Spurs vs. Knicks NBA Odds & Picks: San Antonio’s Rough Stretch Will Continue in New York (Thursday, May 13)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Julius Randle.
- San Antonio is just 2-7 in its last nine games and are essentially guaranteed the 10-seed out West.
- New York secured a playoff spot last night, despite not playing, thanks to a Boston loss to Cleveland.
- With the Spurs potentially resting several starters, Joe Dellera is picking New York to cover at home.
Spurs vs. Knicks Odds
|Moneyline||+160 / -195|
|Time||Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday and via DraftKings|
The Spurs are clinging to the 10-seed in the West despite dropping last night’s game to the Brooklyn Nets. Now on the second game of a back-to-back, they are tasked with the New York Knicks who lost a nail-biter in overtime to the Lakers on Tuesday.
These two teams are looking to secure seeding in the playoffs, and this game is critical for them both.
San Antonio Spurs
At the time of this writing, the Spurs are almost a lock to be the 10-seed in the West — our Playoff Projection Model gives the Spurs an 86.5% chance of being the 10-seed. The Spurs were without Trey Lyles on Wednesday, and although Gregg Popovich has indicated he will be “back soon,” his status for tonight’s game is up in the air. Use our Fantasy Labs Insiders Tool to keep an eye on his status.
Over the last month, the Spurs are in the bottom 10 in point differential, with a -0.9 points per 100 possessions. They’ve slipped even more over the last two weeks, especially on defense, and they’ve surrendered a whopping 120.1 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass.
The name of the game is scoring more points than your opponent, and when you give up that many points, it’s no surprise that the Spurs are just 2-7 over the last two weeks.
During that span, much of their defensive shortcomings are because they have the fifth-worst eFG%, allowing 57.8%. Opponents are shooting nearly 40% from 3-point range and an incredible 49% from midrange.
The league averages from these locations are 37.7% and 43.2% respectively, per Cleaning the Glass. Considering this will be the Spurs 10th game in 15 days, they are playing on tired legs, and I don’t expect much improvement.
New York Knicks
The Knicks are in a pickle in the Eastern Conference standings. Although they backdoored a playoff berth due to the Celtics’ loss last night, the Knicks can finish anywhere from the 4-seed to the 6-seed, and they have a nearly equal percentage to finish in each of those spots due to the three-way tie in the loss column with the Hawks and the Heat.
To complicate matters more, the Knicks have a lengthy injury report for tonight’s contest. Reggie Bullock, Alec Burks, Immanuel Quickley and Derrick Rose are all listed as questionable for this matchup. Hopefully for the Knicks, at least some of them will be able to play, otherwise their guard rotations will see an uncomfortable amount of minutes played by Elfrid Payton.
The Knicks have been excellent this season, but much has hinged on the minutes of Rose. They are 22-11 when Rose plays. He brings a toughness and leadership to this team which is a nice complement to his team-best +12.6 point differential.
The key takeaway is that with Rose and also the rookie-sensation Immanuel Quickley, the Knicks’ halfcourt offense dramatically improves. They add 7.1 and 4.8 points per 100 plays, per Cleaning the Glass. They both run this offense effectively, and the Knicks have better ball movement and get better shots when they are on the floor.
The Spurs are basically locked into the 10-seed, and they may rest a few of their top players, such as DeMar DeRozan, Dejounte Murray and Jakob Poeltl, so it will be critical to watch their injury report. The Spurs have spiraled of late, and this game could be an opportunity to rest some tired legs.
This is a spot for the Knicks to take advantage of a tired Spurs team. The Knicks are 14-2 ATS as a home favorite this year, and they’ve covered by an average margin of 8.69 points.
I expect the Knicks keep this momentum as they finish the season strong.
Pick: Knicks -4.5