This Atlantic division matchup between the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers will be an interesting one. Both teams have had strong starts to the season although the Knicks have been stumbling lately. The Sixers have a few issues of their own with injuries to several starters. Let’s try to find some value in this contest so we can cash in on the action.
New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Monday, November 08, 2021 – 07:00 PM EDT at Wells Fargo Center
Knicks Offense Coming Back Down to Earth
The Knicks started off the season blistering hot on offense, especially from behind the three-point line. It was inevitable that they would cool off for several reasons. The first of which is they don't really have true shooters on their team. They have guys that can make shots which means that it was always going to be difficult to maintain the torrid pace they opened the season with. They've lost three of their last four games and three-point shooting is one of the main culprits.
The Knicks started off the season 5-1 and at the time, they were number one in made threes per game and second in three-point percentage. During this stretch where they've gone 1-3, they are 25th in threes per game and 27th in percentage. It would be easy to blame this losing streak on their shooting woes but there's a much more important reason they're losing' defense. Take this into consideration next you look at our NBA picks.
The Knicks are currently ranked 27th in the league defensively and if that continues, they're not going to repeat as a playoff team. New York was the third-best defensive team in the league last year so to be ranked as the fourth worst in the league in that same category is alarming. While I was certain their offense would regress, I'm confident that their defense will improve because Tom Thibodeau won't accept anything less.
Philly Continues to Impress On Offense
The Sixers' offensive efficiency is all the more impressive considering their roster issues. We all know what's going on with Ben Simmons but even the players who are still willing to pay for the Sixers haven't always been available. On top of that, Joel Embiid has not been at his best and it hasn't mattered. At the moment, Philly ranks first in the league in offensive efficiency which is why even though they have injury issues, they come into this game as -4.5 point favorites.
These two teams have a very similar issue and that's their defense up to this point. The Sixers are 17th on defense although they've shown the ability to lock down when needed. Also, because their offense has been so efficient that teams have been trying to play catch up so that stat is a little misleading. That said, with the number of injuries they have in this one, the defense will be the key to this game.
Under Is the Play in This Spot
The total for this game is 211 points at most of the top online sportsbooks. I'm taking the under in this spot due to the fact that what the Knicks do well offensively, the Sixers can counter. There's also a very important stat that is killing the Knicks right now and that's their three-point defense. They make the fourth-most threes in the league yet they make less than their opponents. That is a recipe for disaster and against Philly, it will be the reason I see this game.
The other reason I like the under here is the possible absences of Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, and Danny Green. That's more than half of their starting roster although Philly has been more about the sum of their parts. Everyone is contributing to their success which is why I think they win this game but I also see it going under
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