Knicks vs. Nets Preview: Trend Says Knicks Have Value in Brooklyn

Action Network contributor Kenny Ducey breaks down the betting value in the NBA matchup on Sunday between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.

Knicks vs. Nets Odds

Knicks Odds +5.5
Nets Odds -5.5
Over/Under 224.5
Time 1 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

After going toe to toe with the Memphis Grizzlies in a game which they led in the fourth quarter, the Knicks will carry their winning streak against the spread into Brooklyn, where they’ll face the Nets.

While some things have changed for Brooklyn, which has won two in a row shortly after Kevin Durant’s return, is it enough to call this one a blowout?

Let’s take a look at the matchup below.

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New York Thriving on the Glass

The Knicks are on a roll, having won three out of their last five games and covering in each of them. They beat the Clippers, Kings and Mavericks by 16 or more points. New York managed to yet again take a lead into the fourth quarter, before Memphis managed to outscore them 31-18 in the period to pull away late on Friday night

There was plenty to like about that game against Memphis. The Knicks continued to flex their rebounding muscles, out-rebounding one of the league’s best teams on the glass. That has been a major storyline over this five-game stretch for New York, which ranks fourth in rebounding efficiency during that time.

While the Knicks have been able to rebound well and play some excellent defense during those five games — ranking second in points allowed per 100 possessions — trouble persists inside. The Knicks have boasted one of the league’s worst restricted area field goal percentages in the NBA at 68.1% since the All-Star break, and they were out-scored 72-52 in the paint.

Quentin Grimes, Nerlens Noel and Cam Reddish remain out for the Knicks, though Obi Toppin is once again listed as questionable as he trends toward a return.

Can Brooklyn Thrive Without Kyrie?

Just when the Nets were starting to build some momentum, they head home where Kyrie Irving is not yet eligible to play. Irving went for 50 points in an 11-point win over Charlotte and 22 in a monumental defeat of the Sixers in Philly, lifting Brooklyn’s offense to new heights.

Of course, the Nets still have Durant — who is very good — but there will be a sizable hole left by Irving. In the 651 minutes he’s spent on court over 18 games this year, the Nets have an offensive rating of 117.2 according to When Irving sits, the team is scoring just 109.9 points per 100 possessions, a  difference of 7.3 points.

We’ve already noted above that scoring on the Knicks has been surprisingly difficult over the last week or so, so any offensive help would certainly be welcomed here. The Nets will also be dealing with an injury to LaMarcus Aldridge, who will miss yet another game and weaken Brooklyn’s frontcourt attack on offense.

The Nets are a staggering 4-19-1 against the spread (ATS) as home favorites this season and 6-24-1 ATS at home overall.

Knicks-Nets Pick

The issues the Nets have had at home are no surprise given they haven’t been able to play any of those games with Irving, but covering in just six of them is a special kind of bad.

While Durant should drive the offense here and have no issues scoring inside against the Knicks, I’m struggling to see an offensive masterpiece from the Nets given how well these guards and wings have played on the defensive end for the Knicks.

The trends are certainly in the Knicks’ favor after five straight covers while also considering how poorly the Nets have performed against the number this season at the Barclays Center. New York is also playing some brilliant defense and should have no issues winning the rebounding battle against a Nets team which was already weak down low and now doesn’t have Aldridge.

This should turn into a physical game, which suits the Knicks. I’ll take the points.

Pick: Knicks +5.5 (play to 4.5)