The New York Knicks (6-20) will have their hands full against the NBA’s top scoring defense when they clash with the Denver Nuggets (16-8) at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 15, 2019, and will air on NBATV.
Denver opened as an 11-point favorite, while the game’s Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 205.5 points.
New York Knicks at Denver Nuggets Free Prediction
The last time the Knicks played, they narrowly defeated the Sacramento Kings, 103-101, as 8.5-point underdogs. The total points for the game (204) came in under the O/U total of 210.5. New York’s turnover percentage was their largest strength over Sacramento. The Knicks had a rate of 7.4 (better than their season average of 12.9), while the Kings posted a mark of 13.1. With 26 points on 10-for-17 shooting, Julius Randle was New York’s high scorer.
The Nuggets were victorious over the Oklahoma City Thunder in their last outing, 110-102, resulting in a push. The combined points for the game (212) were under the projected point total of 216.5. The Nuggets, who came into the game averaging an offensive rebounding percentage of 23.4, had a mark of 25.0 and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.547 (above their season average of 0.508). With 28 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists, Nikola Jokic led the way for Denver with his third triple-double this year.
Half-court execution will be at a premium when a pair of the league’s slowest-paced teams square off. Denver currently ranks 24th in possessions per game (101.0) and New York is 26th (100.5). Also, the 30th-ranked offense of the Knicks (offensive efficiency of 100.6) will square off against the fourth-ranked defense of the Nuggets (defensive efficiency of 101.5).
New York heads into the contest with records of 6-20 straight up (SU) and 12-13-1 against the spread (ATS). Oddsmakers tend to place the total high when the Knicks are playing, as 65.4 percent of their games have gone under the total.
Denver is 16-8 SU, but they struggle covering the spread (9-11-3 ATS). Nuggets games also have a tendency to finish under the O/U total (78.3 percent).
Both teams have had a player take their game to the next level over their last five games. Mitchell Robinson (12 points,8.4 rebounds,2.2 blocks) has been fantastic for the Knicks while Jokic (19 points,9.8 rebounds,7.0 assists) has made solid contributions to the Nuggets.
This is the second game of the season between these two squads. In the first, the Knicks lost 129-92, unable to cover as 8.5-point underdogs. Robinson scored a game-high 17 points and also had seven rebounds. The game finished with a total of 221 points, which was 17 points above the projected point total of 204 points. The Nuggets had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (24.3 vs. 11.4) and had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.684 vs. 0.464).
Knicks at Nuggets Free Pick
Free Prediction: ATS Winner – Nuggets, O/U – Under
Denver ranks 12th in points in the paint per game (47.2) while New York ranks 28th (41.7).
New York ranks second in steals allowed per game (6.7) while Denver ranks eighth (7.1).
The Nuggets rank 24th in fast break points per game (11.5) while the Knicks rank 27th (10.5).
Denver is 5-6-1 ATS at home, while New York is 7-6 ATS on the road.
In its last five contests, New York is 3-2 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
Denver is 2-2-1 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over over its last five games.
The Knicks’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 12.4, up from 10.1 for the season.
During their last five games, the Nuggets have scored an average of 102.6 points per game (3.7 below their season average) and allowed an average of 102.2 points per game (0.6 above their season average).