In: NBA Free Picks13 Apr 2012
Free Picks Newsletter Lead Researcher
158-107-1 Overall Record
NBA Predictions: Washington (+10.5) vs. New York (-10.5) Over-Under 197.5
The New York Knicks are probably the most difficult team to gauge in the entire NBA. They have gone through many different phases this season, which have all been characterized by their quality of play at different stages of this lockout shortened season. At one point, the Knicks were viewed as an underachieving group that had many critics questioning whether last year’s Carmelo Anthony deal made much sense, but those same Knicks are finally ignoring all the critics and are likely on their way to the playoffs.
New York has displayed a certain need to be involved in thrilling finishes wining two of their past three games on game sealing three pointers, but this game versus Washington should not need all of the late game theatrics. The Wizards are 6-15 against the spread in their last 21 road games versus a team with a home winning percentage greater than .600 and 0-7 against the spread in their last trips to New York. That partly explains why New York is a 10.5 point favorite in this one.
The Wizards, who face a severe talent disparity versus 90% of the NBA, are still attempting to compete and are winners of their two most recent contests. Unfortunately, the Wizards are losers of seven of their last ten and this Washington Wizard team has not experienced a victory over these New York Knicks since January of 2010. Don’t expect that trend to change in this one.
All season long the Knicks have been trying to find their identity as a team, and now that they have found ways to effectively use Carmelo Anthony the Knicks can be classified as playoff contenders. One major characteristic of a playoff contender is winning all of the games that you should win as a team. This home game versus Washington is definitely a game the Knicks should win.
The Knicks are 17-4 against the spread in their last 21 home games and 5-0 against the spread in their last 5 home games versus teams with losing road records. Even with Amare Stoudemire out with his back and Jeremy Lin seemingly a distant memory with his knee injury, the Knicks will have no problem dispatching the hapless Washington Wizards and covering the spread in this one. The only question to be asked is how much money are you willing to make on this one?
Pick: New York -10.5