The New York Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks don’t have a friendly relationship since the last year’s playoffs. Especially the Knicks fans and Trae Young. The fantastic playmaker was the target for the crowd at Maddison during the first round last season. Though, he responded well, becoming the villain and eliminating the Knicks who entered that series as the favorites. These two teams are fighting for the playoffs right now, and the Knicks have better prospects due to a better record. But we’ve seen often in the NBA how things change fast.
New York Knicks (21-21, +125) are in solid shape ahead of this event. How’s that? Well, they have four wins in the past five games, and that only loss was on the road in Boston, 99-75. The other four victories were at home against the Pacers, Celtics, the Spurs, and eventually the Dallas Mavericks.
They beat Luka and the company 108-85 in the latest matchup, showing another solid defensive display. NYK limited the guests to only eight threes in 37 attempts, and allowed them 39 rebounds, fifteen fewer than they had.
The star of the contest was RJ Barrett, who scored 32 points and had seven rebounds. Young Canadian is rising its form over the latest few games, which is immediately reflected in the Knicks’ results. Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle delivered double-doubles, Robinson 19 points, and 10 boards, while Randle had 17 and 12, with eight assists in 37 minutes.
Atlanta Hawks (17-24, -150) lost four in a row and are looking like they are about to fall apart. They have only two wins in the last 10, currently sitting below the playoff line in the East, with the trend to make things even worse.
But all this is because Hawks had a very, very rough schedule that saw them traveling across the states. They’ve played only twice at home during this negative stretch, and all other games on the road, mainly versus playoff teams.
The latest two losses were against the Hawks, one at home, and the most recent on the road, 124-118. It was a roller coaster event in which both teams had a double-digit lead, but the Heat came out victorious after a close finish. Trae scored 24 points and had nine assists, Hunter had 20, Gallinari 18, Huerter 15, and John Collins added 16 buckets.
Head to Head Games
There were two meetings between the Knicks and the Hawks this season and the team from the Big Apple triumphed in both. The first in Atlanta ended 99-90 for Barrett and the company, while the second at home on Christmas Day saw the Knicks easily dispatching the rivals, 101-87.
The Hawks are the favorites according to the numbers, but we wouldn’t go there. Instead, betting on the total number of points is much better and safer, because this affair could go either way. Now, about the total points, the Hawks don’t have trouble scoring, but on the other side, when needing to make stops. Meanwhile, the Knicks are that gifted offensive unit, and they mostly rely upon defense, which is the reason for picking under 214.5 points. That is the current line.
Pick: Under 214.5 points
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.