Knicks vs 76ers Picks and Odds

Ben Simmons looking to pass while defended

Ben Simmons and the 76ers will try to make it two straight wins without the injured Joel Embiid as they host the New York Knicks. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

  • 76ers battle Knicks, seeking second win in a row without injured Joel Embiid
  • New York in second of tough back-to-back after losing to Nets on Monday 
  • Check the odds, analysis and betting preview below

The Philadelphia 76ers will try to keep the momentum going without injured MVP candidate Joel Embiid, when they host the New York Knicks Tuesday night.

New York is trying to salvage a split in a brutal back-to-back set against the two East leaders, after coming up short against the Brooklyn Nets Monday. They’re a 6-point road underdog in this one.

Knicks vs 76ers Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
New York Knicks +6 (-108) +210 Ov 216 (-110)
Philadelphia 76ers -6 (-112) -255 Un 216 (-110)

Odds from FanDuel taken March 15. Tip-off is Tuesday at 8pm ET

The 76ers are trying to keep their slim top-seed lead over the Nets in the East, while the Knicks sit in seventh in the conference at 20-20, just 1.5 games back of fourth-place Miami.

So Far, So Good for Philly

After watching Joel Embiid’s painful hyperextension of his left leg, the bone bruise he suffered is about the best Philadelphia could have hoped for.

Thankfully, the roster reshape by Daryl Morey and having Doc Rivers as head coach has the Sixers in the best position to do more than just hold the fort as they wait for the dominant big man to return in a couple of weeks.

A good example of that was on display Sunday night, as Philly eviscerated the San Antonio Spurs 134-99. They still have an all-star in Ben Simmons, who had 14 points and nine assists. But it’s his unique ability to impact a game without being a featured guy that could allow this roster to bloom.

Tobias Harris led the team in scoring with 23 points, nine rebounds and seven dimes, while Seth Curry chipped in with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists. Veteran Danny Green hit four threes en route to a 16-point outing, the fourth starter to score in double digits.

As for big man production, starter Tony Bradley and Dwight Howard combined for 12 points, 16 boards and six assists.

The Sixers are the fourth-highest scoring team in the NBA, and they back it up on the other end, allowing the 8th-fewest points per game on defense.

Knicks Don’t Make it Easy

You’d think a short-handed roster without rotation players Mitchell Robinson and Derrick Rose against a juggernaut like the Brooklyn Nets would yield gruesome results. But the Knicks had the ball with five seconds left with a chance to tie, after coming back from as many as 18 down in the second half.

The Knicks are a reincarnation of the Memphis grit-and-grind. They allow the fewest points per game in the NBA at 105.3 a night, and are tied for the top field-goal shooting defense (44.3%) while holding opponents’ three-point shooting to a league-low 33.4%.

They could use some spacing and shooters on the other side, though. The Knicks are a woeful 28th in scoring. Against Brooklyn, they shot only 40.2% from the field, though they did nail 15 money balls at a 35.7% clip to stay in it.

Their offense is work in progress, with Julius Randle and RJ Barrett expected to create for a score or to set up teammates. Randle finished with 33 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, while Barrett went for 23, with six boards and four dimes. Immanuel Quickley, getting his first career start, had 21 points but struggled on 6-for-19 shooting.

What’s the Best Bet?

This will be the second of three meetings between these two, with Philly rolling to a 20-point win last time out. Embiid may be the epicenter of everything they do, but Philly isn’t a top-4 offense and top-8 defense just because of one player.

They’re an-East best 17-3 at home, and have an NBA-best 20-6 conference record.

Simmons will be a factor defensively, and can shut down either Randle or Barrett, throwing a real wrench in the Knicks’ offense. I’m still wary of the other end of the floor, where the Sixers were unconscious against the Spurs, shooting 57.1% from the field and 51.7% from deep. That’s not sustainable.

But against a Knicks team that emptied the tank in a comeback that came up short in BK, they’re still my play here.

The pick: 76ers -6 (-112)

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Eric Rosales

NFL NBA Sports Writer & Editor