San Antonio Spurs vs. New York Knicks Pick
San Antonio Spurs (33-27 SU, 32-27-1 ATS) vs. New York Knicks (11-48 SU, 25-32 ATS)
When: Sunday, February 24th, 2019 – 7:30 PM ET
Where: Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
TV: FSN / MSG / NBA TV
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SA -8 / NY +8 (Intertops Sportsbook)
Power Rankings: New York +5
Takeaways From San Antonio and New York’s Most Recent Games
The Spurs enters off a bitter 120-117 loss when they fell on Friday in Toronto against the Raptors in the Great White North. Undoubtedly, the Spurs are thinking about what could have been as they led the Raptors in the last minute of regulation before Toronto Forward and former Spur Kawhi Leonard interjected and gave the Raptors the lead with 15 seconds remaining. Despite the heart-breaking loss, the Spurs managed to snap an eight game skid of failing to produce a cover as they were priced as an eight-point underdog at tip-off.
The Knicks head into this contest on the heels of a loss at home on Friday against the Timberwolves. Closing as a four-point underdog, New York failed to cover as they were defeated 115-104 by Minnesota. Knicks Coach David Fizdale should get an Oscar award for his acting job, pretending he wants this team to be competitive before their end of the year fishing trip.
How the Public is Betting the San Antonio-New York Game
81% of the general public like the Spurs here laying the points. As a result of this early public lean, we have seen the line move upward by a point from San Antonio opening as a seven-point favorite.
The Knicks and Spurs met in January in New York and the Spurs put together a 100-91 win over New York. The Spurs closed as a 5.5-point favorite and as a result successfully covered in their win against the Knicks.
There are no prevalent injury concerns for either team heading into this cross-conference match-up.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
Both teams enter into this contest on two days of rest. For New York, this is the second game of a four-match home-stand for the Knicks that concludes on Thursday when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers. San Antonio is in the midst of a three-game road trip that concludes tomorrow in Brooklyn against the Nets before they return home on Wednesday to host the Detroit Pistons.
Will San Antonio’s Three-Point Shooting Incinerate Knicks Porous Defense?
The Spurs are the best team in the NBA when it comes to shooting from three-point range. The Spurs hit a remarkable 40.7% of their attempts from beyond the arc. From a defensive perspective, the Knicks stand 19th in the NBA in opponent three-point percentage (35.9%). As a result, San Antonio should continue to enjoy success from this range. Moreover, the Spurs will be able to see an influx in production against a Knicks defense that sits 25th in NBA in scoring. New York gives up 114 points per game. In addition to their three-point shooting exploits, San Antonio is also the best in the NBA in free-throw shooting as they hit 82.4% of their attempts from the free throw line. New York sits 13th in the NBA in opponent free throw percentage (76.2%) so it appears that the Spurs should also have little trouble in that area as well.
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Will New York’s Bench Become A Factor?
New York’s bench averages 44.1 points per game which is 5.5 points more than San Antonio’s bench averages per game (38.6 points per contest). Should this game go the distance, New York’s bench could position the Knicks to stay competitive in the match and perhaps maybe even enable the Knicks to steal a win. The question is whether or not New York hangs around long enough for this narrative to become a factor. After all, the Knicks are 4-27 SU this season against teams with a .500 record or better. New York has also lost 29 games this season by 10 points or more. On the flipside, do not expect San Antonio to take New York lightly as they have gone 17-9 SU against teams with a record below .500 on the year.
A prominent head-to-head trend is San Antonio’s present three-game winning streak against New York. From an against the spread perspective, the Spurs have covered successfully in the previous two meetings between both sides.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: San Antonio -8
Despite having one win on the road in their last six away games, I like San Antonio’s prospects of winning and covering the Intertops line of -8 with ease against a Knicks team that will only be showing up in body and not in spirit. It is a well-documented fact that New York has written off their 2018-19 campaign and are now committed toward building for the future. The talk of the town in the Big Apple is what marquee names the Knicks will attempt to sign in the off-season and who they will look to draft with a potential first overall pick in the NBA Draft Lottery. With the Knicks in tank mode, the Spurs will treat this an opportunity to get the road monkey off their back and win this game by at least a double-digit margin.