Knicks vs. Pacers prediction: NBA odds, picks, best bets for Thursday
The New York Knicks, who closed January with eight consecutive victories, look to start February on a high note Thursday night as they take on the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden in an intriguing Eastern Conference battle.
The Celtics still lead the Atlantic Division, but the Knicks have forged ahead of the struggling 76ers for second place.
New York began January with a 17-15 mark, but a 14-2 record in the month has pushed them to the three-seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Not so coincidentally, the winning ways coincided with the acquisition of OG Anunoby, who along with Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn came to New York in a trade with Toronto for RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley in late December.
Knicks vs. Pacers prediction
(7:30 p.m. ET, MSG)
The Knicks closed 2023 with a 140-126 loss at Indiana as four-point underdogs, but they were severely undermanned without the trade pieces in place at that point.
Pacers All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton scored 22 points and dished out 23 assists in the win, while Donte DiVincenzo (38), Jalen Brunson (28) and Julius Randle (28) scored 96 of the Knicks 126 points.
The Knicks continue to play without Randle due to a right shoulder injury that is expected to keep him out for several weeks, but New York rolled past Charlotte and Utah in the last two games without him.
In Tuesday’s 118-103 victory over the Jazz, the backcourt duo of DiVincenzo and Brunson combined for 62 points in a sixth straight home win.
Buddy Hield and the Pacers are slight underdogs against the Knicks. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters ConThe Pacers had their three-game winning streak snapped in Tuesday’s 129-124 defeat at Boston, but they covered as nine-point underdogs.
Haliburton, who returned from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss 13 games, was held to 13 points in 22 minutes on 5-of-16 shooting from the floor. On a minutes restriction, he checked out of the game midway through the third quarter and didnt return.
The addition of Pascal Siakam (23 points vs. Boston) and the improved play by Aaron Nesmith (26) and point guard Andrew Nembhard (16) has lightened the scoring and play-making burden for the Pacers, who are protecting against another setback for their star.
The Pacers own a solid 9-2-2 mark against the spread in the underdog role in their last 13 games. However, we’ll see how long Haliburton plays with Indiana managing his minutes.
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Since giving up 128 points to the Mavericks in a loss on Jan. 11, the Knicks havent surrendered more than 109 points, a stretch of 10 games.
However, during that stretch, only one opponent is averging more than 115 points per game Utah, which ranks 11th at 117.5.
The Pacers, who top the list at 124.5 points per game, will offer a new challenge Thursday night.
But the Knicks, who are 28-11-1 when holding opponents under 125 points this season, are rolling right now especially on defense and it’s hard to go against them on this hot streak.
Pick: Knicks -2.5 (-110, Bet365)
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