The big story tonight is Carmelo Anthony facing the New York Knicks (4-19), his former team. The game is in Portland, so it means a little less for Melo and more for the Trail Blazers (9-15) fight to get back into the playoff race in the Western Conference. The Knicks recently fired coach David Fizdale and replaced him with interim coach Mike Miller. New York has lost nine in a row, but played the Indiana Pacers tough over the weekend in Miller’s coaching debut. The Blazers have lost two in a row and recently lost SG Rodney Hood (Achilles) for the season.
Knicks vs. Trail Blazers spread, over/under, money line
Spread: Trail Blazers (-8.5)
Money line: Trail Blazers (-420), Knicks (+330)
From what I saw over the weekend against the Pacers, I actually really like the Knicks tonight on the spread. The Blazers don’t generally blow teams out and I think this game will be much closer than the oddsmakers predict. We’ve already seen the line go down a point since opening. We could see it close at 7.0 or 6.0 by tip-off.
Both teams rank in the bottom third of the league in defensive rating, while the Blazers are top 10 in offensive rating. I think Portland will dictate play at home and up the pace, so considering both teams are poor defensively, the OVER is appealing. Though, it’s worth noting six of the past seven Blazers-Knicks games have gone UNDER the point total line. Portland would have to lay 120+ on New York for the OVER to hit, essentially.
I don’t mind the Knicks on the ML at +330 since I think they can keep this game competitive under Miller. New York has everything going against it though, losing 14 straight games vs. the Northwest Division. Still, I’m giving the Knicks a shot here and sticking to it.
Carmelo Anthony Prop Bet
I’m a member of the NBA Narratives Matter Club and that means I’m all-in Melo tonight. Well, not all-in in the fantasy sense or betting sense, but I do believe he’ll be motivated and the Blazers will get him the ball tonight. While the game could be close, it also could get out of hand if the Knicks get behind, but I still think Melo will chuck. His point total is 16.5 for tonight, so I’m liking the OVER at +100 odds on DK Sportsbook.
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