New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets – April 05, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| April 5, 2021 7:32 am PDT

The Nets host their neighbors, the New York Knicks, in this crunch Eastern Conference matchup. Both teams have their own goals heading into tonight’s game as the Knicks are trying to secure an automatic playoff spot, and the Nets are on the coattails of the 76ers as they try to win the conference outright.

These teams have alternated back-to-back wins against each other over the last six encounters, and if that trend continues tonight, it will be the Knicks who leave the Barclays Center with the win. However, it certainly won’t be easy as they face a team they have already lost to twice this year.

They met in January, and the Nets managed to claim a comfortable seven-point victory. They then squared off again only four weeks ago, and again the Nets won, but the Knicks got to within five points on this occasion.

Brooklyn was deadly when they last met, ending the match with a 57% field goal percentage and a success rate of 41% from the three-point range. The Nets have also won four of the previous five games between these two in Brooklyn and therefore should be confident of winning tonight.

Although the Nets have a 7-3 record against the Knicks over the previous ten head-to-head meetings, both teams have averaged exactly 105-points per game. This suggests when the Knicks have managed to pick up a win, it has been by a large margin. This is also despite them trailing by an average of five points per game at halftime.

Here is my Knicks vs. Nets betting preview.

Knicks vs. Nets Odds

Knicks +5.5-110
Nets -5.5-110
Knicks To Win+195
Nets To Win-225
Over 218.5 Points-110
Under 218.5 Points-110

It appears the bookmakers have based the spread on their most recent encounter, which can be a dangerous game to play and often offers value to punters. The points total looks a couple of points higher than I thought it would be, but given both games this year cleared this total easily, you can see why the bookmakers are cautious.

Brooklyn has an excellent home record of 13-3 against Eastern Conference opposition.

Knicks Team News

The Knicks ended a run of three straight defeats in emphatic style by thumping the Pistons by 44-points last time out. This was the Knicks’ most significant margin victory since 1996! Their attack finally got things going and posted a score of over 110-points for the first time in six games.

Their record on the road has been sub-standard as they have won 11 and lost 15 of their 26 Road trips to date. Although they have managed to pick up two wins from their previous three away fixtures, they haven’t won back-to-back games on the road since January.

Here are the latest betting trends for New York:

Against The Spread

  • They have won five of their previous six meetings with the Nets.
  • The Knicks have only lost one of their last six matches on the road.
  • New York has won on six of their previous seven visits to Brooklyn.

Points Total

  • Five of their last six games have gone under the betting total.

Other Pointers

  • They have only lost one of their previous five games against teams from the east coast.
  • The Knicks have only won one of their last eight matches against teams based in the Atlantic Division.

The Knicks have one of the worst offenses in the league and have only averaged 104-points per game this season, putting a lot of pressure on their defense. If they can start to move the ball around the court better, it should lead to more openings and more points.

Thankfully for them, they can cope with that pressure most nights as they have the best defense in the league. They are conceding on average 103 points per game which is mainly due to their fantastic set up which doesn’t allow their opponents much time or space in the ball.

They also have the best defense on the road this season, so it could be a hard night for the Nets attack.

Nerlens Noel has been one of the critical factors to such a tight nit defense this season, and he is having quite the debut campaign for the Knicks. Noel currently sits fourth in the blocks per game league rankings, so it is no wonder he is nicknamed the wall.

The Knicks need to ensure they keep their emotions in check tonight as they have one of the worst disciplinary records in the league, and this has been a problem recently against their fierce rivals.

The Knicks only have one player missing tonight, and that is Robinson, who misses out with a foot injury.

Nets Team News

The Nets had a four-game winning streak ended by the Bulls last time out. The defeat will be tough for Nets fans to take, given the Bulls had lost their previous six matches heading into the game.

However, they are no back in Brooklyn, where they have only lost six of their 26 games played this season. They have won their last seven home games in a row, making the Barclays Center a bit of a fortress. The last team to beat them was the Mavericks, and they did so by stopping their formidable offense, as that is the only time they have failed to reach 100-points in their previous 11 games. The Nets went on to win the other ten!

Here are the latest betting trends for Brooklyn:

Against The Spread

  • They have only won one of their last six matches.
  • The Nets have lost five of their previous six games played in April.

Points Total

  • Seven of their last eight matches have gone under the betting total.
  • Only two of their previous nine games against the Knicks have failed to go under the points total.
  • The total has gone over in for of their last six matches against teams from the Atlantic Division.

Other Pointers

  • Brooklyn has a record of 16-4 in their last 20 games.
  • The Nets have won nine of their previous 11 matchups against Eastern Conference opposition.

The Nets are one of the best-attacking teams in the NBA this season, predominantly down to a field goal percentage a little shy of 50%! They are also making 39% of their three-pointers this season which means they can hurt you from anywhere on the court.

However, their defense is severely lacking and will need to improve if they have aspirations of going all the way this season. They are conceding on average 114 points per game which isn’t good enough. With that said, they have defended better at home this season, conceding on average four fewer points per game.

They need to try and get about their opponents better and make more steals than the six they are averaging per game at present.

James Harden has stepped up in the absence of Kevin Durrant, who has been missing since February with an injury. However, that has taken its toll, and he has also now missed a couple of games with a hamstring injury. Coach Steve Nash is hopeful that they will both return this week, and Harden has a chance of featuring tonight.

The Nets will also miss Dinwiddie and Johnson, while Shamet got injured in the defeat to the Bulls and remains a doubt.

Knicks vs. Nets Pick

Pick
  • Knicks +5.5
    -110

This game is all about attack versus defense, as the number two ranked offense meets the number one ranked defense in the league. It’s been the offense that has come out on top recently, but with Durrant and Harden both set to miss out, it could be the ideal time for the Knicks’ defense to reign supreme.

New York’s offense has struggled this season, but even they should be confident of racking up some points against the Nets defense tonight. Brooklyn has relied on their heavy scoring this season to get them out of trouble, but they have only managed to post a score of at least 120-points once in their last eight games, and that came against arguably the worst team in the league, right now, the Houston Rockets.

Coming up against a defense against one as good at the Knicks could be a challenge for them tonight. I’m going to take the Knicks to win this one with the aid of the handicap.

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