Sacramento Kings vs. New York Knicks Betting Preview – February 25, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| February 25, 2021 4:28 am PDT

Unfortunately for the Kings, their season has fallen royally flat, and along with it, their hopes of post-season basketball have faded. This is their 15th season in a row that they have failed to make the playoffs. However, the Knicks do still have a chance of clinching a playoff berth, and every game is crucial right now. They currently find themselves just outside a playoff spot in ninth position. But there isn’t much between them and seven other teams who are all fighting it out for five playoff spots.

Although the Kings seemingly don’t have much to play for here, they have a superb record of upholding. They have beaten the Knicks on five of the previous six occasions that they have met. The last of which was a little over a month ago win, they ran out comfortably nine-point winners in Sacramento. It was a scrappy game, and neither team shot well, which was reflected in the final score. The Knicks has a narrow lead at halftime, but the Kings fought back and went on to win 103-94.

Let’s look at the betting trends for each team, and then I will provide my Kings vs. Knicks betting prediction.

Kings vs. Knicks Match Odds 

Kings +2-110
Knicks -2-110
Kings To Win+110
Knicks To Win-129
Over 222.5-110
Under 222.5-110

Although the Kings have a good record over the Knicks, I did expect the spread to be bigger here, mostly seen as they have little to play for tonight. The points total looks big also as they are only averaging 200 points against each other over the previous ten meetings.

The Knicks have only been the matchday favorites on six occasions this season, and they won three and lost three of those games.

Kings Analysis

After a great run of seven wins in eight matches, the jewels have indeed fallen off of the King’s crown since. They have lost their last eight games in a row showing minimal fight along the way. The closest they have got to any opponent during that time is eight points which shows you that they have given up on this season.

They haven’t been great on the road and have only won five of their 13 away fixtures. This includes losing the previous three in a row, but they did all come against quality opposition. Their last win on the road did come against quality opponents when they edged out the Clippers 110-113.

Here are the latest betting trends for Sacramento:

  • They have lost their last eight games in a row against the spread.
  • Their previous seven games have all gone over the betting total.
  • The Kings have won four and lost two against the spread in their last six matches against the Knicks.
  • Sacramento is 4-8 in their previous 12 road trips.
  • Four of the last five games played at Maddison Square Garden between these two have gone under the points total.
  • The Kings are winless against the spread in their previous seven games against teams from the Eastern Conference.
  • They have only won three of their last 14 matches against teams based in the Atlantic Division.

All of the above highlights how much the Kings are struggling right now, and although they have a decent record against the spread when facing the Knicks, the meager two-point lead on offer tonight might not be enough to save them.

However bad the Kings are playing right now, they still have a dangerous attack that can hurt you. They are reasonably accurate shooters with a field goal percentage of 47%, so they cannot be taken lightly. Although they haven’t shot well from the free-throw line for some reason, they have the second-lowest success rate in the NBA this season.

Buddy Heild has been one of the best shooters for the Kings this season, especially from three-point range. However, much like his teammates, his performances have dwindled as of late, along with his points total, which has decreased each game over the previous three matches.

The bad news for them is they can’t defend to save their lives, and they have the worst defensive record in the league. They concede I’m average 119 points per game which is predominantly down to their poor marking.

The Kings also haven’t rebounded well, which, added to their poor marking, is a recipe for disaster.

Sacramento has also had to deal with absentees this season, and they will again have two players (Whiteside and Metu) missing tonight.

Knicks Analysis

The Knicks are trying their very best to battle their way to a playoff spot, having won four of their previous six matches. They haven’t made the playoffs for the last seven seasons, and it seems they may be getting a little nervous as it comes down to crunch time as they have lost two of their previous three games.

New York has done relatively well at the Garden this season, having won eight and lost seven of their 15 matches played there. They had a run of three straight home wins halted by the Warriors last time out. The first three-quarters of that game was very up and down, with unfortunately more downs for the Knicks. The Warriors managed to slow the game’s pace down in the fourth quarter and ran out comfortable winners 106-114.

Here are the latest betting trends for New York:

  • The Knicks have won five of their previous seven matches against the spread.
  • Eight of their last 11 games have gone under the betting total.
  • All of their six previous meetings with the Kings have gone under the points total.
  • They have won two-thirds of their last nine matches against the spread when playing at home.
  • New York is 6-14 in their previous 20 games against teams from the West Coast.
  • The Knicks have only won one of their last nine games against opponents in the Pacific Division.

The Knicks have done well against the spread this season, but they have done as well straight up, so perhaps the bookmakers have underestimated them too often. The signs are as suspected; this could be a low-scoring match.

As you would expect from a team involved in so many low-scoring games, the Knicks have a poor offense this season. Well, it’s the lowest-scoring offense in the league, averaging only 103 points per game.

They rebound the ball well, particularly in defense, but they need to do more with it when they manage to recycle it.

Their passing has left a lot to be desired this season, resulting in the second-lowest assist count in the league.

With an attack so poor, you wonder how they are on the cusp of the playoffs but check out their defense and wonder no more. They love to defend, and they do it so well. They stick to their opponents like glue and only concede 103 points per game on average. This makes them the number one defensive unit in the country.

If you wanted to be over-critical, you could say that they could be making more steals per game, especially with a tight marking game like that have.

The well-traveled Nerlens Noel has been at the heart of their defense this season, and he seems to have found a home in New York. He has averaged more blocks for the Knicks per game than any other team he played for in his career. Noel has struggled for fitness but is likely to feature tonight.

However, they will be without Payton and Robinson.

Kings vs. Knicks Betting Pick

Pick
  • Under 222.5 Points
    -110

If I could, I would make two picks and choose the Knicks to win a low-scoring game. You have a good offense going up against a superb defense and a woeful offense going up against a mediocre defense, so don’t expect to see the scoreboard ticking over too much tonight. The Kings have given up as of late, which makes me want to pick the Knicks. However, all the pressure is on the Knicks, and they have looked quite shaky under it in the last few games. One thing is sure, and that is you can guarantee that the Knicks defense will show up, so I will pick under the point’s total tonight.

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