Today features a loaded slate of NBA games with 11 taking place tonight but there are two in specific I will be targeting the point totals for. At this point in the NBA season, I currently have a 9-7 record for +1.22 units and a 7.61% ROI so I’ll be looking to build on that tonight with these two plays. We’ll start with a breakdown of each game and then get into what side of the point total I’m on for that specific game.
The (4-3) Atlanta Hawks head into MSG to take on the (3-3) Knicks tonight at 7:30 ET. Both teams enter tonight’s contest coming off a loss in their previous game and tonight will be the first match-up between these two Eastern Conference teams this season.
The Knicks come into tonight’s game fifth in the league in scoring averaging 117.8 points per game and they are second in the league in field goal attempts per game with 96.5. New York has primarily been relying on scoring in the paint as they lead the league with 61 points per game coming from the paint without their ability to score down low they would be in trouble since they have struggled from three-point range to start the season. The Hawks are 21st in the league in allowing points in the paint on defense so New York should be able to stick with their game plan.
Atlanta has the ability to shoot the lights out and up to this point in the season they are shooting 48.1% as a team which is fourth-best in the league. The team might have the ability to shoot but they are led by Trae Young who is probably over the moon today because he has dominated the Knicks since he entered the league. In 13 career games against them, Young is averaging 28.7 points per game.
We will see if the Knicks addition of Jalen Brunson who leads the team in steals will help offset Young’s ability to torch them in their own building. Although in the past neither player has been able to stop the other one from scoring in double figures.
I will be taking the over of 232.5 in this one and I would advise that if this number is available now take it because the total has been creeping upward throughout the day. Some books have already gone up to 233 so make sure to browse where certain sportsbooks have it.
Both teams enter tonight’s game scoring at a high level while also struggling on the defensive end. The over is 5-0 in the Hawks last five games and in the last six Knicks games, the over is 5-1. I touched on it above but something takes over Trae Young when he plays in Madison Square Garden so the Knicks know they need to keep pace with the scoring.
Outside of Young, the style of basketball the Knicks play will benefit them heavily tonight as they rank second in the league in rebounding, which will lead to more points in the paint, while the Hawks rank toward the bottom of the NBA in rebounds allowed this season with an average of 55.4.
The Bulls are on the second night of a back-to-back and coming off a win in Brooklyn last night to put their record at (4-4). Tonight the Bulls will be hosting the (3-4) Charlotte Hornets who blew a big lead in their last game against Sacramento so they will be looking to get back on track tonight.
Charlotte has been plagued by the injury bug to start the season and will most likely be without Lamelo Ball, Terry Rozier, and Cody Martin tonight. The team has still found a way to score as they rank 11th in the league in points per game with 117. As a team, Charlotte is shooting 39% from three and has relied on Kelly Oubre and Gordon Hayward for scoring in the absence of Ball and Rozier.
Defensively the Hornets have not been strong as they have struggled with rebounding and creating turnovers. The bright side for Charlotte is they face a Bulls team who ranks 20th in points per game and 30th in points in the paint per game. Last night Chicago was able to rely on Zach Lavine’s scoring in the fourth quarter to lead them to a win but there is a good chance they will be without him tonight due to load management with his knee injury.
Unlike the Hornets, the Bulls have been stellar this season when it comes to rebounding and steals. Led by Alex Caruso defensively the Bulls rank second in the league in opponent turnovers per game.
My play for this game is under 224 points. This is more of a play based on the Bulls being in the second game of a back-to-back and the under is 5-2 in Chicago’s last seven games with no days rest. The under is also 4-0 when the Bulls starting unit plays for a combined 160 minutes the day prior.
The injuries on both sides are also a factor here in this play as I don’t trust the Hornets offense against a stingy defense like Chicago and on the other side, the Bulls offense can get very one-dimensional without Zach Lavine. Chicago struggles to create any sort of offense in the post this season and ranks at the bottom of the NBA in points in the paint as mentioned previously.
A majority of the scoring will be done primarily by Demar Derozan for the Bulls and the combination of Hayward and Oubre for the Hornets, so the lack of scoring depth on both sides has me leaning under for this one.
Atlanta Hawks @ New York Knicks Over 232.5
Charlotte Hornets @ Chicago Bulls Under 224