In the first of eight games on the NBA’s Saturday schedule, the New York Knicks will play the Oklahoma City Thunder at 2 p.m. ET on NBATV. The last time these two teams played each other on Jan. 8, the Thunder won 101-89 at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks are coming into this matinee game off of a 134-101 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night. New York has won three out of their last five games and has a record of 6-4 in their last 10.
As for the Thunder, they started off the second half of the regular season with a 116-108 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night. Oklahoma City is now on a two-game winning streak and has a record of 5-5 in their last 10 games.
Can the Knicks snap two-game road losing skid? Or can the Thunder take another game away from New York this season? We’ll go over some ideal picks on DraftKings Sportsbook centered around the game here.
Pick ATS: Knicks -5.5
The line for Saturday afternoon’s game is currently set at 5.5 points, with the Knicks favored on the road. The Knicks are coming into this matchup looking to snap their two-game road losing streak and also avenge their early loss at Madison Square Garden. New York will be missing a few key players such as Mitchell Robinson (hand), Derrick Rose (health and safety protocols), and Austin Rivers (personal).
Not being able to have Rose for Saturday’s game is a significant loss as he’s been a spark plug for them providing instant offense. However, it should open up more opportunities for rookie point guard Immanuel Quickley and veteran Alec Burks. But Quickley is reportedly questionable to play with a sore groin. The Knicks are 9-4 against the spread in their last 13 games, but only 1-7 ATS in their last eight contests against OKC. Also, they do have a record of 10-10 ATS away from Madison Square Garden and are 4-2 ATS versus teams from the Western Conference.
But they are going up against a Thunder team who has been a trendy pick as the underdog this season. Oklahoma City is an astonishing 13-6 against the spread at the home and 4-2 ATS in their last six games. However, Oklahoma City might not be the best pick here as their best player, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is out with a quad contusion. SGA is averaging 23.2 points, 6.2 assists, and 5.0 rebounds per game this season. The Thunder will also not have Darius Bazley in the front-court.
Player Prop: Theo Maledon O11.5 points (+104)
With no SGA for Saturday afternoon’s game, the Thunder will need multiple players to step up to replace his production. One player, who will be tasked to do more on the offensive end is rookie point guard Theo Maledon. This season, the second-round pick is averaging 7.9 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.0 rebounds per game. He has gone over 11.5 points in only five out of 32 games, which is less than ideal.
Despite not scoring a ton, Maledon has shown the ability to get others involved, which is a good sign for OKC’s offense. In the Thunder’s last five games, he is averaging 8.6 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.2 rebounds. If OKC wants to defeat the Knicks or at least keep it close, they will need Maledon to help out Luguentz Dort and Al Horford.
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