NY Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Predictions 1/28/22
New York Knicks (23-26 SU, 24-25-0 ATS) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (30-20 SU, 21-29-0 ATS)
When: Friday, January 28th, 2022, 10:00 pm (ET)
Where: Fiserv Forum Milwaukee, WI
Point Spread: NY +9/MIL -9 (Opened at 9 BetOnline)
Total: 215.5 (Opened at 215.5)
Money Line: NY +330/MIL -420
Power Rating: MIL -10
Probable Starting Lineups
New York Knicks: PG Kemba Walker, SG Evan Fournier, SF RJ Barrett, PF Julius Randle, C Mitchell Robinson
Milwaukee Bucks: PG Jrue Holiday, SG Grayson Allen, SF Khris Middleton, PF Giannis Antetokounmpo, C Bobby Portis
New York Knicks: X
Milwaukee Bucks: G Rodney Hood *Doubtful* (Achilles), G Wesley Matthews *Probable* (Knee), G Grayson Allen *Probable* (Hip), G Lindell Wigginton *Out* (Illness), C Brook Lopez *Out* (Back)
The New York Knicks come into this one with a 23-26 record and sit 11th in the Eastern Conference. After a great start in January, going 5-2, the Knicks have since struggled with a 1-5 record over their last six games. New York’s biggest downfall this season, which has been on display during their rough stretch, is their bottom-tier offense. The Knicks have averaged just 97.5 PPG in their last four contests. Between their poor shooting percentage and lack of attempts per game, the Knicks have been relying on their defense to win them games this season. Down the stretch, their defense hasn’t been able to do enough to keep them consistently in the win column as other teams’ offenses are finding their groove and becoming too much for the young Knicks squad. The biggest concern for me in this game against the Bucks is New York’s play in the paint. Offensively, the Knicks are last in the NBA for points in the paint with 40.6 per game. Due to their lack of points near the basket, the Knicks live and die by the three-point shot, which is an area the Bucks defend very well. The defensive grit of Holiday and Allen protect the perimeter well, and as for the paint, Giannis has that locked down any time the Knicks try to test those waters. The New York offense is led by Julius Randle, who is averaging 18.7 PPG this season. Despite an overall mediocre offense, the Knicks share the ball well, as seven players are averaging double-digit points. New York is the 27th ranked scoring offense as they average just 103.8 PPG. Defensively, the Knicks hold the 5th spot, allowing just 104.4 PPG.
The Milwaukee Bucks come into this matchup with a 30-20 record and sit 6th in the Eastern Conference. While 6th puts them in the last spot that keeps them out of the play-in tournament, the Bucks sit just two games back from the #1 seed Heat, which means the top of the East is very close at this point of the season. After a three-game win streak, the Bucks faced the stellar Cavaliers defense, who held them to just 99 points on the night. While the Bucks face another top 5 defense again tonight, they have the edge in one key area over the Knicks: first-half points. The Bucks offense is known for their fast start to games and average 60.4 first-half points at home this season, which leads the NBA. The Bucks also like to push the pace as one of the fastest teams in the league and will look to control the pace once again against the Knicks, who are the slowest-paced team this season. The only way the Knicks have a chance to keep this game close is by slowing down the Bucks, keeping both sides under the 100-point mark, and forcing a defensive battle to the end. Given the return of Allen to the lineup after his one-game suspension, the Bucks will have just another young perimeter shooter who helps keep the fast pace the Bucks thrive from. Milwaukee is led offensively by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has inserted himself once again into the MVP conversation by averaging a stat line of 29-11-6 this season. The Bucks offense is 5th in the league as they average 111.8 PPG. Their defense sits 14th as they give up 108.3 PPG.
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Knicks on the Road
The Knicks have an 11-12 record on the road this season and have just one road win this month. With just a 43.4% from the floor and 102.6 PPG on the road, the Knicks offense doesn’t appear to travel well but honestly doesn’t play well at home either. Coming into Fiserv Forum, the Knicks aren’t expecting to have their offense come alive against a team that has protected home court well this season. An area that the Knicks stats do improve on the road is their defense, as they give up 103.2 PPG on the road, which is less than they allow at home. While Giannis has dominated most of the East this season, a team that has kept him under wraps is the Knicks. Since 2019, the Knicks have allowed Giannis to break the 30+ point mark just once in eight contests. Given that they defend the paint well, if they can hold him under 30 points once again, it will give them a chance to keep this game within range, but even if they do, there is still other talent on the floor who can get it done for Milwaukee.
Bucks at Home
The Bucks have an impressive 17-8 record at home this season, including three straight home wins. In those three most recent wins, the Bucks were able to get it done in high scoring fashion, as well as a low-scoring affair against the Bulls. Given the lack of offense from the Knicks, the Bucks will be able to lean more on their defense in this one without the threat of needing to put up 120+ points to win. In their last two games against the Knicks, the Bucks held them to 100 points or less, which was on the road in both contests. Returning home for this one should give them the energy they need from home-court advantage to keep a fast-paced game and force the Knicks to take a high number of shots, which is not their style of play. Giving up just 32.5% from three-point range is also going to play a big part in this game as the Knicks rely heavily on their three-point shooting. Barring an offensive collapse by the Bucks, I expect another win for them at home by a comfortable margin.
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Friday night’s matchup will be the fourth time the Bucks and Knicks face off this season. The Knicks took the first game of the season, but the Bucks responded with back-to-back wins on the road. Dating back to last season, these teams are an even 3-3 in the last six games.
How the Public is Betting the Knicks vs. Bucks
64% are betting the Bucks against the spread.
53% are wagering on the game to go over the posted total of 215.5.
Betting Trends Worth Noting
The New York Knicks are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games as road underdogs.
The Milwaukee Bucks are 1-5 ATS in their last six games as a home favorite.
Under is 5-1 in the Knicks’ last six games playing on one days’ rest.
Over is 9-3 in the Bucks’ last 12 games as a home favorite.
The New York Knicks are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games vs. the Bucks.
The Under is 4-0 in the last four games between the Knicks and Bucks.
Collin’s Pick for Knicks/Bucks
This Eastern Conference matchup features the stellar road defense in the Knicks and the home offensive juggernaut in the Bucks. The Knicks come in as heavy 9-point underdogs and won’t win this game if it comes to a high-scoring affair in the fourth quarter. The Bucks will control the pace of this game and try to run up the score in the first half, as they often do to their opponents. With the return of Grayson Allen, the Bucks will have a key piece to their perimeter offense and will match up well in defensive situations as well. The Bucks should win this one comfortably so long as they avoid a cold shooting night from Giannis. Take the Milwaukee Bucks to cover the 9-point spread. Question: When you bet on football/basketball games, are you laying -110 or -105? If you’re still laying -110 odds, you are WASTING your hard earned money! Learn about reduced juice sports betting and start saving big bucks TODAY! It costs you NOTHING!
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