Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Pick 2/1/19
Boston Celtics (32-19 SU, 26-25 ATS) vs. New York Knicks (10-40 SU, 22-27-1 ATS)
When: Friday, February 1st, 2019 – 7:30 PM ET
Where: Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
TV: ESPN / MSG
Point Spread: BOS -13.5 / NY +13.5
Power Rankings: New York +15
Takeaways From Boston’s and New York’s Most Recent Games
The Celtics enter into this match-up in overall good form as they won seven of their last eight contests. Most recently, the Celtics went to work on the visiting Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday as they defeated the Hornets by a score of 126-94 to cover easily as a seven-point favorite.
The Knicks come in off their 11th consecutive loss after they were rolled on their own court three days ago by the visiting Dallas Mavericks. Closing as a 6.5-point underdog, the Knickerbockers were nowhere near close to covering as they were thrashed 114-90.
How the Public is Betting the Boston-New York Game
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Historically known as a rivalry, the Boston-New York has been a competitive one as these two divisional enemies have met three times this year already with each side splitting the last two contests with a win each. Most recently, the Celtics hosted the Knicks in Boston in December and put the wood to them handing them a 128-100 loss to cover easily as a 13.5-point favorite.
Outside of the well-documented injury to forward Kristaps Porzingis who is now packaged in a potential trade with the Dallas Mavericks, the Knicks will be without Point Guards Frank Ntilikina and Emmanuel Mudiay, both of whom are out until the middle of this month with respective groin and shoulder injuries. As for Boston, Point Guard Kyrie Irving remains questionable with a hip injury.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
Boston wrapped a five-game home-stand against the Hornets on Tuesday and will be taking a short trip down to New York for this contest before returning home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. The Knicks enter on one less day of rest but are in the midst of a four-game homestand that sees New York in the Big Apple until next Friday when they travel to the Motor City to take on the Detroit Pistons. Given the nature of how Boston beat up Charlotte on Tuesday, the Celtics may actually be the more motivated and the fresher team.
Can Boston Keep Its Mojo Working?
The Celtics own many advantages heading into this contest, so it is safe to conclude that they are in great position to earn their eighth win in nine matches. The most substantial edge for Boston would reside in their defensive acumen compared to that of their counterparts. The Celtics sit fourth in the NBA giving up just 105.6 points per game compared to the Knicks who sit 26th giving up 115 points per outing. In addition, the Knicks are kind to opponents concerning shooting efficiency as their opposition hits 47.6% of their attempts (28th in the NBA). Contrarily, the Celtics are stingy as opponents succeed in just 44% of their field goals (2nd in the league). Boston should build a significant lead by outshooting the Knicks alone in this contest, and it is safe to infer they will have the opportunity to enhance their volume against a New York team that is the worst in the NBA in giving away second chances as the Knicks give up 48.3 rebounds per contest.
When Will The Skid Come To An End For New York?
The Knicks own just one advantage heading into this contest: their bench. New York’s bench generates 44 points per game compared to Boston’s 39.1 points per contest. There is a good chance that whether New York gets its doors blown off out of the gate or should they go into tank mode that the Celtics will see plenty of their bench. However, given all the disadvantages working against the overall demoralized Knicks, this will not be of much help to New York.
Despite this being a storied rivalry there are not many prominent trends emerging in this series. The only notable trend is for Over/Under players as the Over is 3-1 ATS in the last four meetings.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Boston -13.5
In many cases laying a large quantity points such as this often bodes tremendous risk. However, in this case, the opposite may be the case. Other books suggest that the Celtics are undervalued here and that is quite a reasonable proposition. It appears that the Knicks have gone into tank mode and written off their 2018-19 campaign altogether. The revelation that the Knicks are finalizing the paperwork to send their best player Forward Kristaps Porzingis off to Dallas should suggest that this team in the midst of clearing the table to build for the future. With this being said, it is safe to conclude the Knicks will likely not be showing up for this game and once again they will likely get buried by a Boston team that has its sights set on the NBA Finals.