New York Knicks NBA Futures Odds: Finding The Best Value
The New York Knicks are approaching the 50th anniversary of their last championship but they continue to raise banners on a regular basis when it comes to dysfunction, player outbursts or failed expectations.
With the start of online sports betting in New York Saturday, Knicks fans have the first chance to wager on their team’s present and future. The Knicks play the back-end of a home-and-home with the Boston Celtics Saturday night at TD Garden.
Even a somewhat miraculous come-from-behind win over the rival Celtics Thursday night at MSG, which featured 41 points from former Boston guard Evan Fournier and was closed out by R.J. Barnett’s buzzer beater, was not without some controversy.
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Forward Julius Randle delivered a “thumbs-down” gesture to Knicks’ fans during their comeback after getting doused in “boos” during the first half. The meaning of Randle’s gesture did not seem deep. His point wasn’t lost on anyone. He confirmed what he meant after the game. “Shut the (expletive) up.”
Randle hit Instagram Friday night, trying to make a few million forget what they saw live and on national television. Or at least seeking some sort of forgiveness.
Randle voiced regret for his actions, and then closed with this: “Nobody wants to win more than me and I will continue to show loyalty and dedication to my teammates, the entire Knicks organization, and the fans who have shown me and my family so much love. I am going to keep focusing on the future.”
Now, New Yorkers have had more than their allotment of NBA stars lacking “professionalism.” The fact that Randle used the word “future” in his social apology offers a glimpse of hope. The Knicks need not waste any time focusing on the past, either in the short or long term.
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Knicks Remain On Edge Of Making Playoffs
The Knicks are one game up on Boston for fourth place in the Atlantic Division at 19-20. They hold the same lead over Boston for the final play-in spot in the Eastern Conference. But the East hasn’t been this strong in more than 20 years. Pedestrian play and mercurial outbursts, especially during a win over Boston, won’t make this team better, or steeled for a playoff push.
And the Knicks are going to need Randle, as much as anyone else, in order to reach and thrive in the postseason. Randle won the Most Improved Player Award last year, averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 boards and made the Knicks “cool” again thanks to a 41-31 record and a playoff spot. Randle’s best quality – and worst – is his passion and drive. He’s got talent. He cares – perhaps too much. If that’s possible.
There are other seeds sprouting. Derrick Rose has begun working on his rehab following ankle surgery on Dec. 22. The Knicks were looking for Rose and fellow veteran point guard Kemba Walker to provide stability and a spine for their offense. Walker hurt himself on New Year’s Eve in Oklahoma City and hasn’t played since.
The Knicks can’t play the Celtics every night, so 40-point performances by Fournier won’t occur with regularity. Fournier has averaged 35 points, 6.7 3-pointers and 55.4% from the floor in three games against his old team. Unfortunately, he’s terrible against the rest of league, putting up just 11.7 PPG and shooting a horrid 38.6% from the floor.
His four-year, $78 million deal is just one of many weighing down the Knicks salary-cap wise. So keep any eye on that roughly $17M annual salary-cap hit before harboring any fantasies of a deal.
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Knicks Offer Value In NBA Futures Markets
While the Knicks have undoubtedly underachieved some 39 games through the NBA season, they have the coaching and players to work their way back into the postseason. As noted above, there are some lofty prices for the Knicks in NBA futures markets.
Rose and Barrett are both +49000 at FanDuel New York to win MVP honors. You can get similar prices at other sportsbooks and betting sites. Both Rose and Barrett are long shots in the truest sense of the word.
The best long-term value play on the Knicks is to grab them at +15000 on New York betting apps to win the Atlantic Division. They’re less than seven games out at this time and could move past Philadelphia and Toronto with a three or four-game winning streak. The best hope for the Knicks, or any other team in the Atlantic, is the inherent instability of the Brooklyn Nets, who clearly possess the most talent when healthy of any team in the league.
The Knicks need to get whole physically and make sure whatever happened Thursday night is a one-off, in addition to being a launching point for a successful second half.
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