Kings vs Knicks: Check Injury Report Before Betting This Game

With injuries playing a huge role in this matchup, Action Network contributor Andrew O'Connor Watts provides his betting picks and prediction for the Kings facing the Knicks on TNT on Thursday.

Kings vs. Knicks Odds

Kings Odds +3.5
Knicks Odds -3.5
Moneyline +125 / -154
Over/Under 214
Time Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here’s everything you need to know about Kings vs. Knicks on Thursday, April 4 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today’s game.

The Sacramento Kings hit the road Thursday to face the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. Both teams are dealing with injuries to key players. Kings guards Malik Monk (knee) and Kevin Huerter (shoulder) are out for the remainder of the regular season.

For New York, the statuses of both OG Anunoby (elbow) and Julius Randle (shoulder) are a bit murkier long-term, but neither will suit up Thursday against Sacramento. Mitchell Robinson (ankle) and Josh Hart (wrist) are both questionable.

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Kings vs. Knicks Prediction

Pick: If Hart plays: Knicks 1Q
If Hart Doesn’t Play: Keon Ellis Over 3.5 Rebounds | Miles McBride Over 16.5 Points

Kings Betting Outlook

It’s hardly a massive sample size, but in the two games since Monk went down with an MCL sprain, the Kings have fared well, beating the Jazz and Clippers at Golden 1 Center by a combined point differential of +35. Going back further, since the Huerter injury, Sacramento is 5-3 — just above its .587 season-long win rate.

Huerter and Monk offer additional scoring, but give up a lot on the defensive end. In the eight games without Huerter, the Kings have posted a 110.1 Defensive Rating — a full five points better than their season-long rating. As a result, the under is 7-1 in that span.

The other piece to that defensive improvement is more minutes for players like Keon Ellis and Davion Mitchell — two defense-first players. Ellis has seen a jump in minutes and even entered the starting lineup in place of Huerter. Ellis has an incredible +1.9 Defensive EPM per Dunks and Threes, which ranks in the 93rd percentile. He’s cleared his rebounds prop in six of the past 10 games, including in each of the past four games.

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Knicks Betting Outlook

The Knicks have been hobbling to the finish line of the season with a rash of injuries, but have also fared well thanks to their depth. Players like Josh Hart and Isaiah Hartenstein have stepped up massively in in the absence of Randle and Anunoby, and the results have been surprising. The seventh-best five-man lineup in the league includes Hart, Hartenstein, Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo and Miles McBride — a +34.6, per Cleaning the Glass.

As a result, the Knicks have started games strong and are 6-3-1 ATS in the first quarter over their past 10 games, according to EV Analytics.

If Hart sits, McBride will see an increase in usage, which typically leads to good results. Per PBP Stats, McBride’s usage ticks up 1.68% and his effective field goal percentage goes from 56.2% to 63.1%. His true shooting also goes from 58.3% to 65.4%.

Kings vs. Knicks Picks, Odds

Hart’s status is key in handicapping this game. If he’s out, I like Ellis to go over 3.5 rebounds — a number he’s cleared in four-straight and in five of the past six games. Hart is a great rebounder and with Ellis likely guarding Brunson, he should have a size advantage that will help him come up with some rebounds.

I also like McBride to go over his points prop if Hart is out. I’ll take McBride’s points line at 16.5, a number he has cleared in five of the past eight games.

If Hart plays, I’ll like the Knicks in the first quarter as we’ll be getting the benefit of one of the best five-man lineups in the league.

Pick: If Hart plays: Knicks 1Q
If Hart Doesn’t Play: Keon Ellis Over 3.5 Rebounds | Miles McBride Over 16.5 Points