What tough upcoming slate means for betting the Knicks

What tough upcoming slate means for betting the Knicks

Who says coaching doesn’t matter in the NBA? It matters to teams, and it matters to bettors.

On Dec. 5, the Knicks (+8¹/₂) were demolished 129-92 by Denver, with an effort so poor that players were basically announcing they had gone on strike against coach David Fizdale. Through that result, they were 4-18 straight up, 10-12 against point spreads that had properly placed the Knicks near the bottom of the league in power ratings. The Knicks were failing to match low expectations.

Since firing Fizdale and promoting Mike Miller to interim coach, the Knicks are 13-20 straight up, 19-13-1 ATS, with the push coming as a loss in overtime that would have cashed tickets in regulation.

That’s a leap from .181 straight up, 45 percent vs. the spread to .394 straight up, 59 percent vs. the spread.

This still isn’t anything resembling a playoff team heading into Friday night’s season resumption vs. Indiana. But the Knicks are much more likely to compete on a nightly basis. And they are doing so at performance levels much higher than betting markets have expected.

That was particularly true in days leading to the All-Star break. The Knicks are 4-1-1 ATS their past six games, including that unlucky push. New York is 9-3-1 ATS its past 13 outings, with competitive covers vs. the 76ers, Raptors and Lakers … and clean wins over the Nets, Pacers and Magic (along with the Pistons once and Cavaliers twice).

VSiN has mentioned often that bad teams can be good bets. The Knicks are the most recent reminder. The trick for bettors now is determining whether New York will offer value moving forward.

  • Will oddsmakers stop pricing the Knicks like doormats? Be sure you monitor opening lines and early movement in this first week after the break to see if markets are responding to recent form. Hurdles may be about to rise.
  • Will opponents take the Knicks more seriously? It’s easier to catch teams napping when they think you don’t pose much of a threat. New York still possesses a raw-talent deficit in comparison to most opponents … a big deficit against elites.
  • Will the Knicks themselves hit a wall because they’ve been playing over their heads for a few weeks? Effort can sustain, but luck can’t.

New York will continue to be a smart bet if recent dynamics continue. But any monkey wrench can muck up the money machine.

The most immediate issue likely concerns the Knicks’ ability to sustain intensity vs. a string of tough opponents. Many playoff-caliber foes are on the upcoming slate: Friday vs. Indiana, Monday at Houston, Thursday at Philadelphia, March 2 vs. Houston, March 4 vs. Utah, March 6 vs. Oklahoma City (Those are the bricks in the wall New York might be about to hit).

If New York keeps cashing tickets vs. that gauntlet, it could be a moneymaker for bettors through March.

Source : VSiN Link

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