We’re back to regularly scheduled programming with a regular season matchup between the New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs.
One team will get back to .500, while the other will fall two games out of .500.
The Spurs have the top rookie from the NBA Draft in Victor Wembanyama, while the Knicks built a team that should be competitive this season after making the NBA playoffs last year.
But while San Antonio has one of the best young pro basketball players in the game, the defense is still spotty. The Spurs allowed a ridiculous 152 points in a 152-111 loss to the Pacers on Monday. In their previous game, the Spurs gave up 123 points in overtime to the Raptors, and before that, the Spurs earned a 132-121 win against the Suns.
The defense has really struggled throughout the season. Will those defensive struggles continue against the Knicks on the road?
Oddsmakers think so. The Knicks are a -9 favorite, with the total sitting at 224.5.
Let’s look at the Spurs vs Knicks betting trends for this midweek NBA matchup.
Location: Madison Square Garden
Spurs vs Knicks Betting Trends
The New York Knicks are 3-4 this season. But they’re just 3-2-2 against the spread this season. They’ve also hit the Under in six of their first seven games.
However, the Knicks finally got their first home win against the Clippers on Monday. They’re now 1-2 at home but trending in the right direction.
On the other hand, the Spurs are 3-4 straight up and 3-4 against the spread this season. The defense has been so bad that the Over hit in four straight games. This season, San Antonio has watched the Over hit in six of seven games.
On the road, the Spurs have gone 2-2.
Although the Spurs are a much different team than last year, the Knicks still have the head-to-head edge. One of the Spurs vs Knicks betting trends is that New York has won four of their previous five games against the Spurs since May 2021.
The Spurs’ Defense Needs Help
The San Antonio Spurs allowed 86 points in the first half against the Indiana Pacers on Monday. The Pacers couldn’t miss from the three-point line, shooting 14-for-22, and finished 14-for-14 at the foul line to earn those 86 points at the half.
It didn’t stop in the second half either. The Pacers scored 152 points in the entire game, shooting 57.9% from the field. Indiana finished that game with 20 threes, hitting 52.6% of them. They also went 95.7% from the line, which isn’t something the Spurs can stop, except that the Spurs allowed 23 foul shots.
With Victor Wembanyama’s length, this stuff shouldn’t be happening. The Spurs will need to adjust defensively before their bout against the Knicks.
Julius Randle’s Slow Start
While the Spurs have struggled defensively, the Knicks haven’t been consistent offensively.
Part of the issue is Julius Randle. He was the leading scorer for the team last year. But he’s 13.7 points per game this season.
His ankle wasn’t at full strength to begin the season. But Knicks fans expected more out of the power forward.
Randle’s first 20-point game came on Monday against the Clippers. He scored 22 points with ten rebounds while shooting 8-for-18 in 29 minutes. His field goal percentage is still super low, and he’s not close to being efficient. But his 22-point game against the Clippers is at least something positive with Randle.
New York’s Rebounding Is Key
Out of all NBA games for tonight, the Knicks and Spurs should be one of the more entertaining games. While neither team is high in the current NBA standings, there are some mismatches that we should look to exploit.
The Knicks have held teams to 105.7 points per 100 possessions while allowing teams to shoot a 52.5% effective field goal percentage. They’ve also held teams to 19.4% of offensive rebounds, the best rate in the NBA.
The Spurs have hauled in only 24.1% of offensive rebounds but still shoot a 55.5% effective field goal percentage. But the Knicks match up well defensively in most categories.
However, the Knicks have only scored 105.5 points per 100 possessions this season. The team has one of the worst effective field goal percentages, sitting at 46.8%. But they can clean up their misses, averaging 32.4% of offensive rebounds per game this season.
The Knicks should win the turnover battle and have made the foul line more frequently to begin the year. And while the Knicks have shot the ball poorly, the Spurs continue to allow vast sums of points against NBA teams this season on the defensive end.
At home, the Knicks should excel against this Spurs defense. Our expert picks NBA has the Knicks at -9 (-110).