The Knicks Will Earn Respect In Opening Series Against The 76ers

Check Out Our In Depth 76ers vs Knicks Preview For The Eastern Conference Series

The Philadelphia 76ers survived on the road against the Miami Heat in the no. 7 vs no. 8 Play-In Tournament matchup at home. Therefore, the 76ers will face the New York Knicks in the opening round of the NBA Playoff as the No. 7 seed against the No. 2 seed.

While the Knicks will have a home-court advantage, the 76ers are still the favorites to defeat the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs. Ultimately, the 76ers dropped many spots in the NBA standings without Joel Embiid.

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But after a two-month absence, Embiid is back in action and getting healthier by the week.

As we approach Game 1 of this series, the Knicks are three-point favorites, with the total at 208.5 for Saturday’s opener. Let’s look at the odds for our full 76ers vs Knicks preview for the series.

76ers logo 76ers vs Knicks Knicks logo

Records: 76ers (48-35), Knicks (50-32)
Day/Time
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Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Stream: ESPN

76ers vs Knicks Preview & Trends

Over the last ten games between the 76ers and Knicks, both are 5-5 on the moneyline (straight-up) and point spread. Meanwhile, the under has hit in six of the last ten games between them. This season, the Knicks went 3-1 against the 76ers, earning wins of double figures in all three games. In the one loss, the Knicks held the 76ers to 79 points but still lost as seven-point favorites.

New York is 27-14 at home this season, while the 76ers are just 22-19 on the road. Both NBA teams have been profitable against the spread (ATS). However, the 76ers have earned more overs while the Knicks have added more under. Each Knicks-76ers game has gone under the total this season. The Knicks have ultimately had it their way against Philadelphia this year.

Is Joel Embiid Fully Back?

Joel Embiid added 23 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists for the 76ers in their win against the Heat in the Play-In Tournament matchup. Those stats look great—except the 76ers expect more from Embiid. Before he got injured, he was on track to win his second straight MVP. He says he’s about “80 percent” back right now, but his shot-making was very poor against the Heat in that game.

Embiid hit just 6-for-17 from the field despite shooting 52.9% from the field throughout the NBA season. While the 76ers are better with Embiid, he’ll need to play better than this to beat the Knicks. We’ll talk about this in our in-depth 76ers vs Knicks preview below.

Donte DiVincenzo’s Improved Season

Many NBA analysts and journalists wanted to vote for Donte DiVincenzo as the league’s NBA Most Improved Player this year. However, despite playing 81 games this season, he’s not qualified for the award because he missed too many games with 20+ minutes of game action earlier in the season.

DiVincenzo’s NBA stats were incredible this season. He added 15.5 points per game with 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He’s mostly known for his prolific shot-making from downtown and has helped the chemistry on this Knicks squad. While he can’t win the award, it’s good to see many sharp basketball minds giving DiVincenzo credit for his impactful season with the Knicks.

Where’s Philadelphia’s Offense?

The Philadelphia 76ers have struggled to find consistent offense throughout the season. While Joel Embiid was out, there were many NBA games when the 76ers didn’t have Tyrese Maxey either. The 76ers just weren’t good enough offensively and dropped many spots down in the Eastern Conference standings.

But even with Joel Embiid back, the offense hasn’t been great. Philadelphia hasn’t scored more than 120.8 points per 100 possessions in any game in April.

In the Play-In Tournament matchup, the 76ers scored 112.9 points per 100 possessions after shooting below a 50% effective field goal percentage. The 76ers were careless with the ball and turned it over 17.2% of the time against the Heat. However, what kept them in the game was the offensive rebounds. Philadelphia managed 39.2% of offensive rebounds against the Heat and played good enough defense to get by.

Philadelphia will pride themselves on the defensive end. They’ll make things challenging on that end of the floor and typically win the foul-shooting battle. But they’ve also had their moments on the defensive glass. The Heat, for example, earned 34% of offensive rebounds against the 76ers in that Play-In Tournament matchup.

On the other hand, the Knicks are just as good on the offensive glass. The Knicks have added at least 33.3% of offensive rebounds in three of their last five games. They’ve also been dominant offensively, scoring at least 124.2 points per 100 possessions in five of their previous seven games.

Typically, these Knicks-76ers games go under the total. But over the last month, the Knicks have become much more consistent on the offensive end. They can be trusted more on offense, which is one of the many reasons why we like the Knicks to escape and win this series.

The Knicks haven’t forced the most difficult shots lately. However, New York has had games where they’ve added many turnovers and have limited teams to fewer offensive rebounds. By no means are the Knicks the best defensive-rebounding team in the NBA. But they’re more likely to win the rebounding battle on the offensive end and usually win that matchup.

If the Knicks can limit fouls against the 76ers, they’ll be in a good position. But they’ll also be in a better position if they can win the rebounding battle. Most importantly, if the Knicks shoot a higher percentage from the floor throughout this game, they’ll be in a better position to win this series.

Overall, the Knicks aren’t getting enough credit for their 50-win season. New York rarely loses with O.G. Anunoby on the floor, and Jalen Brunson has played like the MVP everyone thought Embiid was.

New York will appreciate that underdog mentality. Consider backing the Knicks with the NBA Finals odds. The Knicks are +1100 to win the Eastern Conference and +4000 to win the NBA Finals as a No. 2 seed. Those are some interesting NBA betting picks.

For NBA betting news, NBA odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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