76ers-Knicks Will Gift Us Christmas Buckets: BET OVER

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The first of the NBA’s five-game Christmas mega-slate tips off at noon ET when the New York Knicks (18-14) host the Philadelphia 76ers (18-12) at Madison Square Garden.

  • Both teams’ records are as of Thursday, December 22nd, and each play Friday.

Quietly, Philly has played some good basketball recently. As of Thursday, the Sixers are on a six-game winning streak — 5-1 against the spread (ATS) — over the past two weeks.

Philadelphia is second in non-garbage time net rating (nRTG) over that span at +14.9 and fifth in ATS margin at +5.1, per CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).

NYK had their eight-game winning streak (8-0 ATS) snapped in a 113-106 home loss to the Toronto Raptors Wednesday. They are third in adjusted nRTG at +13.7 in the last 14 days and second in ATS margin at +13.1, per CTG.

Philadelphia 76ers big Joel Embiid high-fives James Harden during the game against the Sacramento Kings at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia 76ers big Joel Embiid high-fives James Harden during the game against the Sacramento Kings at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Sixers beat the Knicks 106-104 in their first meeting this season on Nov. 4 and Philly was missing All-Stars Joel Embiid and James Harden. 76ers-Knicks part I had a 103.0 Pace, which would be the highest in the NBA.

But, that game stayed Under the total because both teams shot like shit. The head-to-head trends skew towards the Under and both teams’ defenses are better than the offenses.

That said, based on their ability to get to the charity stripe combined with how each team’s leading scorer is playing equals a look at the OVER 219.5 (-110).

Betting Details (DraftKings)

  • Moneyline: 76ers (-135), Knicks (+115)
  • ATS: 76ers -2 (-115), Knicks +2 (-105)
  • Total — 219.5 — OVER (O): -110, Under (U): -110

Sixers All-Star C Joel Embiid is dominating teams right now. This month, Embiid is averaging 35.0 points per game (PPG) on 66.3% true shooting with a 124 offensive rating.

Embiid is the major reason Philadelphia is putting 119.3 PPG in December. The 76ers allow 5.7 more PPG on the road compared to at home this season. They are 5-0 to the Over as road favorites with a +17.4 O/U margin.

Knicks All-Star wing Julius Randle has progressively played better in 2022-23. Randle is scoring 25.6 PPG on 60.1% true shooting in December with a 123 offensive rating. NYK is 9-7 O/U at home with a +4.6 O/U margin.

New York Knicks PF Julius Randle shoots over Philadelphia 76ers SG James Harden at Madison Square Garden.
New York Knicks PF Julius Randle shoots over Philadelphia 76ers SG James Harden at Madison Square Garden. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Also, both teams are great at getting to the foul line. The Knicks are ninth in offensive FT/FGA rate and the Sixers are third. Embiid and Harden are two of the best at manipulating officiating and NYK is second in drives per game.

New York is third in offensive rebounding rate and second in second-chance PPG. Philadelphia on the other hand is 22nd in defensive rebounding rate.

Furthermore, NYK’s recent defensive numbers in Dec. might be misleading because it’s faced several banged-up opponents. The Knicks gave up 115.7 PPG in Oct. and 116.4 PPG in Nov.

Last season, Philly had both Embiid and Harden in the lineup in two games vs. the Knicks. The Sixers scored 123 and 125 points in those meetings.

Ultimately, Philadelphia will find ways to score against NYK and 76ers-Knicks will go Over thanks to an abundance of free throws.

BET: OVER 219 in 76ers-Knicks (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook

Odds for the Over in Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Friday, December 23rd at 12:15 p.m. ET.
Odds for the Over in Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Friday, December 23rd at 12:15 p.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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