Knicks vs Thunder Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview (Sunday)

Knicks vs Thunder Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview (Sunday) article feature image

Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Brunson.

Knicks vs Thunder Odds, Pick, Prediction

Sunday, March 31
7 p.m. ET
League Pass
Knicks Odds
-110 / -110
Thunder Odds
-110 / -110
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about Knicks vs Thunder on Sunday, March 31 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today's game.

The latest Knicks vs Thunder odds have the Knicks installed as 2-point favorites at Madison Square Garden. The over/under sits at 217 total points.

The Thunder kick off a five-game road trip, with a stop in New York to take on the Knicks. Oklahoma City is coming off a 128-103 win over the Suns to move into second place in the Western Conference standings. Thunder All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has missed two straight games due to a quad injury, is listed as questionable for Sunday night.

While it was the Thunder's first victory in three tries with Gilgeous-Alexander sidelined, Oklahoma City still maintained its uptempo style of play. In the last two games, Jalen Williams and Josh Giddey took turns leading the Thunder with nine and 10 assists, respectively.

Perhaps there's a bit of an overreaction to the total by the betting market if Gilgeous-Alexander misses another game. After opening at 217.5, the total is down to 214 at BetRivers.

That type of adjustment seems too aggressive for a game that could be played at a fast pace.

Oklahoma City Thunder

If we look at the Thunder's last two games without Gilgeous-Alexander, it ranked seventh in pace with 99.09 possessions per 48 minutes. Overall, this season, Oklahoma City is averaging 100.75 possessions, also the league's seventh-fastest mark.

Whenever you're considering a play on the total, you always want to be mindful of the style of play in the matchup while assessing which team is likely to dictate the pace.

One method I like to use is comparing a team's home-away splits using their pace. Does it play fast at home and then slower on the road? Or does it play at the same pace, no matter where the game is held?

Oklahoma City's situation is more of the latter, as it averages 100.8 possessions at home and 100.71 on the road, according to

Those numbers suggest that Oklahoma City is largely successful in imposing its style of play on opposing teams.

Perhaps the most significant thing Oklahoma City's opponents must adjust to is its efficiency. When dealing with the Thunder's pace and trying to match its offensive efficiency, which ranks third with 116.2 points per 100 possessions, opponents might feel like they're always chasing the game.

It's this combination of pace and efficiency that makes Oklahoma City the third-most profitable team for over-bettors (39-31-3, 55.7%).

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New York Knicks

The New York Knicks are another team that plays with a high level of offensive efficiency. They rank 12th with 113.8 points per 100 possessions.

However, the Knicks are the slowest team in the league, with 96.13 possessions per game.

If you ever want to understand a team's preferred tempo, your best option is to assess it when it plays at home. However, visiting teams will already be well aware of the home team's playing style.

The question is whether they'll choose to conform or look to play the game at their own speed.

Thus, I tend to place more of the onus on a visiting team's ability to influence the tempo of a game. After all, they're the ones who have to try and disrupt the overall flow of the game and make the home team feel uncomfortable in their building.

One thing to note about this game is that both teams like to shoot from the perimeter. Oklahoma City ranks ninth (13.4) in 3-point field goals, while New York is a few spots below, at 11th (13.2) in the league.

And over their last three games, Oklahoma City has been averaging 15 3-pointers compared to 18.3 for New York.

Therefore, it wouldn't surprise me if the barrage of 3-point shooting continued on Sunday night.

Thunder vs. Knicks

Betting Pick & Prediction

Generally, it's a good sign to take the under when you see a total that's been bet down after opening at 217 or fewer points. According to our Action Labs database, which dates back to the 2005 season, the under is 3867-3645-98 for 27.1 units.

However, if we adjust our parameters to include only Thunder games, it's the over that's proven to be more profitable, as evidenced by a 184-172-5 mark for +3.41 units.

It's also worth noting that the total is a perfect 3-0 to the over this season in games when Gilgeous-Alexander doesn't play. After running the numbers, my model projects a total closer to 221, giving me a significant edge with 214 currently available at BetRivers.

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC