I scored my second win in a row on Saturday, as the Atlanta Hawks crushed the Brooklyn Nets and easily beat a +5 spread. I honestly wanted to back the Hawks straight up (+180) all day, but the absence of talented big man John Collins kept me from diving all in. It was still a fast-paced matchup where I felt the Hawks could hang tight, though, and that got me (and hopefully you) a nice win.
That made for two in a row for me, pushing my NBA picks record to a strong 9-5 on the year. Considering I’ve had a few bad beats already this season, I can safely say my record is actually better than it looks. I don’t really care about the record itself, though, as I really just hope some readers are finding confidence in rolling with my logic and cashing out in the process.
I also realize I probably have to prove my worth for a while, so I’ll hope to continue doing that on Sunday, starting with an early game between the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks. As I first sit down to prepare this pick, there are no lines out for this game, so it will be very interesting to see how things unfold going into Sunday afternoon.
One huge reason why Vegas doesn’t seem sold on this game yet is the pending status of star big man, Kristaps Porzingis. Zinger is a huge part of what the Knicks do and he’s currently battling both an ankle issue and an illness:
Kristaps Porzingis did not attend today’s practice. He’s home sick. He’s listed as questionable for Sunday.
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) December 2, 2017
Ideally bettors get some type of line to work with before his status is made official and that would give me something to exploit. This is one of the tougher games to gauge until that happens, though, which is why I wanted to take it on and hopefully help nudge you in the right direction. Let’s get to it:
Orlando Magic (+1.5) @ New York Knicks (-1.5) Total: 212.5
If Zinger is healthy and active, it’s hard not to like the Knicks. New York got off to a rocky start this year, but they’ve morphed into a pretty decent offensive team and currently rank 13th in overall offensive efficiency. Their production is sure to drop if Porzingis is out, but with him on the floor they have a very dynamic offense, as well as a defensive threat on the other end.
The Knicks have been a fairly steady bet this year, as they get the job done (10-4) at the Madison Square Garden and have been blistering (13-8) against the spread. New York has made good on their favorite label ATS, too, as they’ve posted a mean 5-0 record as the home favorite.
Suffice, to say, the Knicks are always going to be a little tough to go against on their home floor, regardless of Zinger’s status. I’m not sure Orlando’s success on the road (4-9 outside of the Amway Center) is doing them any favors, while nobody should forget this is a team that has still lost 9 of their last 10 games.
The Magic made everyone forget that recently by housing the struggling Thunder at home and then running with the defending champion Warriors for a bit, but those efforts need to be taken with a grain of salt.
For one, the Dubs still ended up winning by 21 and OKC has not been good to start the year. Those games both went down at home, too, and as I touched on, the Magic aren’t exactly the same team once they leave Florida.
The Magic obviously don’t win much on the road, but their ATS numbers aren’t sparkling, either. Orlando are just 6-6-1 against the spread when they’re on the road and they’re 5-6-1 in those situations where they’re not favored.
Orlando did cruise to a win earlier this year in a game where Zinger sat out. That game was in Orlando, though, and the Knicks actually hung around until they faded late. This has otherwise been a competitive series, with New York taking 3 of the last 5 meetings.
Once the betting information finally came through, the Knicks were listed as ever so mild favorites. Nobody knows for sure if Zinger will suit up, but the Knicks get a slight edge because they’re at home and have been the better team to this point.
There isn’t enough value with the Magic, who are +1.5 underdogs and have their best Money Line (+105) at Topbet.eu. I’m not loving the value there, so I’ll ride and die with the Knicks at home as a straight up pick (-120) at Sportsbetting.ag.