The 14-23 Indiana Pacers and the 17-20 New York Knicks face off in Madison Square Garden. Neither team has played that well lately, so this will be a great chance for both to snap losing streaks, but who will do it?
Indiana Pacers Betting Preview:
The Indiana Pacers have been dealing with many issues this season, and the most recent ones come in the form of health and safety protocols. Even before that, the team has not been playing that well, and talks of multiple trades have been discussed. In this one, several players will be missing for both the Pacers and Knicks, so predicting this matchup will be tough without knowing the final lineups. We know about the Pacers that they have struggled a lot lately. An active 4-game losing streak does not look pretty, but in fairness, they faced some stiff opposition in those 4 matches. Two games against the Bulls, one against the Hornets and one against the Cavs, are no joke.
Even so, the Pacers have been a problematic team since the start of the season. The record paints a pretty clear picture, and for the most part, they had the majority of the team together. Now with players missing, things have gotten worse. When we deep dive into the stats, the Pacers show up as an average offensive and defensive team. So why the bad record? Well, it’s the defense that’s the problem. They struggle to contain better teams and fail to score enough to win. They also dropped multiple close games due to a problem in crunch time. So it’s a combination of both, but the bottom line is that they are not a good team.
New York Knicks Betting Preview:
The New York Knicks were a very good team last year, but it’s not been the case this year. The record is not terrible at 17-20 but nowhere near the one from last year. What is their problem? Well, the team is just not playing that well, or rather their supposed star players are not playing well. Randle is way below his level from last season, some important shot-makers like Bullock are missing, and other additions have not played that well. Fournier is meh, Kemba is okay, and that’s just not good enough. They are one of the worst teams in the league, and while never a juggernaut, even last year, players who played on a high-level last year are not doing the same this year.
Defensively it was atrocious earlier in the season, but slowly but surely, the team has improved on that side of the ball. They now rank as one of the better teams in the league, and they will need to keep doing that if they want to reach the postseason once more. Their identity has been defense last year, and they must reclaim it. It will never be something special on offense, and it does not need to be as long as the players keep playing at a decent level. A lot will depend on Randle, and he is yet to figure it out, but fans are hopeful.
It’s hard to pinpoint single matchups that will determine this game as it’s not clear which players will play. LeVert has been the best player for Indiana in the past few games, but he is expected to miss this one. That’s a problem for Indiana, and with the improvement of New York on defense, it might be too much to overcome. The matchup that will most likely determine this game is what the Knicks defense can do.
They have a pretty good chance if they can keep Indiana off rhythm and leave them under 100 points. With Kemba playing better lately, they might have enough to pull this off. Besides, in Madison, they must win these matchups.
Pacers vs. Knicks betting lines
New York is favored by one point, and it’s kind of expected. Both teams are missing important players, and it will be a very close game. The points are set at 206,5, and that’s also expected as teams might struggle to score here.
Free Betting Pick
Both teams are missing key players in this one, and the scoring should, in theory, suffer. Neither team has their best scorers on the floor, so I’m inclined to think an under might be on the table here. The line is fairly low at 206,5, but I think it’s worth a try. When it comes to the match’s outcome, I’m really not sure.
Both teams could win, with Indiana looking like a more talented team on paper. They disappointed many times this season, so I’m not sure I can back them.