NBA

NBA Betting Preview: Sixers look to stop skid, Knicks go for 10 in a row

Philadelphia 76ers guard Shake Milton (18) drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Jeff Teague (5) in the second quarter at Fiserv Forum.
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers (-#) vs Oklahoma City Thunder

Losers of four straight, the Sixers have really stumbled of late, as they’re coming off a 38-point shellacking to Milwaukee on Saturday.

They were shorthanded, sure, but nonetheless, it was an afternoon to forget for Philadelphia, as they’re now 2nd in the East at 39-21.

The Bucks are hot on their tail as well, as back-to-back victories over Philadelphia propelled them to just a game and a half back of the No. 2 seed.

Luckily for Doc Rivers and company, up next is a date with the lowly Thunder, who have lost a whopping 13 in a row after starting the season decently.

It’s long been known that this year would be that of a rebuild in Oklahoma City, as they’ve made a bevy of trades the last few seasons to acquire future draft assets.

This is the perfect spot for the Sixers to bounce back and right the ship heading into May, as there’s still plenty of time to regain the No. 1 seed in the East.

I’ll lay the number here regardless of who suits up for Philly, as Rivers should have this team ready and prepared to take care of business Monday, especially after Saturday’s beatdown.

The Pick: Sixers and the points

 

Phoenix Suns vs New York Knicks

Who would’ve thought going into May that the New York Knicks would not only be the hottest team in basketball, but in sole possession of fourth place in the Eastern Conference?

The feel-good story of the season, head coach Tom Thibodeau deserves ample praise for the job he’s done with this Knicks team, especially given the overall talent deficiency on the roster.

Much to his MO, Thibodeau’s done it with defense, as his team ranks fourth in the NBA in Defensive Rating, holding opponents to a league best 104.7 PPG.

These are the two best teams Against The Spread (ATS) in the NBA, making this a peculiar spot for bettors.

The Knicks are 38-21-1 ATS, while the Suns are just percentage points behind at 36-21-1.

Phoenix will be playing the second game of a back-to-back, as they played across town against the Nets Sunday — which could dissuade action on the road team.

It’s often been profitable to fade teams coming off a back-to-back, but the Suns have been excellent on the road (19-8) all season long, and the fact that Sunday’s game was in the afternoon could play into their favor.

Given all these factors, the Knicks may very well be overinflated in the market Monday, which could provide just enough value to warrant a play on the road team.

It should be interesting to see where this line ends up, which will ultimately decide who I lean toward.

The Pick: TBA

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