Hawks vs. Knicks Free NBA Xmas Picks and Predictions

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RJ Barrett #9 of the New York Knicks. Mark Blinch/Getty Images/AFP

The NBA on Christmas Day is here and for the second consecutive game, the Atlanta Hawks will have a playoff rematch as they take on the New York Knicks. Both teams are not where they want to be right now but playing on Christmas Day is always a special opportunity. Keep reading to check the NBA odds and let’s see if we can cash a ticket on Saturday to start the holidays off right. 

Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks

Saturday, December 25, 2021 – 12:00 PM EST at Madison Square Garden

Both Teams Have a Long Way to Go 

When the Atlanta Hawks take on the New York Knicks on Christmas Day, you'll notice these teams are nowhere near the level they were at when they met in the first round of last year's playoffs. That assessment has less to do with health and safety protocols and more to do with their current resumes through the first portion of the season. Neither one of these teams looks like they will get out of the first round if they make the playoffs at all. 

At the moment, Atlanta is tied for 10th which means they would barely qualify for the play-in tournament while the Knicks are in 12th in the east. If you've seen either team play this season, they have the same problem and that's defense or lack thereof. The Knicks were the best team in the league against the spread (ATS) last year which is how they ended up hosting a first-round playoff round. That success was built on the back of the 3rd ranked defense in the league in terms of efficiency. Through the first 32 games of this season, they have the 8th worst defense in the NBA

That is why despite hosting a matinee game at Madison Square Garden which is usually a decent advantage for New York, this line opened at Knicks -1. That number has skyrocketed to -5 at most of the top online sportsbooks due to health and safety protocol issues which is a growing concern across the entire league. My look for this game will be on the total which currently sits at 212 which is way down from where it opened which was 218.  

Atlanta Extremely Short Handed Right Now 

Health and safety protocol issues have left the Hawks extremely short-handed and the results show. The problem I have with this team is, they've been bad for a while so to say it is because they are shorthanded seems a bit naïve. They've lost 6 of their last 9 games and have only won consecutive games on two different occasions for the entire season. That alone goes to show you that they haven't been able to find any type of consistency all year except for their seven-game winning streak last month. 

As for the Knicks, they can't defend to save their lives which is the reason they are out of playoff contention at the moment. The other serious problem for them is the regression of their two best players; Julius Randle and RJ Barrett. The Knicks do not have enough talent on the offensive end to withstand the type of regression we've seen from these two. 

I'm taking the under here despite the fact that the total even with all the steam that has taken it down a full six points. The under is 8-3 in the Knicks' last 11 home games and the last six games between these two teams have gone under as well. Lastly, since Trae Young went into health and safety protocols two games ago, the Hawks have failed to score 100 points both times.

NBA Pick: Under 212.5 (-110) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 212.5 (-110)
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*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.