Top NBA Pick for Today
NBA Pick: Immanuel Quickley – New York Knicks (+160) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
There’s less than a month remaining in the NBA’s regular season, and it appears the race for the Sixth Man of the Year Award is down to a pair of players.
Let’s break them down with odds from BetOnline for your top NBA pick.
Remember, fans from the Big Apple who want to wager on this game should check out our top-rated New York betting sites.
2022-23 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award
There are two awards that no NBA player worth his salt probably wants to win in his career:
- NBA Most Improved Player
- NBA Sixth Man of the Year
Why? Because to have “improved” means said player wasn’t very good or healthy the previous season. For Sixth Man, that obviously means said player isn’t good enough to be a full-time starter.
The NBA hasn’t announced when its 2023 Awards show will be, but it’s usually the end of June.
The Sixth Man race appears to be down to a pair of players from the Atlantic Division – yes, the NBA still has divisions for some reason – in the Boston Celtics’ Malcolm Brogdon and New York Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley.
Here are their current odds from BetOnline.
Malcolm Brogdon (Boston Celtics)
- Sixth Man of the Year Odds (-170)
Has a player ever won NBA Rookie of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year? In the same season, no, but Boston’s Brogdon is on track to add whatever the Sixth Man Trophy looks like to his Rookie of the Year Award won in 2016-17 while with the Milwaukee Bucks – a rare second-round pick to be named top rookie.
The Celtics acquired Brogdon from Indiana last offseason as Boston sent Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan, and a 2023 first-round pick to the Pacers to get the guard. Indiana was gracious enough to let Brogdon pick his next location when it certainly didn’t have to ask him.
“At the end of the day, we knew there was Boston, we knew Toronto, and we knew [Washington],” Brogdon said in revisiting the trade. “I thought (Boston) was further along. They have a superstar in Jayson Tatum and probably another superstar in Jaylen Brown as well. I thought it would be a great fit for me because I wanted to win right now.”
Brogdon Perfect Fit in Boston
Brogdon clearly made the right decision as the C’s are second in the East and (+350) second favorites to win the NBA title. Brogdon had started every game in his three seasons with Indiana but hasn’t started a single one this year. The only criteria to win Sixth Man is to play more games as a reserve than a starter, and the former Virginia star already has clinched that.
Brogdon is averaging 14.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.6 assists while shooting a league-best 45.7% from deep and consistently playing good defense. As of this writing, Brogdon has scored at least 20 points in 15 games, which is tied for the second-most games in the NBA off the bench this season.
He ranks third among NBA reserves for the most clutch points (close game in final five minutes of regulation or all of overtime) scored with 36 this year. While Brogdon’s numbers don’t completely jump off the page, consider he’s playing only 25.7 minutes per game, a career low.
A Boston player has won the award three times, both Hall of Famers: Kevin McHale in the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons and Bill Walton in 1985-86.
Immanuel Quickley (New York Knicks)
- Sixth Man of the Year Odds (+160)
The Knicks have been playing lately (for the most part) without star guard Jalen Brunson due to left foot soreness. The biggest beneficiary of him being out has been Quickley, a 2020 first-round pick out of Kentucky. He actually was selected by Oklahoma City and traded to the Knicks as part of a package for the 23rd pick, Leandro Bolmaro, on Nov. 20, 2020. The Knicks won that trade by a landslide.
Flashback to March 5 when Quickley blew up on national television for 38 points in a 131-129 double-overtime victory in Boston. Following that game, Quickley jumped into the favored Sixth Man role but has since lost it because Brogdon is taking such heavy action at BMR’s top-rated books.
Quickley has been great at times since that 30-point game – including 26 points and 10 rebounds on Tuesday in a win at Portland – but struggled at times as well. On March 9 in Sacramento, he was an ugly 1-for-11 for three points.
Shining in Brunson’s Absence
On the season, the 23-year-old is averaging 13.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists in about 28.5 minutes. Over his last nine games, which includes five starts, he’s averaged 20.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.1 steals on 46.7% shooting.
To get minutes for Tom Thibodeau, you must play good defense, and Quickley can guard multiple positions. The Knicks are outscoring teams by about 5.3 points when he is on the floor and are plus-7.8 per 100 possessions.
Quickley has started 15 of his 70 games and will go back to a reserve role whenever Brunson is back – perhaps Saturday afternoon against Denver. Quickley should get paid this summer when he will become extension eligible (on July 1) off of his rookie contract. ESPN salary cap expert Bobby Marks speculated that Quickley deserves something like the four-year, $95 million extension the Hawks gave De’Andre Hunter last October.
Moving Up the NBA Player Rankings
The Ringer recently released its Top 125 players rankings, and Quickley was at No. 95 – one spot ahead of big-money teammate RJ Barrett, a full-time starter.
New York has had three winners of this award:
- Anthony Mason: 1994-95
- John Starks: 1996-97
- J.R. Smith: 2012-13
The only other betting options for Sixth Man are Milwaukee’s Bobby Portis at (+1600) and Sacramento’s Malik Monk at (+1800). Portis is having a great season and is among the league leaders with 33 double-doubles. Surprised he’s not at better NBA odds, but Portis did miss some time injured.
At this time this writer feels that Quickley is simply at a better value at this time and that perhaps Brunson’s foot problems will continue to persist.
NBA Pick: Immanuel Quickley (+160) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.