Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks Pick
Indiana Pacers (27-14 SU, 21-20 ATS) vs. New York Knicks (10-31 SU, 18-22-1 ATS)
When: Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 7:30 PM ET
Where: Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
TV: ESPN / FSN / TSN
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: IND -8.5 / NY +8.5 (Bovada Sportsbook)
Power Rankings: New York +8
Takeaways From Indiana’s and New York’s Most Recent Games
Exposed is a common word used to describe Indiana’s formerly top-ranked defense after it let up a shocking 135 points to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday in Beantown. Closing as a seven-point underdog, the Pacers were mangled when they fell by a margin of 28 points to the Celtics in their high-profile clash. The Pacers have also been a liability against the spread as they have failed to cover in their last five outings.
The Knicks come in off a drubbing received at the hands of the two-time defending NBA Champions when New York was smoked by the Golden State Warriors in Oakland on Tuesday night. Despite closing as a 17-point underdog, the Knicks could not come in under the number as they were smashed by a score of 122-95. In their last ten games, the Knicks are 1-9 SU.
How the Public is Betting the Indiana-New York Game
At the moment the public seems to be divided fairly evenly with New York seeing 52% of the consensus action. Mirroring this trend, the line has not moved in either direction as a result. Contrarily, the Over/Under has risen by a point to its current station of 219.5 after opening at 218.5 which indicates action on the Over.
Free Pick: NE Patriots vs LA Chargers
Historically known as a rivalry, it has been anything but that as the Pacers have had the upper hand in this series as of late. The Pacers defeated New York in the last four meetings between both teams. New York and Indiana last met in December in Indianapolis where the Knicks closed as a 11.5-point underdog and were able to squeak out a razor-thin cover when they were dropped 110-99 by Indiana.
Outside of the well-documented injury to forward Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks Center Enes Kanter is listed as questionable for this game as he battles an illness. Kanter is New York’s most proficient shooter (54% field goal percentage) and top rebounder (11 boards per game). As for Indiana, Point Guard Darren Collison is listed as questionable with a sore leg. This is a significant concern for the Pacers as Collison is their chief facilitator with 5.5 assists per game.
Can Indiana Rebound From An Ugly Loss?
Despite appearing otherwise on Wednesday against the Celtics, the Pacers still own the second-best scoring defense in the NBA giving up just 103.1 points per game. To follow this up, the Pacers are still fourth in opponent field goal percentage at 44.5%. The Pacers are also ranked third in the league in defensive rebounding giving up just 42.6 boards per outing. The Knicks will only give them a helping hand as they are ranked 30th in field goal percentage (43%) and score just 107.4 points per game (23rd in the NBA). The Pacers are in position to rebound huge here by virtue of this edge alone. However, it doesn’t stop there to complement their defensive proficiencies, the Pacers are the third-ranked team in the NBA in field goal percentage at 48.1% and they stand fifth overall in the NBA hitting 36.9% of their attempts. The Knicks give up a 27th ranked 115.8 points per game, allow opponents to shoot a 28th in the league 47.8%, and also give up 47.8 defensive rebounds per contest (28th overall). Very simply, the Pacers seem positioned to outclass the Knicks here.
Can New York Get Out Of The Doldrums?
The Knicks do have a couple of advantages that could perhaps give them an opportunity to be competitive here. These advantages lie in their bench play and turnover margin. The Knicks’ bench averages 43.7 points per game in comparison to Indiana who accrues 39.6 points per outing. This is a franchise that is in need of a huge win as New York sits alone in the basement of the Atlantic Division.
Despite being dominant in this series, the Pacers have struggled to cover the bookie’s number against the Knicks in New York as of late as they are 1-4 ATS in their last five meetings in the Big Apple. The Under is 6-2 ATS in the previous eight matches at Madison Square Garden.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Indiana -8.5
The Pacers’ defeat on Wednesday night could easily produce a lot of reluctance from the consensus to back them here as the result could create an overreaction. However, the good news for Indiana is that they step into a prime example of a bounce-back situation against a far weaker team by comparison to a Boston Celtics bunch that were favored by many to win the Eastern Conference. Against Indiana, Boston was lights out in the shooting department as they hit 56.8% of their field goal attempts and 43.8% of their three-pointers. Such a performance is hard to replicate on any basis and a team as poor in terms of shooting as New York will not be a premium candidate to pull off such a feat. The Pacers could lead this one from start to finish and very well win this affair by over 20 points.