The Boston Celtics couldn’t get it done on the road on Monday night, falling victim to the Charlotte Hornets. I bought into Boston’s superior talent, depth and defensive intensity, but the Celtics just didn’t make it happen and played a hand in my season NBA picks record dropping to 16-6 on the year.
I’d been on a strong run and the year as a whole has been great, but it’s always sad to eat a loss.
Fortunately bettors can go back to the drawing board on Tuesday night, where they’re greeted with a small four-game NBA betting slate. From that group of games, I have my eyes on a battle in New York between the Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers.
The Knicks offer premium value as +280 home dogs, but the real play is going to be their +8 point spread. Let’s dive into this matchup and find out why New York against the spread just might be the best play on the board tonight:
Portland Trail Blazers (-8, -110) @ New York Knicks (+8, -110) Total: 220.5 (-115/-105)
Normally I wouldn’t confide in the Knicks, but it’s a small slate and there’s actually a good amount to like here. For one, the Blazers are elite at the Moda Center this year, but less elite (4-3) on the road. Their numbers are just as middling (4-3) ATS on the road.
New York, meanwhile tends to get up to play in front of the Madison Square Garden faithful. They’re just 2-5 at home and 4-13 as a whole, while a five-game skid helps prevent me from fully trusting them to get the win here. However, the Knicks have some wiggle room at +8 and have actually been terrific (8-4) as underdogs against the spread so far this season.
Obviously the Blazers are the way more talented team. They’re deeper, they have more star talent and they have the better record. They also have some guys that will relish the opportunity to drop fat lines in this stadium.
That being said, the Knicks do have some nice young talent and a couple of guys in Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter that can fill it up offensively. I’m not expecting the world from them here. I’m just banking on them showing up to fight at home.
I tend to like targeting home underdogs when it makes sense and for whatever reason, New York plays harder against good teams on their home floor. We saw them give the Golden State Warriors a run for their money here earlier this year and they’re also going to take solace in being at MSG after a three-game road trip.
Portland has a way tougher game ahead of them on Wednesday in Milwaukee, so this shapes up as a classic trap game. I don’t know if they actually lose here and that’s probably too bold of a bet, but don’t be shocked if the Knicks come to play and hang in this one.