The New York Knicks were rolling on a nine-game winning streak to start February, but they have hit the skids of late by losing three of their past four contests.
The Knicks closed out their six-game homestand with a 125-111 loss to the Pacers on Saturday. Jalen Brunson returned to the New York lineup after missing a home loss to Dallas, scoring 39 points.
Injuries have depleted the Knicks’ roster, especially in the frontcourt where their three top centers and their two best forwards have been MIA with injuries.
Indiana took advantage, out-rebounding New York by nine.
Knicks vs. Rockets odds
|Knicks -3 (-110)
|Over 221.5 (-110)
|Rockets +3 (110)
|Under 221.5 (-110)
New York hits the road for the next three games, starting Monday night against the Rockets, who are dealing with big-man injuries of their own.
Center Alperen Sengun, who is enjoying a breakout campaign (21.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists), is listed as questionable and is in jeopardy of missing his second straight game with a lower back strain.
Houston limps back home following a miserable 0-4 road trip with the most recent defeat coming at Atlanta on Saturday.
The Rockets have fared much better at home this season, owning an 18-9 mark at Toyota Center that includes recent blowouts of the Raptors and Lakers.
In the last matchup between these teams at Madison Square Garden in mid-January, the Knicks won, 109-94, covering as seven-point favorites. They extended their winning streak against Houston to eight games as Julius Randle led New York with 31 points with Brunson adding 30 points.
It’s hard to ignore New York’s 5-2 record both straight-up and against the spread in its last seven opportunities as a road favorite.
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Also, Houston has lost 11 of its last 12 games straight-up when listed in the underdog role. Granted, the Rockets have covered a few of those contests as a ‘dog of eight points or more, but they are not playing their best basketball right now.
Let’s back the Knicks, who could see the return of center Isaiah Hartenstein (Achilles, questionable), as a one-possession road favorite.
Pick: Knicks -3 (-110, FanDuel)