Tip-off: 0035, 23/01/2020
Stadium: Madison Square Garden
TV: Sky Sports
Los Angeles Lakers will look to return to winning ways against the struggling New York Knicks in order to strengthen their grip at the top of the Western Conference.
Arch-rivals Los Angeles Clippers secured a hard-fought 110-107 victory at Dallas Mavericks to climb up to second in the table to put some pressure on LeBron James and Co.
The Lakers suffered a heavy defeat at the Boston Celtics last time out but will fancy their chances at Madison Square Garden against a Knicks side who have improved under Mike Miller but still languish in 14th place in the Eastern Conference.
Star rookie RJ Barrett is also missing for New York, so we fancy Los Angeles to secure a comfortable 11-15 points victory for our first Knicks v Lakers prediction at 4/1.
A Look At New York Knicks’ Betting Odds
As mentioned above, Barrett’s absence has hit New York hard both on the court and on the scoreboard.
The Canadian star picked up an ankle sprain during the heavy 121-98 loss at home to the Phoenix Suns on January 17 and is expected to miss at least another week of action due to the problem.
The 19-year-old has averaged 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in his rookie season, starting in 41 games before picking up the injury which has forced him to miss contests against the 76ers and Cavaliers.
New York could only record 87 points versus Philadelphia in their last home game at MSG, but did post a 20-point triumph at fellow Eastern Conference strugglers Cleveland on Monday – which will no doubt boost their confidence.
However, Miller’s outfit have only surpassed 107 points in four of their last 10 matches, just five of their last 10 home games and have failed to get to that mark in the three outings since Barrett’s injury.
So, at a price of 4/5 to score under 106.5 points against high-flying LA, we have found our second selection from the Knicks v Lakers odds.
A Look At Los Angeles Lakers’ Betting Odds
The machine that is the Los Angeles Lakers experienced another glitch on Monday when they fell to a huge 139-107 defeat at Boston.
That was their second loss in three matches after a surprise home defeat to the Orlando Magic last Friday, but they have suffered only nine in the whole campaign.
LeBron was honest in his assessment of the 32-point reverse against the Celtics when he said: “Listen, it was just a good old-fashioned butt whooping, that’s all.”
James is just 56 points adrift of former Lakers great Kobe Bryant in third place in the all-time scoring list and he could come close to reaching the five-time NBA champion’s total of 33,643 in New York.
In his last six starts, the 35-year-old has hit 31 points on three occasions and recorded a 35-point haul, helping to improve his average to 25.2 per game this season.
In the reverse fixture earlier this month, James scored 31 points in 31 minutes and we reckon he could get close to that mark once again at MSG.
The King is 9/10 to hit over 24.5 points against New York and that completes our Knicks v Lakers betting tips.
Cavaliers 86-106 KNICKS
Celtics 139-107 LAKERS
Head-to-head: Lakers 117-87 Knicks, Knicks 124-123 Lakers, Lakers 119-112 Knicks, Lakers 127-107
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