Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Knicks vs. Celtics (1/26/2023) - Taking Vegas

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Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Knicks vs. Celtics (1/26/2023)

By Michael Savio
January 25, 2023
Photo by Brian Babineau - Getty Images

New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics (1/26 @ 7:30 PM EST)


Spread: Celtics -8.5
Money Line: Knicks +215 / Celtics -255
Total: 227.5


Overview and Betting Info


The New York Knicks (26-23) will head to Boston on Thursday to take on the Celtics (35-14).
These teams met back in November, with the Celtics dominating in a 133-118 win. Boston
currently leads the Eastern Conference, while the Knicks are seventh.

The Knicks are 25-22-2 against the spread this season but have covered just one of their last
five games. They have gone over the total 24 times and have been over in three of their last five
games.

The Celtics are 26-23 versus the spread but have failed to cover their last four games. They’ve
gone over the total 22 times but have been under in six of their last seven games.

New York Knicks

The Knicks are coming off an impressive win against the Cavs, breaking a four-game losing
streak. While an eight-game win streak in December helped vault the Knicks back up the
standings, two separate losing streaks of at least four games have pushed them back under the
.500 mark. Their offense has been a big issue, ranking in the bottom ten in the NBA in points
per game (114.1), assists (22.6), field goal percentage (45.7), and three-point percentage (34.5).
One area they have had success in is rebounding, as they are third in the NBA with 47.3 PPG
and second with 13.3 offensive rebounds per game. They’ve also been solid on defense, holding
opponents to 112.4 points per game (9th in NBA), 45.2 field goal percentage (3rd), and a 34.5
three-point percentage (5th).

A trio of stars leads New York in Julius Randle (24.6 PPG, 10.9 RPG), Jalen Brunson (22.3 PPG,
6.2 APG, 1.0 SPG), and RJ Barrett (20.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG). Randle has established himself as one of
the elite big men in the league thanks to a combination of physical play and a solid three-point
shot. He scored 29 points and had nine rebounds in their first matchup with Boston. Brunson
has been a vital part of this team, thanks largely to his three-point shot. The guard made 49.2%
of his threes and averaged 28.3 points during January. Plus, he scored 22 points and ten assists
in his first game against Boston. Barrett is another talented scorer, but his lack of consistency
has been an issue for the Knicks. He’s shooting 55.5% from three over their last three games,
meaning he may be able to top his November 27-point performance against Boston.

The Knicks’ stars are joined by Quentin Grimes (10.4 PPG) and Jericho Sims (3.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG).
Grimes has been a solid shooter behind their three stars, while Sims joins the starting lineup in
place of Mitchell Robinson (7.2 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 1.8 BPG). The center isn’t a scorer, but his
physical play matches Robinson’s. He will join fellow center Isaiah Hartenstein, who went for 10
points and 14 rebounds against the Celtics earlier this season. Immanuel Quickley (12.4 PPG)
and Cam Reddish (8.4 PPG) are the Knicks’ top options off the bench, and both can put up big
points when needed. Though his minutes have been limited since returning from injury earlier
this month, Obi Toppin is a player to watch coming off the bench. He is a talented three-point
shooter, making six of his last eight and scoring 25 points over his previous two games.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics come into Thursday having lost their last two games. They came after an impressive
nine-game win streak, six of which came on the road. As remarkable as that run was, they
followed it up with losses to the Heat and Magic. They’ve been the top team in the league and
are well-balanced between a high-octane offense and a stifling defense. They average 117.6
points (2nd in NBA), 44.5 rebounds (8th), and 26.6 assists (6th) per game. On defense, they
allow just 112.0 points (8th) and 5.4 blocks (5th) per game. They’ll be looking for that talented
offense to wake up on Thursday, as they were held under 99 points in their last two games.

The Celtics are led by a pair of all-stars in Jayson Tatum (31.0 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.0 SPG) and Jaylen
Brown (26.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.1 SPG). Tatum is an MVP candidate and the third-leading scorer in
the NBA. His numbers have been steady all season, showing Tatum’s dominance. He scored 26
points against the Knicks in November, making 46.2% of his threes. Brown has been dealing
with a hip injury that has kept him out of some games, but he’s been fantastic when he’s
played. The guard is hitting 49.2% of his shots from the field and had 30 points against the
Knicks earlier this year. While he’s been great over their last two games, he turned the ball over
ten times.

The Celtics starting lineup is rounded out by Marcus Smart (11.1 PPG, 7.2 APG, 1.3 SPG), Derrick
White (10.1 PPG), and Al Horford (9.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG). White and Horford are excellent shooters,
making over 36% of their three-point attempts. Smart will miss Thursday after picking up an
ankle injury, meaning sixth man Malcolm Brogdon (14.3 PPG) will likely get the start if he is
ready to play. The guard has had a great season off the bench but has missed the last two
games due to a personal matter and is questionable to play Thursday. Smart had a big game
against the Knicks earlier this season (13 points, 11 assists), meaning his absence will be missed.
Robert Williams III (7.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG) is a player to watch as he dominates down low and
averages 1.3 blocks on the season.

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