The New York Knicks have been struggling hard lately, losing five straight games, including consecutive games without two of their best players in Jalen Bronson and RJ Barrett.
New York has fallen to eighth place in the Eastern Conference as a result, reversing some of the advantage it gained from an eight-game winning streak earlier this month.
Heading into the new year, the Knicks are hoping to end their wild ride in Texas with a win over the Houston Rockets, who entered this game in last place in the Western Conference.
The Knicks found new ways to lose games on this trip, falling to Dallas in overtime and struggling to defend against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau went a short spin despite Bronson and Barrett’s exit, and the Knicks appeared to be suffering from some serious fatigue on Thursday. Yvan Fournier played against the Spurs, but Thibodeau may need to look for more help off the bench if Bronson (hip, questionable) can’t go for a third straight game.
Houston ranks fourth in offense, defense, and net worth this season, but has gone 6-10 straight at home compared to 4-15 on the road.
Can the Knicks enter the new year well, or is Houston playing a spoiler like other Texans teams?
Here are the latest odds for Saturday’s match:
Knicks vs. Rockets odds, spread and total
Knicks vs. Rockets prediction and selection
The Knicks got big games from Emmanuel Kwikley, Quentin Grimes and Julius Randle early in the trip, but it didn’t matter with no scoring depth on the roster when Barrett and Bronson come out.
Barrett (finger) will not play in this match, which means that New York is already behind the eight-ball against a Houston team that has plenty of young talent (Kevin Porter Jr., Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr).
I’m going to be bold with this pick and take the Rockets to victory right at home here. Houston has gone 6-8 straight as a home dog this season, and I don’t think this Knicks team is nearly as good as this streak would suggest if Bronson were sitting.
Sure, the Rockets haven’t been rated as a good team all season, but the Knicks have really struggled with five straight losses.
Waiting for where Bronson is before betting on Houston is a good strategy, but I still count on the Rockets, who have been much better at home this season.
Find Peter Dewey’s full betting history here.
The game odds are updated periodically and are subject to change.