Indiana Pacers vs New York Knicks

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The Indiana Pacers will play their second game in as many nights when visiting the New York Knicks on Saturday after playing on the road against the Boston Celtics on Friday. Indiana is 15-15 after losing to Golden State 111-107 in its most recent game on Wednesday. Indiana has struggled of late as the Pacers have lost six of the last nine games overall and are second in the Central Division 3 ½ games behind first-place Milwaukee.

New York is 16-17 and fourth in the Atlantic division six games behind the first-place Philadelphia 76ers. The Knicks are coming off a 140-121 victory at home over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday. Immanuel Quickley was the leading scorer for New York with 25 points and Julius Randle scored 21. The Knicks have won two of their last three and five of the last seven and are giving up the fewest points in the NBA at an average of 104.4 points per game.

Indiana defense giving up too much

Indiana is allowing an average of 111.9 points per game which is 15th in the NBA but the Pacers have allowed 111, 128, 120 and 113 points in their last four games resulting in a record of 2-2 straight up and 1-3 ATS. The Pacers are averaging 42.8 rebounds per game with 34.2 on the defensive end and 8.7 off the offensive glass. The leading rebounder for Indiana is Domantas Sabonis with an average of 11.7 boards per contest. The Pacers average 8.4 steals and 6.1 blocked shots per contest. The leader in steals for Indiana is TJ McConnell with an average of 1.8 per game and the swat leader for both Indiana and the NBA is Myles Turner with an average of 3.4 block shots per game.

The Pacers offense, which is scoring an average of 113.2 points per game, while shooting 47.4% overall and 36.7% from long range, is led by Malcolm Brogdon with an average of 21.7 points per game but close behind is Sabonis with an average of 21.5 points per game. TJ McConnell is leading Indiana in assists with an average of 6.6 per contest and Indiana as a team averages 26.6 assists while averaging 13.0 turnovers per game for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.0.

Injury Report: Jakarr Sampson is questionable for Friday, while TJ Warren is out indefinitely and Caris LeVert is out for the season.

New York’s defense is the League’s best

New York is leading the NBA in points allowed with an average of 104.4 points per game. The Knicks are allowing an average of 43.3% shooting overall and 32.5% shooting from three-point territory, which is also number one in both categories in the NBA. Opponents are averaging 44.2 rebounds per game against New York which is 16th. The Knicks are averaging 47.1 rebounds per game with 36.4 off the defensive boards and 10.7 per game off the offensive glass. The leading rebounder for New York is Julius Randle with an average of 11.0 per game. The Knicks average 6.5 steals in 4.8 blocked shots with Mitchell Robinson the steals leader with an average of 1.2 per game and Nerlens Noel the swat commando with an average of 2.0 blocks per game.

New York’s offense could use some help as the Knicks are averaging only 104.7 points per game which is 29th in the NBA. Randle is the leader in scoring for New York with an average of 23.2 points per game while RJ Barrett is the second-leading scorer with an average of 16.1 points per game. Randle is the dish-leader for the Knicks with an average of 5.5 assists per game. The Knicks averaged 20.9 assists and 12.9 turnovers per game for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.6.

Injury Report: Elfrid Payton and Austin Rivers are questionable for Saturday, while Mitchell Robinson is out until late March.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

New York has the best defense in the NBA allowing an average of only 104.4 points per game and that has resulted in New York covering the spread in six of its last eight overall and seven of its last 10 played at home in Madison Square Garden. New York has one of the best all-around players this season in the NBA as Julius Randall is leading the Knicks in scoring, rebounding and assists. Indiana has struggled on defense of late and the Pacers have failed to cover the spread in 12 of their last 18 overall. The Pacers also have problems when playing teams from the Eastern Conference as Indiana has covered the spread in just two of the last seven in that situation. Indiana will also be playing the back half of a back-to-back after playing on the road Friday against the Boston Celtics.

Prediction:
New York Knicks +1

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The New York Knicks scored 140 points on Thursday against Sacramento and the total finished over, but things will return to normal again on Saturday and the total will finish under. The total has finished under in eight of New York’s last 11. Indiana has one of the best rim protectors in the NBA as Myles Turner leads the NBA in blocked shots with an average of 3.4 per game and he and Domantas Sabonis will make New York work for every point in the paint. New York leads the NBA in point totals under with the total finishing under in 22 of New York’s 33 games

Prediction:
UNDER 216.5