they had inside that led to their second-half collapse. Against Philadelphia’s interior size and talent, this will be a tall task.
But can they do just enough to beat the spread? Let’s dig a little deeper to find out.
Philadelphia made aggressive moves this offseason to avoid another first-round sweep in the playoffs. The highlights were Danny Green and Seth Curry to improve the team’s perimeter shooting. However, in their first game, Green and Curry combined for an awful 1-for-9 from behind the arc.
Backup guard Shake Milton brought the extra punch from the bench, though. His 19 points were second on the team only to Embiid. Milton’s performance was rewarded as he played the whole fourth quarter over Green.
With the shooters struggling from the outside, Philadelphia was forced to turn to their game plan from year’s past and attack inside. Thankfully, this paid off as the 76ers dominated points in the paint, 52-26. They walked away with a slight edge in rebounding,57-49.
Against the Knicks, we saw the Pacers bully their way to a victory in a similar style. Indiana out-rebound the Knicks, 64-44, and outscored them in the paint 68-52. With Simmons and Embiid, Philly’s personnel is better suited to take advantage of New York’s weaknesses.
New York Knicks
New York was also aggressive with the restructuring of their team heading into this season. On the roster side, this involved letting several veterans walk to open minutes for their young core players. On the coaching side, this meant turning to Tom Thibodeau and his no-nonsense coaching style.
Thibodeau’s authoritarian style may have backfired in the season opener. When point guard Elfrid Payton drew his third foul Thibs had to turn to the bench. However, he showed reluctance to play either Frank Ntilikina or Dennis Smith Jr., instead playing Alex Burks. Burks — not a true point guard — brought the offense to a halt as the Knicks had their worst quarter only putting up 16 points.
With backup point guard Immanuel Quickley and Thibs’ distrust of the others, the second unit’s struggles will continue. Not all those issues will lie on whoever plays the point.
Kevin Knox and Obi Toppin also need to play better.
They shot a combined 5-for-17 from the floor against Indiana. Toppin is a rookie so he should develop as the year goes, but he’s doubtful on Saturday. However, Knox is in his third year and has yet to have a PER of 9 or more for a season, per basketball-reference. If Knox hopes to be part of this organization’s future, he must play better.
Deficiencies inside against one of the best big men in the game could make Saturday a very long day for New York. To keep up on the scoreboard R.J. Barrett will need to show he can maintain his game-one success.
However, with Ben Simmons to guard Barrett and Embiid lurking in the paint scoring will more of a challenge than it was against Indiana.
Despite their poor play in the opener, Philadelphia managed to come out with a win. Against a Knicks team that showed troubles against the Pacers frontline, perennial All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons should feast. This will create better opportunities for shooters who will hopefully show they are better than their first performance.
The Knicks’ only answer to slow Philly’s interior attack is to play Mitchell Robinson more. However, with Robinson on the court, the Knicks offense didn’t do much of anything as their offensive rating was only 79.8 per Fantasy Labs.
New York will need to find a better way to balance scoring and defense if they want this year to look different from last. With their lack of talent, that balance may be something outside their grasp.
Back the Sixers to cover the spread in a game where their strengths should dominate the Knicks’ weakness.
Pick: 76ers -6.5 up to -7.5