Knicks vs Nets Betting Preview: The Battle for New York

In-State Rival Nets and Knicks Meet for First Time This Season

The New York Knicks travel across town to face the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday evening. Both teams come into the game on a day’s rest thanks to the entire NBA taking Tuesday off to encourage people to go vote. The Knicks are 2-1 in their last three games, including a dominant 120-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday. Let’s dive into our Knicks vs Nets betting preview and see where we can find some value. 

The Nets also come into the NBA matchup a 2-1 favorite over their last three outings, however, they’re coming off a narrow 96-94 loss to the Mavericks on the road. Brooklyn is the slight favorite coming into this game, with the spread sitting at Nets -2.5 and the total at 225. The Nets are -140 on the Moneyline while the Knicks are +120. 

Knicks vs Nets

Game: New York Knicks (5-5) at Brooklyn Nets (4-7)
Location: Barclays Center
Day/Time: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET

We begin our Knicks vs Nets betting preview by taking a closer look at Brooklyn. The Nets return home to play the Knicks after a three-game road trip in which they beat both the Wizards and Hornets before losing to the Mavericks. However, their homestay will be short-lived because they turn around and head to the West Coast for a four-game road trip that starts in Los Angeles on Saturday. 

Nets Upgraded Defense

The Nets will continue to be without Kyrie Irving who has been suspended from the team for the past three games and will continue to be away from the organization for an indefinite period of time going forward. Over that three-game stretch, some interesting things have happened for Brooklyn.

For starters, their offense has improved, going from 13th in offensive rating on the year to 7th over their last three outings. Their defense has also taken a drastic jump, going from having the 22nd-ranked defensive rating to leading the league in that category. They are also leading the league in net rating.

So what has changed? Brooklyn just looks like it’s finally a basketball team that has learned they can win games a whole lot easier if they play a little harder on the defensive end. They’ve also been able to slow teams down and force them to play at their pace, which has allowed their defense to get back and get set. 

The Knicks on the other hand are a team that plays at a much faster pace of play. They like to push the ball in transition and get up and down the floor, ranking in the top 10 in fast break points this season. They also rank third in the league in second-chance points, which is an area where they can exploit Brooklyn’s defense. 

Looking Back

If you look back at previous Knicks vs Nets betting preview, Brooklyn was likely the favorite in those matchups too. That’s because the Nets won all four meetings between the two teams last NBA season and seven straight dating back to 2021. For whatever reason, despite being considered the “little brother” to the Knicks, the Nets have been dominant. 

“…so Wednesday night’s spread of Brooklyn -2.5 feels spot on”

Despite the Nets winning, these games are often very tightly contested. Three of the four games played last season were decided by a total of 10 points, so Wednesday night’s spread of Brooklyn -2.5 feels spot on. The total, however, looks a little high, which leads us to like the under 225. No game finished higher than 222 last season with the four games averaging a final total of 216.

The nature of this rivalry, coupled with the Nets newfound love for defense should keep this one close. Not to mention, outside of Kevin Durant, the Nets don’t have too many scoring options. Expect a close, low-scoring affair in Brooklyn on Wednesday night. 

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