Both the Knicks and the Pacers are not where they would like to be in this early part of the season. They’re both playing around .500 basketballs although coming into the season, they would both have playoff expectations. The Pacers have started turning things around winning three of their last four games. The Knicks meanwhile are having a hard time winning games lately after a strong start. Which way to lean at BMR’s best sportsbooks?
Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks
Monday, November 15, 2021 – 07:30 PM EST at Madison Square Garden
Pacers Starting to Turn Things Around
When the Indiana Pacers brought back former head coach Rick Carlisle, it was seen as the move that they needed to get over the hump. It’s been almost a decade since the Pacers were legit NBA championship contenders when they finished with the best record in the east.
Ever since they’ve been basically a fringe playoff team which is not where they expect to be. So far this season, Carlisle’s second stint in Indiana has returned mixed results.
Tonight they travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the suddenly struggling Knicks. The line for this game opened at Knicks -3 with some of the top online sportsbooks already showing -3.5, depending on where you shop.
Let’s start with the fact that both of these teams win their games by less than one point per game. In fact, they rank 14th and 15th in the league respectively in terms of margin of victory. With that in mind, I’m taking the points with the Pacers in this spot.
Knicks Need to Start Playing Defense
Last season, the Knicks finished with the 4th best record in the Eastern Conference. They managed that feat by having the 3rd best defense in the NBA. They started this season winning five of their first six games but if you were paying attention, you would see that the way they were playing was sustainable.
One look at the Knicks roster and it’s clear that they don’t have true shooters. That’s relevant because at the moment, they take the 9th most three and make the 4th most.
I don’t have a problem with their decision as a team to take more threes. The problem I have with the Knicks right now is that they are 24th on defense. If that continues, the Knicks will not be a playoff team again.
Tonight they will need that defense to kick into gear against a Pacers offense that isn’t great but is efficient. The Pacers make shots and from what I’ve seen so far this year, have a better overall flow to their offense.
They are also a much better rebounding team than New York so if the Knicks are going to rely on threes, the Pacers will hang around. The Pacers make enough threes that it’s not enough of an advantage for New York in this matchup.
Speaking of matchups, it will be interesting to see how New York handles the size advantage that the Pacers have in the backcourt. Either way, anything over 3 points is too much and right now you can get the Pacers +3.5 (-110) at Bovada which is my official NBA pick.
*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.