Knicks vs. Grizzlies Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The New York Knicks come into Friday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies on a rare winning streak, looking to make it four in a row. Memphis, on the other hand, has split the last eight games and is trying to regain a bit of its form.
Will we finally see an expected result from these two sides, or will chaos once again reign supreme? Let’s have a look at the matchup below.
Knicks Are (Finally) Protecting Large Leads
Don’t look now, but the Knicks are getting hot. They’ve now covered the spread in four straight games, first falling to the Phoenix Suns by one point then winning three games in a row on their seven-game road trip.
After a month in which they blew 20-point leads on a seemingly regular basis, New York has done well to get in front of opponents and stay there in the last three games, winning by 16 or more points in each.
The Knicks haven’t done many things wrong on offense over the three games, though you could say they’ve rested on the laurels of RJ Barrett and Julius Randle. Barrett has been steady, averaging 23.7 per game over the winning streak, while Randle deserted the Knicks against the Clippers before scoring 46 points against a weak Sacramento frontcourt and 26 in Dallas after a slow start.
New York has produced a 121.6 Offensive Rating in the three games with a stellar 97.9 Defensive Rating — the second-best in the NBA over that three-game run. New York has opted to take 3-pointers 39.6% of the time, which grades out as an average number, though they’ve hit an above-average 38.1% of looks from downtown. Keep this number in mind because Memphis has been menacing down low.
On the injury front, New York is hoping to get Obi Toppin — listed as questionable — back for this game, which would help take some of the burden off their frontcourt rotation players. They did lose Cam Reddish for the season to a shoulder injury against Dallas, meaning we will likely see more Deuce McBride minutes.
Grizzlies in Cruise Control Down the Stretch
They’re not on a winning streak like the Knicks, but there’s not much to complain about when it comes to the Grizzlies. They’re 4-2 in the last six both straight up against against the spread, and there are no real injury concerns. Ja Morant is averaging 32.4 points per game since the All-Star break, and the Grizzlies own the ninth-best defense during that span.
While there’s a little to improve upon with a 115.6 Offensive Rating, this team is still very strong inside — ranking third in rebounding post All-Star — and getting tremendous contributions from Morant. Memphis is allowing just 60% shooting at the rim over that period of time, which ranks second-best in the NBA. New York, despite all its winning, is allowing 68.9% shooting at the rim — one of the worst marks in the league.
We know the Grizzlies love to take shots in the restricted area — they average the fourth-most such shots per game — so the battle down low is extremely important here. While the Knicks do rank second in rebounding since the break, their vulnerable defense in the paint could be their undoing.
It seems to be a mystery whether or not Mitchell Robinson is going to give the Knicks steady minutes these days, but it’s undeniable that when he’s been on the floor (he’s battled foul trouble and an illness), he has been an impact player on defense.
The Knicks’ weak post defense is likely due to Robinson’s inconsistent playing time, and their strong rebounding numbers should only improve with the big man on the floor. Memphis will meet a rare opponent that can match it on the glass. While some of the Knicks’ recent success is set to expire due to shooting variance, they’re doing a lot of good things down low — at least on the offensive side, and on the glass.
Memphis should be able to find a way through to win this one, but I’d back the Knicks to cover a fifth straight game considering their 16-17-1 record against the spread on the road— a number that is actually good when compared to their 29-36-1 overall ATS record.
Pick: Knicks +9.5 (-110)