Kings vs. Knicks prediction and odds for Sunday, December 11 (Value on total in New York)

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks forward Julius Randle. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

The New York Knicks have won three straight games to get back to .500 on the season, relying on their defense and some strong play from Julius Randle to get there.

Randle has been terrific over this recent stretch, scoring 67 points over his last two games to lead the Knicks to wins over the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets.

Tom Thibodeau’s decision to remove Derrick Rose and Cam Reddish from the rotation has worked so far, with Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes dominating on the defensive end.

New York has a tough matchup on Sunday against the Sacramento Kings, who are currently fifth in the NBA in offensive rating this season.

However, the Kings have listed De’Aaron Fox, Keegan Murray and Terence Davis as questionable for this game. New York will be without forward Obi Toppin due to his leg injury.

Can New York’s defense step up to the challenge once again on Sunday?

Let’s break down the latest odds and a pick for this matchup:

Kings vs. Knicks Odds, Spread and Total

Kings vs. Knicks Prediction and Pick

I’m going to stay away from backing a side in this matchup with Fox’s status up in the air, but there is value on the total in this game, even though the Kings love to play fast and score.

The Knicks have gotten back to their true identity on the defensive end as of late, allowing less than 90 points in two of their last three games. New York has also gone under this high total of 231.5 in five consecutive games.

The Kings can score the ball at a high rate and play at the league’s sixth fastest pace, but the Knicks have fallen outside the top 10 in pace in recent games.

New York may not want to run with the Kings’ high-powered offense, and the team has been too good on the defensive end as of late to expect this game to be a shootout.

Thibodeau knows that his calling card as a coach is for his team to play hard on defense, and the Knicks have gone from a bottom-five defense to 14th in defensive rating over the last week.

That’s a major jump, and the usage of defensive minded players like McBride has been a big reason why. This game should go UNDER even if Fox plays, and if he sits I like it even more.