Nuggets vs Knicks Picks, Prediction Today | Thursday, Jan. 25

Nuggets vs Knicks Picks, Prediction Today | Thursday, Jan. 25 article feature image

Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets boxes out Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks during the game on March 18, 2023 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nuggets vs. Knicks Prediction, Picks for Thursday, Jan. 25

Thursday, Jan. 25
7:30 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass
ALT Under 224.5 (-127)

Here's everything you need to know about Nuggets vs. Knicks on Thursday, Jan. 25 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

The Knicks can put their title aspirations to the test when they host the Nuggets on Thursday night. Both teams will enter this contest with a winning streak, as the Knicks have won four straight games while the Nuggets are undefeated in their last three outings.

Since the start of the new year, no team has a higher winning percentage (10-2, .833) than the Knicks. Through the first 32 games, the Knicks were only slightly above average with a 17-15 mark.

However, the acquisition of OG Anunoby via trade might have completely turned their fortunes around. Anunoby's ability to guard all five positions on the court gives New York the defensive boost it desperately needs.

Nonetheless, the Knicks will be underdogs on their home court, with the bookmakers opting to open the Nuggets as 2.5-point favorites. Although we've seen that number tick down as low as -1.5, the total has instead caught my attention in this matchup.

Let's get to our Nuggets vs. Knicks prediction and pick.

Nuggets vs. Knicks Prediction

Pick: ALT Under 224.5 (-127)

Jokic Paces the Nuggets

The Nuggets defense continues to play at the same level from last year's championship campaign. Per, their Defensive Rating (113.4) is one-tenth of a point better than a season ago (113.5).

Offensively, Denver is also playing slightly slower, averaging 97.67 possessions per 48 minutes—slightly down from its previous mark of 98.74.

However, those numbers speak to the influence of the Nuggets' star player, Nikola Jokic. Their offense runs through the do-it-all 284-pound center, who often brings the ball up the court and leads his team with 9.1 assists per game.

Jokic's size makes him almost an immovable entity, as his teammates and opponents don't have much choice but to play at his pace.

The Nuggets' commitment to defense allows them to control the game's tempo while ensuring that opposing teams rarely get too far in front to build a big lead.

That helps explain why the Nuggets are tied for the second-most clutch wins (15) in games where the scoring margin is within five points with five or fewer minutes remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime.

Knicks Defense Stepping Up

If you look at the Knicks' statistics this season, you might think they're a direct reflection of the Nuggets. New York ranks 27th in Pace (98.13 possessions per 48 minutes) and seventh in Defensive Rating (112.5).

However, since acquiring Anunoby, they're playing slightly slower, with 97.21 possessions per 48 minutes while boasting the best Defensive Rating (104.2) since Jan. 1. With Anunoby on the team, New York's Net Rating also jumps from +4.8 to +12.9.

And it's not as if the Knicks have faced a bunch of cupcake teams since his arrival. Two of their 10 wins since the trade came against the Timberwolves (112-106) at home and the 76ers (128-92) on the road, and those teams are a combined 34 games above .500.

When we think about organizations that try to build a championship roster, we often see them pursue an All-NBA player. However, Anunoby doesn't fit that mold despite being an All-Defensive Second Team selection last season.

Given their recent success, the Knicks are clearly showing that it doesn't have to be all about the offense to win in the modern NBA.

Nuggets vs. Knicks Picks, Odds

Thursday, Jan. 25
7:30 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass
Nuggets Odds
Knicks Odds
Odds via DraftKings . Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Both teams should feel right at home playing at a slower pace in this game.

However, the Knicks are not nearly as efficient as Jokic and the Nuggets' offense as New York ranks 18th in Effective Field Goal Percentage (54.1%), which adjusts to account for 3-point field goals being worth more than 2-pointers.

Thus, New York's improved defense helps mask its offensive deficiencies.

According to our Action Labs database, the Knicks are the fourth-most profitable team (25-19, +3.76 units) for under bettors. However, those bettors only recently started seeing those gains as New York is 11-1 to the under for 8.96 units since Anunoby's arrival.

This total opened at 225.5, and the market has weighed in by betting it down to 223. Although I missed out on getting the best of the number, there's value in playing an alternate total of under 224.5 points with -127 odds at BetRivers.

Pick: ALT Under 224.5 (-127)

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