Finally, the New York Knicks are back in action. After shutting down the season in March, Knicks fans have had to wait a long time to see the orange and blue take the court again. They are traveling to Indiana to take on the Pacers, a playoff team from last season. Let’s dive into our Knicks-Pacers betting preview, including odds, boosts, and picks.
Before we get into the Knicks, FOX Bet Sportsbook is giving 50-1 odds on Joel Embiid to score at least one point to users in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for Philadelphia’s season opener against the Wizards. Sign up with FOX Bet Sportsbook here to get in on this incredible offer.
The Knicks are entering this season with measured expectations given the current state of the roster. They have a number of young players who will be focal points in the rotation, but they should be able to compete night in and night out.
Although the Pacers are coming off of a playoff appearance, there is some uncertainty in Indiana. Victor Oladipo is in the last year of his contract and the rest of the Eastern Conference improved in the offseason.
Knicks vs. Pacers Odds
Here is the line for Knicks vs. Pacers at DraftKings Sportsbook:
- Spread: Knicks +8, Pacers -8
- Moneyline: Knicks +270, Pacers -335
- Total: Ov 214 (-110), Un 214 (-112)
And here are the best available odds at various New Jersey sportsbooks (may not display on Google AMP pages):
Bets We Like With a Knicks Win
Under 214.5 (-110, BetMGM Sportsbook)
The Pacers are a team that prides itself on its defense. Although they are looking to play a more up-tempo offense under Nate Bjorkgren, retooling the offense will likely take time. After all, the shortened offseason and lightning-fast preseason have not given teams much time to update schemes and find their rhythm.
The Knicks are in a similar position with Tom Thibodeau coming in, but there is one main difference: Thibs is a defensive-minded coach. New York’s young roster is likely going to struggle to score points at times this year. Despite the offensive ups and downs, they should be able to play strong defense from the jump.
Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel are two strong defensive anchors in the paint regardless of who starts. They have athletic wings like RJ Barrett, Reggie Bullock, and Alec Burks. If Thibodeau can get his players to buy into his system, they could be a top-15 defense in the league.
And if they are going to beat the Pacers on Wednesday, it’s likely because they keep the total points low.
You can grab this one at BetMGM Sportsbook here.
RJ Barrett Over 17.5 Points (-110, DraftKings Sportsbook)
RJ Barrett is going to have the keys to the offense for the Knicks this year. There are still questions about the spacing around him in the starting lineup, but we expect Barrett to have a breakout year after failing to make an All-Rookie team last season.
Although Barrett is not a deadeye shooter from the outside yet, he’s starting to find his groove as a slasher. Barrett went 17-for-24 from the restricted area in the preseason. He looks stronger and more willing to initiate contact inside.
The Knicks are going to need Barrett to perform well against the likes of Oladipo and Malcolm Brogdon if they are going to have any chance of winning on Wednesday night. If he goes over 17.5 points, the Knicks will have a great chance of starting the year off with a win.
Grab this RJ Barrett prop at DraftKings Sportsbook here.
Bets We Like With a Pacers Win
Pacers -2.5 First Quarter (-110, FanDuel Sportsbook)
First-quarter spreads are some of the most exciting NBA bets to make. The normal tension of watching a spread over the course of 48 minutes is reduced to 12. Add in the fact that second units are usually closing out first quarters after taking over for the starters and it’s a recipe for excitement.
Despite the coaching change, the Pacers have far more continuity than the Knicks this year. Indiana didn’t make too many changes to the roster and therefore, it’s likely that they come out hotter from the start. If Indy gets out to a nice lead early, that will set the tone for the rest of the game.
It can be tough for a young team to fight back from an early deficit and that should be the case for the Knicks early in the season.
Sign up with FanDuel Sportsbook here to grab this first-quarter spread.
Domantas Sabonis Over 18.5 Rebounds (-121, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Domantas Sabonis destroys the Knicks whenever they play. He averaged just under 23 points and 12 rebounds against the Knickerbockers last season. The Lithuanian went for over 18.5 points in all three of those matchups.
Over 10.5 rebounds (-121) is another good option for Sabonis, but we think the over on the points is the safer bet. Sabonis will likely be matched up with Julius Randle to start this game and that means he could be primed for some easy backdoor buckets.
For whatever reason, Sabonis turns his game up whenever he sees the orange and blue. We expect that trend to continue on Wednesday.
Knicks vs. Pacers Prediction
Pick: It might not seem like they are equipped to keep it close against the Pacers, but the Knicks will cover this spread. Every team in the NBA is still trying to find their legs after this shortened offseason and truncated training camp. The Knicks are a younger squad who might be a little rusty from the long layoff, but they should be able to compete and keep this close.
Take the Knicks to cover +8 and RJ Barrett to score over 17.5 points.