76ers vs. Knicks Preview: Target New York's Team Total

@JoeDellera breaks down how to bet Knicks vs. 76ers on Tuesday night

76ers vs. Knicks Odds

76ers Odds +1
Knicks Odds -1
Over/Under 217.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The 76ers and the Knicks face each other at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. Each team looks to build off its 2-1 start against a divisional opponent and start the season 3-1.

While the 76ers are amidst the Benjamin Simmons drama, the Knicks are nearly at full strength as they head into this matchup. Let’s break it down.

Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers have had to adjust to life without Benjamin Simmons (Out-Personal), and they’ve done fine without his talents through three games. However, the 76ers also are facing injuries to both Shake Milton (ankle – Out) and Andre Drummond (ankle – Questionable).

Most importantly, Joel Embiid has popped onto the injury report with a sore right knee (Questionable). Keep an eye on their statuses as they affect not only the 76ers’ depth but their chances at a win.

Without Simmons, one may have expected the 76ers to take a step back considering he’s an All-Star and extremely talented facilitator and defender. However, with the development of young point guard Tyrese Maxey and talented defender Matisse Thybulle, the 76ers have mitigated his absence.

If Embiid is unable to play or is limited, it will severely hamper the 76ers. Last season, the 76ers were 13 points per 100 possessions better when Embiid was on the floor, per Cleaning the Glass.

So far this season, the 76ers have the best expected allowed eFG% at 50.6%; they’ve done a good job limiting 3-point opportunities and defending the rim while funneling opponents to take midrange shots. This will be a breaking point against this Knicks’ offense.

New York Knicks

The Knicks are looking to rebound after a surprising loss to the Magic and may be without backup center Nerlens Noel who is Questionable with a sore left knee.

We know the Knicks always lay it out on the floor, but this season they’ve made one modification to their offensive attack. Last season, the Knicks attempted just 32% of their shots from 3-point range despite having the fourth-best 3 point shooting percentage (39.5%).

At the time of this writing, the Knicks are taking the third-most 3-point shots, with 45.5% of their attempts coming from long range, and they are still converting at a high rate, making 37.9% of their attempts. While this opens them up for poor shooting variance, it also has envigorated this offense after the offseason acquisitions of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier.

The Knicks added offensive talent that has revitalized their offense while remaining strong defensively. While no one is expected to stop Joel Embiid, the return of Mitchell Robinson cannot be understated. He’s a lengthy and quick defender who has the size and agility to try and slow down Embiid.

If Embiid is hampered by that knee injury at all, it could make this a closer matchup than expected. Even if Robinson does not defend Embiid straight up, his ability to contest shots and protect the paint will be critical for the Knicks’ defense.

76ers-Knicks Pick

The Knicks opened as short favorites here in what is essentially a pick ’em. If Joel Embiid is unable to play or is limited, the Knicks are absolutely the play considering their depth and talent.

However, I’m going over the Knicks’ team total of 109.5 for value. While the 76ers’ 3-point defense has been effective, it has much more to do with whom they have played. The Pelicans put up a strong 3-point percentage while the Thunder are hapless this season.

Although the 76ers held the Nets to just 31.6% shooting from beyond the arc, that was an outlier shooting performance from Brooklyn, and the Nets still came away with the victory. Additionally without Ben Simmons to defend the perimeter and disrupt passing lanes, the Knicks should be able to have more fluid ball movement and open looks.

The Knicks should have an advantage from the 3-point line, and by playing their team total I think we have an edge regardless of Embiid’s injury status, while also insulating us from a poor offensive performance from Philly if Embiid is limited or out.

Pick: Knicks to Score More than 109.5 Points (-110 – DraftKings)