The Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks meet Saturday to kick off the NBA’s Christmas Day festivities. Tipoff is set for 12:00 p.m. ET. Both teams have had opposite luck with the league’s COVID protocols. The Hawks have seen more players go into the protocols, while the Knicks were able to clear key pieces ahead of this contest. Let’s see how the betting public believes this game is going to play out.
Odds and splits below are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Against the spread: Knicks -6.5
66 percent of the handle and 51 percent of bets are on the Knicks covering the spread. Given how decimated the Hawks are with the league’s COVID protocols, it makes sense for bettors to back New York in this contest.
While 57 percent of bets coming in are on the over, a large majority of the handle (64 percent) is actually on the under. Given some of the key personnel missing in this game for the Hawks, the under might be the correct play here.
Moneyline: Hawks +205, Knicks -255
This line has moved substantially as the Hawks ruled players out due to COVID. With the Knicks favored heavily on the moneyline, it makes sense to see 57 percent of bets and 56 percent of the money coming in going on New York winning. There is a decent contingent predicting an Atlanta upset, so there’s a chance for some big paydays here for bettors going with the underdog.
Is the public right?
The Knicks have a propensity to underwhelm in big games, so bettors can’t be faulted for thinking of backing Atlanta. However, the Hawks simply don’t have players at the moment while the Knicks have gotten most of their rotation back. Most of the public is backing New York and that’s the right decision given how both rosters look going into the game.
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