The Phoenix Suns look to extend their 14 game winning streak when they take on the New York Knicks tonight at Madison Square Garden. While the Suns have been on an extended winning streak, they have not been covering spreads lately. Covering spreads has been a problem for New York all season so let’s take a closer look to see if we can cash in on this game. Let’s see the NBA odds.
Phoenix Suns vs. New York Knicks
Friday, November 26, 2021 – 07:00 PM EST at Madison Square Garden
Suns Not Feeling Hungover
In most of the North American professional sports leagues, you’ll hear the term "Finals hangover" in reference to a team that made a run and either won the championship or made it to the final game (Super Bowl) or series. If that team starts off the following season off the pace, you’ll hear that term being used. Phoenix started the first week of this season with a 1-3 record and that was the talk. Now that we are a month into the new campaign, talk of a hangover has vanished.
Phoenix has won 14 games in a row and come into Madison Square Garden as -3 point favorites tonight against the Knicks. While this line might seem short at first glance, the Suns have not been getting the job done against the spread (ATS) lately. They are 9-9 ATS on the season which isn’t terrible but considering they were the second-best ATS team in the league last year, they are certainly off the pace.
Knicks Can’t Sustain This Model
Speaking of being off the pace, the New York Knicks were the best ATS team in the NBA last year. They covered the number 61% of the time. This season they are 8-10 against the spread and I’ve been saying since the year began that the way they are playing is unsustainable.
New York has ramped up the three-point attempts this season from 30 per game last year which was 27th in the league to 37.6 this year which is the 9th most. That has seen them go from 21st in the league with 11.8 threes per game to 13.8 which comes in at number 6 overall.
The issue I have with this is their roster is not built to sustain this shooting pace. Last season, the Knicks were 3rd in the NBA in defensive efficiency. This season they’ve spent the majority of the season in the bottom ten although lately, they have improved.
If New York finishes any lower than 15th in the league in defensive efficiency, I do not believe they will make the playoffs. At the moment they are 16th which is a huge improvement from where they were just a week ago. At the same time, their offense has been on a steady decline during that same period so they will need to find some balance there.
Under Is the Look in This Spot
Given Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau’s defense-first mentality, I think the Knicks continue to show improvement on that side of the ball. I do not think their three-point shooting is sustainable based on the makeup of their roster. I think the way they play is easy for the Suns to defend. On the flip side, the Suns are 3rd in defensive efficiency in the league.
At the moment, both teams have been playing all season. The Knicks are 12-6 to the under and the Suns are 10-8 in that same stat. The total for this game is 216 and my official play is the under here. The Knicks are 22nd in pace and for my NBA picks, I fully expect them to play even slower than that against a Suns team that likes to get up and down.
*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.