The New York Knicks continue their Western road swing against the well-rested Portland Trail Blazers Sunday night.
Portland, which has been off since January 18 due to a COVID-19 outbreak amongst the Memphis Grizzlies canceling their two games this week, is a 3.5-point NBA betting home favorite against the Knicks. New York is playing its sixth road game in the past eight outings and the third stop of a four-game away swing versus Western Conference foes.
These are our NBA free picks and predictions for Knicks vs. Trail Blazers on January 24, with tip-off set for 10:00 pm ET.
New York Knicks at Portland Trail Blazers Betting Preview
Knicks: Reggie Bullock G (Questionable), Austin Rivers G (Questionable).
Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum F (Out), Zach Collins F (Out), Jusuf Nurkic C (Out), C.J. Elleby F (Probable).
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Betting Trend to Know
The Under is 11-3 in Knicks’ last 14 games overall. Find more NBA betting trends for Knicks vs. Trail Blazers.
Portland opened as a 2.5-point home favorite and was bet up to -3.5 with early money on the home side. The total opened at 214 points and has dropped to 213. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!
Check out the full line movement for this game
Against the Spread (ATS) Pick
Portland’s unplanned hiatus could be a blessing for this short-handed squad, which is down two of its top performers. The Blazers were bulldozed by the San Antonio Spurs in their first game without both Jusuf Nurkic and C.J. McCollum, losing 125-104 last Monday.
Even with those two standouts in action, defense has been a weakness for Portland, allowing nearly 116 points against per game. But the Blazers had the firepower to counter that. Now, without two players that averaged a combined 36.5 points per game, the lineup doesn’t pack the same punch—and is slower and lumbering compared to Portland’s pace with a healthy starting five.
With that in mind, head coach Terry Stotts took advantage of the sudden break in games to get in a series of solid practices, game plan well in advance for the Knicks, and figure out how to patch those gaping holes in his lineup ahead of Sunday night.
New York, on the other hand, is coming off a 103-94 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday, suffering a notable letdown spot after stunning the Golden State Warriors the night before. Sunday’s game will be the Knicks’ third road game in four nights and their fifth away game in the past 10 days, coming against a well-rested and prepared Portland side.
The Knicks are playing much better than last season, but this is a tough schedule spot for even the best of teams.
PREDICTION: Portland -3.5 (-110)
Taking the contributions of McCollum and Nurkic out of the mix has a major impact on the Trail Blazers’ offense, especially when the team is looking to backups Enes Kanter and Rodney Hood to fill those holes.
Last Monday’s loss to San Antonio saw the Blazers record just 101 possessions, shooting 39 for 90 from the field for just 104 points—the team’s third-lowest scoring output this season. On the year, Portland pushes the eighth-fastest pace in the NBA and scores nearly 115 points a night.
The added practice time this week was used to help create better chemistry between those new starters but also up the intensity on defense heading into a tough back-to-back situation for the team, starting Sunday at home to New York and rolling into a Monday’s meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Knicks enter the weekend as the No. 1 defense in the league, limiting opponents to just 102.8 points on 43 percent shooting overall, including guarding the 3-point arc to the tune of 31 percent success from rival riflemen.
Offensively, New York rolls out the slowest scoring attack in the Association, tallying only 99.2 possessions per outing. The Knicks mustered only 94 points on 38 percent shooting in the loss to Sacramento Friday, including just 40 points in the second half.
PREDICTION: Under 213 (-110)
Player Prop Pick
We’ve gone this entire piece without mentioning Blazers superstar Damian Lillard, who also benefitted from the surprise break in play this week with the arrival of his new twin babies. Lillard is scoring just over 28 points a night but will need to shoulder more of that scoring load with McCollum sidelined until late February.
He’s posted 36 and 35 points in the past two games and dropped 40 on Sacramento earlier this month. Lillard is averaging 30.2 points on 45.5 percent shooting in January, including a 41-for-103 mark from distance (39.8 percent 3-point percentage).
New York has done well limiting interior opponents but still struggles to contain guards, giving up 57.5 points per game to the position. The Knicks were toasted by the Kings backcourt on Friday and allowed 30 points to Warriors star Steph Curry on Thursday.
New Papa Dame will make his twins proud with a big offensive effort Sunday night.
PREDICTION: Damian Lillard Over 32.5 points (-121)
Knicks vs Trail Blazers Betting Card
- Portland -3.5 (-110)
- Under 213 (-110)
- Damian Lillard Over 32.5 points (-121)
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