Los Angeles Lakers (23-27) at New York Knicks (27-24)
Game Info: Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. EST (Madison Square Garden)
Betting Odds: Knicks (-1.5) / Over/Under (232)
Pick: Lakers (+1.5)
In a game that should draw a ton of eyes from basketball fans, Tuesday night will bring two historic franchises together in the Garden, when the Los Angeles Lakers take on the New York Knicks at 7:30 p.m. EST on primetime TV.
Los Angeles is in the midst of an East Coast road trip, with this being their 3rd game in 4 days. As I type this, the Lakers have not played the Nets on Monday night yet, so their game against the Knicks will be played on a back-to-back. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis both resting on the first night of the back-to-back against the Nets, I expect them to have plenty of energy in this one. Although they have split their last 8 games SU, they have covered in 6 of those games ATS, good for 75% in that stretch. As Davis makes his way back from injury, it will take him some games to get his feet under him, but he has looked better than I thought he would in his first two back after missing over a month of basketball. LA is currently in a battle for a play-in spot in the West, and after resting their two superstars the prior night, I fully expect them to be raring to go in MSG come tipoff time.
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The Knicks have really put their fanbase on a rollercoaster all season up to now. They have gone on numerous long win and loss streaks, just recently losing 4 in a row after winning 3 straight. They miss Mitchell Robinson's presence tremendously in the paint, as he is one of the premier shot-blockers in the league. At times, it feels as though from a night-to-night basis, you are watching a completely different team, which Head Coach Tom Thibodeau has spoken in length about to the media. They are currently sitting in the 7 hole in the East, but with the talented squad that they have, can go on a run to jump a few spots if they can put it all together. If they are able to swing a beneficial trade or two at the deadline, I really think they can make some noise in the East. For that to happen, the Knicks would need to start here in order to go on a stretch of games where they look capable of that.
A few betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- New York is 9-14-2 ATS as the home team
- Los Angeles is 23-16-1 ATS in non-Division games
- The Knicks are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games played
- The over has hit in 6 of 8 games that the Lakers have played on no rest
As I previously mentioned, with James and Davis both sitting out the prior night to this game, they will be in win-now mode here as they attempt to get back into the thick of things in the West. The Lakers will have the two best players on the court by a long shot in crunch time, and I see it showing in this one. With Robinson out, AD and LeBron should be able to attack the rim with authority in order to gain quick baskets all night long. Give me the Lakers to secure a crucial win to keep themselves afloat.
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