Warriors vs. Knicks NBA Preview and Best Bet

Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks goes to the basket against the Charlotte Hornets. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

If you’re bold enough to bet against the Golden State Warriors, the New York Knicks are the correct NBA pick for Tuesday’s matchup.

Golden State Warriors vs. New York Knicks

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 – 07:30 PM EST at Madison Square Garden

Do you have the intestinal fortitude to bet against the Golden State Warriors? They finished the weekend at 21-5 SU and 17-8-1 ATS, so at first blush, it might seem silly to put the New York Knicks (12-15 SU, 11-16 ATS) in your Tuesday NBA picks.

But the Knicks opened as 5.5-point home dogs at PointsBet, and the Warriors will be playing on zero days of rest, after scraping by the Indiana Pacers 102-100 as 4-point road faves. This could be a classic “buy low” spot for New York supporters.

Regression In Session

It does look like the betting market for Golden State has overheated. After playing like one of the best teams ever assembled, the Warriors were 3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS in their last six games before taking on Indiana. Now they’ve dropped the cash in three straight games.

The Dubs had to come back down to earth sometime. Even in the midst of this recent slump, Golden State posted a plus-10.95 on the Simple Rating System at Sports Reference heading into Tuesday’s action; that was still better than every other team in franchise history except 2016-17 (plus-11.35 SRS), their first year with Kevin Durant.

Performing at that level just isn’t sustainable with this Durant-less and Klay Thompson-less roster. Playing a soft schedule has helped – as has their overall shift towards defense. New reserves Otto Porter Jr, Nemanja Bjelica and Gary Payton II have all helped at that end, especially Payton, although his early-season production appears to be the biggest outlier on this team. Payton was back to a pedestrian nine minutes off the bench at a team-worst minus-12 on Tuesday.

Where’s Walker?

New York has their own problems, of course. For some reason, head coach Tom Thibodeau decided to bench point guard Kemba Walker in late November, even though Walker was playing slightly above league-average basketball on paper. The Knicks are 2-6 SU and 3-5 ATS since that fateful decision.

Worse, Alec Burks – Walker’s replacement in the starting lineup – missed Sunday’s 112-97 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks (–6 away) for undisclosed personal reasons, while R.J. Barrett and Obi Toppin landed on the COVID-19 list.

All three are considered day-to-day at press time. Despite these issues, early bettors appear to be flocking toward New York. In the time it took me to write this, the Knicks have already moved to +4.5 on the NBA odds board at MaximBet, and +3.5 at most other sportsbooks.

That takes some of the starch out of my pick, but New York is still the right call; there’s even a chance that Stephen Curry sits this game out, having been listed as questionable for the first leg of this back-to-back before suiting up. Bet accordingly.

NBA Pick: Knicks +4.5 (–110) at MaximBet