New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers Pick
New York Knicks (9-21 SU, 14-15-1 ATS) vs. Indiana Pacers (19-10 SU, 16-13 ATS)
When: Sunday, December 16th, 2018 – 5:00 PM ET
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, IN
TV: FSN / MSG
By: Keith Franks, Basketball Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NYK +11.5 / IND -11.5
Power Rankings: Indiana -15
Takeaways From New York and Indiana ’s Most Recent Games
The Knicks snapped a five-game losing streak with an overtime win on Friday night in the Queen City when they upset the Charlotte Hornets as a ten-point underdog. The victory also ended a five-game losing streak against the spread. The fact remains that New York stands at 2-7 SU over their last nine outings and they have not won a game in regulation over this span.
Unlike the Knicks, Indiana is playing with a hot hand as they have won their last six fixtures and covered successfully in their last five overall. Most recently, these searing hot Pacers pulled an upset as a three-point underdog in hostile confines when they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in the City of Brotherly Love on Friday night by a score of 113-101.
How the Public is Betting the New York-Indiana Game
At the moment, 100% of the betting public fancy the Pacers in this spot. As a result, we have seen the market already begin to move as the Pacers are now spotting an extra half-point to the Knicks from the opening price of -11.
Historically, the Pacers and Knicks share a storied rivalry. However, Indiana has dominated as of late as they have won the last three meetings between the two. Most recently, the Pacers defeated the Knicks in the Big Apple as a 5.5-point favorite by a score of 107-101 on Halloween to generate a splitting-hairs cover.
A huge contributor to the Knicks woes is the injury bug biting up their roster. Starting with a torn ACL to star forward Kristaps Porzingis in the summer, the Knicks have also sustained nagging injuries to both point man Trey Burke and forward Frank Ntilikina which continues to challenge the depth of this franchise. It is unknown whether Burke or Ntilikina will be available for this contest.
The Knicks Can Potentially Undermine Indiana’s Modus Operandi
Despite the contrasting win and loss records, the Knicks actually own edges in the turnover department compared to the Pacers. This is a significant positive for New York as Indiana manages to produce an incredible nine steals per game. To complement this, despite the injuries the Knicks still get more mileage out of their bench and own a deeper roster on paper as they average 47.7 bench points compared to Indiana’s mean of 40. The Knickerbockers will need to tap into these advantages to make this game competitive as New York stands just 5-12 SU on the road this season. New York also averages 6.5 defensive blocks per game which is another asset the Knicks can hone to mitigate Indiana’s scoring chances created by their stout defense.
Indiana Enjoys Rolling Up It’s Sleeves
There is one intangible that Indiana has on every other team in the NBA and that is their brand of defense. The Pacers own the best scoring defense in the league giving up a paltry 101.3 points per game. To follow this up, the Pacers are third in opponent field goal percentage at 43.9% and average 42.4 defensive rebounds per game (4th in the NBA). With a do-it-all offensive duo in guards Victor Oladipo and Darren Collison, the Pacers mantra is wear opponents out and let their defense create scoring chances for the playmakers.
In addition to their present win streak against New York, the Pacers have also successfully covered in their previous three meetings with the Knicks. Overall, New York is 2-11 ATS in their last 13 fixtures in Indiana.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: New York +11.5
A common motif found in spots where two teams enter in contrasting forms is the underdog taking back an enhanced allotment of points if they are riding a nasty spat of results compared to their red-hot opposition. The Knicks and the Pacers fit that model here. When you toss in the fact that the Pacers are known for a robust home court advantage at 10-4 SU this season combined with the aforementioned troubling away record for the Knicks, the possibility of an overlay becomes that much more heightened. When Indiana’s win-streak both against the spread and outright against the Knickerbockers is tossed into the mix, the possibility of Indiana becoming overvalued is a sheer certainty. There are more points on the table than we need to work with here as the Knicks will play responsible basketball, turn this into a chess match with their bench play, and as a result keep this contest within reach and come in under the lofty number.