Philly Fun: Sixers host the New York Knicks

New York Knicks AT Philadelphia 76ers
Opening Line:  Phi -4.5
Current Line:  Phi -5.5
Opening Total:  211.5
Current Total: 213.5
Opening Moneyline:  Phi -200 / NY +170
Current Moneyline:  Phi -220 / NY +185

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Amar'e and the Knicks have been very mediocre since acquiring Anthony and Billups

It’s hard to imagine a team with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire not being favored, but the Knicks just haven’t been that good since the trade and Carmelo himself said “it’s going to take time.”  The Knicks have won just 4 of their last 10 games and sit only 1 game above .500, actually behind Philadelphia who is now half a game ahead of the struggling Knicks.  If the playoffs started today, New York would face Boston and Philadelphia would face Miami, a bad proposition for both teams.  Even had they made the fifth seed, they would still face a likely first round exit against Orlando; the East is top heavy.

The Knicks had no trouble last night against the Raptors, scoring 131 points in route to a 13 point victory.  That’s simply a shootout though, there is no defense in a game like that.  For New York to even have the most remote chance against Boston, they are going to have to defend, or face Paul Pierce scoring over 30 and leading the Celtics to victory.  Moreover, they won’t be able to control the pace against Boston, anyway, Rondo is too good to allow that to happen.

Some betting trends:

New York is 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games and the total has gone OVER in 4 of their last 5 games.  New York is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games and 0-5 SU in their last 5 games on the road.  They are also 0-5 ATS in those five games.  The total has gone OVER in 4 of New York’s last 6 games on the road and they are 6-16 SU in their last 22 games against the Sixers.  New York is 4-2 SU in their last 6 against Philadelphia and the total has gnoe UNDER in 5 of their last 6 games against Philadelphia.  The total has also gone UNDER in 4 of the Knicks last 5 road games in Philadelphia.  New York is 2-10 SU in their lsat 12 games on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Philadelphia is 3-6 ATS in their last 9 games and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 5 games.  The total has gone OVER in 6 of their last 8 at home and they are 4-1 SU in their last 5 at home.  Philadelphia is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games against the Knicks and the total has gone UNDER in 5 of their last 6 against the Knicks.  Philadelphia is 2-4 SU in their last 6 against the Knicks and they are 16-6 SU in their last 22 against the Knicks.  The total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 5 at home against New York and they are 10-2 SU in their last 12 at home against the Knicks.  Philadelphia is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games at home against the Knicks.

Key matchups:

Chauncey Billups vs. Jrue Holiday

Billups, unlike Anthony, has improved since stepping into a Knick uniform.  The 34 year old point guard is playing the same number of minutes, 32, but attempting 2 more shots a game and averaging 1.9 points per game more than he did in Denver.  Holiday will have the size to matchup with Billups, though, and has proven himself to be a solid defender against most point guards in the league.  In fact, it will be Billups who will have the trouble, as staying in front of Holiday could be a problem for the slow footed Billups.  I’m not suggesting Holiday will dominate Billups, but for a point guard that should dominate here (Billups), there will be little if any separation between the two in terms of offensive production.

Carmelo Anthony vs. Andre Iguodala

Iguodala is probably the best defender against Carmelo Anthony in the entire league.  He frustrated Anthony while he was with Denver, holding him below the Bodog line for his scoring in every matchup.  “Iggy” doesn’t offer a lot of offensive punch, but he’s not horrible either.  In years past, he averaged in excess of 18 a game, but with Philadelphia’s improved team he is shooting less this year and consequently scoring less.  Philly won’t ask much of him offensively tonight, as it is most important that he expends his energies on slowing down Anthony just as he has all season.

Given the fact that both teams played last night, it might be reasonable to expect some sluggish play.  New York won’t slow down the pace any, but tired legs and short jumpers are to be expected.

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