Two teams that were playoff bound last season but are hoping to become legitimate contenders this year square off in the first of a double dip of NBA betting festivities on Thursday night, when the New York Knicks visit the Memphis Grizzlies.
The grumblings are going to start soon in the Big Apple for sure. The Knicks just aren’t all that fantastic of a team this year, and their 3-7 ATS record is indicative of that even though the team is hanging above .500 at 6-4 SU. There are clearly voids on this squad outside of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. Sure, both stars are averaging over 20 points per game this season, but in an offense that wants to run up and down the court like madmen, it is imperative that others step up and get the job done. Rookie Iman Shumpert has been a pleasant surprise, averaging 12.6 points per game since starting off his first campaign in the NBA, but others like Tyson Chandler, Toney Douglas, and Mike Bibby have underachieved greatly offensively. With all of this star power, New York shouldn’t be a middle of the road team in terms of scoring, especially with Head Coach Mike D’Antoni calling the shots.
For as bad as things are for the Knicks, they’re really a ton worse for the Grizzlies. They are just 3-6 this season, and though they do get an excuse for this slow start thanks to an absolutely brutal schedule that has already included games against the Spurs, Bulls, Jazz, Lakers, and two with the Thunder, eventually, those are the games that Memphis has to win if it wants to be a title contender. There is also no excuse to lose 104-64 as it did on New Year’s Day at the United Center. Zach Randolph is still sidelined with a knee injury for the next month or so, and without him, this team looks awfully average. Rudy Gay is doing his job, accounting for 16.3 points per game, but there are only three other double digit scorers on the team. Beyond Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, and OJ Mayo, there just aren’t that many that can really step it up and knock down a bit shot when needed, and with those lack of options out there, the best teams are slowing the Grizz down when it counts most.
New York Knicks @ Memphis Grizzlies Trends: If you like high scoring games, this, at least in recent history, has been the series for you. The winner of this game has scored at least 110 in four straight, and the loser has scored at least 108 in three out of four. The last four times these teams met, the ‘total’ has at least at 210, and all four games went past the ‘total’. Seven of the last eight have exceeded the number as well, and New York is the proud owner of a 4-1-1 ATS mark in its last six against the Grizz.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.