Sixers vs. Knicks Betting Preview (December 26, 2020)

sixers knicks betting preview
PHOTO CREDIT: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday night, the Sixers and Knicks meet in second game of their respective seasons. The Sixers are riding high following an opening night win over the Washington Wizards, while the Knicks enter play coming off a 14-point loss to the Indiana Pacers. Let’s get into our Sixers-Knicks betting preview, including odds, boosts, and picks.

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Preview

The Sixers and Knicks are two Atlantic Division teams with diametrically different expectations. Following the teams’ first results of the season, the Sixers are +400 to win the division (fourth-best odds), while the Kicks are +25000 (fifth-best odds). That means New York has the worst odds of any team in the NBA to win their division.

 

Sixers vs. Knicks Odds

Here’s the line for the Sixers and Knicks at DraftKings Sportsbook PA:

  • Spread: Sixers -8.5, Wizards +8.5
  • Moneyline: Sixers -375, Wizards +295
  • Total: 216.5

And here are the current best available odds for the Sixers (may not display on Google AMP pages):

 

Bets We Like With a Sixers Win

FiveThirtyEight gives the Sixers an 73% chance of winning with a -6.5 point spread. Philadelphia’s implied win probability based on the moneyline is 76%. The discrepancy between the projected model’s win probability and point spread versus that of the oddsmakers isn’t entirely alarming, but it does mean that bettors might want to take pause when placing a spread bet over 6.5 points.

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Sixers Win and Knicks to Cover (+9) (+241, FanDuel)

The oddsmakers and projection models both indicate a belief that the Sixers, who many pundits believe will finish in the Top-4 of the Eastern Conference, should be able to take down the Knicks with relative ease.

With that in mind, historical precedence is potentially indicative of what could amount to a much closer game. A season ago, the Sixers won all four matchups, with the first three victories coming by margins of five, six, and three points. The most lopsided contest came on February 27, when the Sixers recorded their twelfth-consecutive victory over the Knicks in a 115-106 with at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks went 3-1 in the preseason, with their lone loss coming by eight points in a second matchup with the Detroit Pistons. Their regular season opener was a 14-point defeat, but the Pacers were playing at home and it’s a limited sample size for this season. Meanwhile, the Sixers went 2-0 in the preseason and won their opener, but the margins were all single digits.

While a parlay has more inherent risk than placing a moneyline or spread bet alone, this one is a relatively safe bet.

 

Sixers to Win and Each Team to Score Over 99.5 Points (-133, FOX Bet)

While we believe the spread is a worthwhile bet, this FOX Bet odds boost is as close to a sure think as you’ll find with much better odds than simply taking the Sixers to win outright.

The Sixers have won twelve straight matchups against the Knickerbockers, with both teams scoring at least 100 points in five of the past seven contests. After failing to cross the 100 point threshold in their first two preseason games, the Knicks have racked up 100, 119, and 107 points, with the former two coming in the preseason and the latter matchup in their regular season opener. The Sixers, meanwhile, have put up 113 points twice, including in their regular season opener, and 108 points to start the preseason.

Sixers, Wizards, Suns All to Win (+300, FOX Bet)

FOX Bet is running a three-team promo featuring the favorites in each matchup in a three-game parlay with boosted odds.

The homecourt advantage of a raucous crowd has been rendered moot for the most part.

The Sixers (-450) are the safest bet in this three-leg parlay, which we’ve outlined above. Just prior to tip-off of that matchup, the Wizards (-133) play host to the Orlando Magic. The Wizards battled a superior Sixers team in a much closer game than many pundits expected. The Magic began their season with a 113-107 victory over the reigning Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat.

The late game and final piece of this parlay features the Phoenix Suns (-167) traveling to Sacramento for a 10:00 PM contest. The Suns were able to knock off the Dallas Mavericks and one of the preseason favorites to take home the MVP award Luka Doncic. The Kings, meanwhile managed to pull out a two-point overtime win over the Denver Nuggets, who many believe could finish in the Western Conference’s Top-4.

All of this goes to say that this is a parlay that’s worth taking a look at due to boosted odds, but there’s some real volatility. It’s not a bet we love, but it’s one to consider.

Note: the maximum bet of $50 could pay out $200.

 

Bets We Like Independent of Outcome

Each Team Over 100.5 Points (-275, FOX Bet)

This bet adds a point to the Sixers to Win and Both Teams to Score Over 99.5 points, but eliminates the portion of the bet linked to the game’s outcome.

It’s once again worth noting that the Sixers and Knicks both went over 100.5 points in five of their past seven matchups. This bet also has better odds than taking the Sixers to win outright and removes having to choose a winner.

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Shake Milton Over 12 Points (+100, FOX Bet)

New Sixers head coach Doc Rivers and President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey have been effusive in their praise of third-year guard Shake Milton. Through three games between the preseason and regular season opener, they likely feel more resolute in that belief.

After dropping 19 points and 15 points in the Sixers’ two preseason games, Milton came off the bench in a Lou-Williams-esque sixth man role against the Wizards, which resulted in a 19-point effort in 30 minutes of game action.

Eventually oddsmakers will catch up to a potential Sixth Man of the Year candidate. Until then, get some real value on Milton to score over 12 points.

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Sixers vs. Knicks Prediction

Pick: The Sixers should win this game, though it could be closer than the talent disparity might lead one to believe. Take the Sixers to win and the Knicks to cover (+9). Take the Sixers to Win and the Knicks to Cover (+9). Also, take advantage of the +100 odds on Shake Milton to score over 12 points.

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