The New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks play for the second time this season in the NBA In-Season Tournament Quarterfinals on Tuesday night, and I have a best bet for this matchup that Knicks fans are going to love.
New York is playing well as of late, moving to the No. 5 spot in the Eastern Conference with three straight wins. The team finds itself as an underdog in Milwaukee, but the Bucks have been less than dominant (from a covering the spread standpoint) as home favorites this season.
RJ Barrett missed the first meeting between these teams, but a Jalen Brunson 45-point game kept the Knicks close before they lost by five. Does a similar script play out on Tuesday?
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Here’s a look at the latest odds and my best bet for this matchup:
Knicks vs. Bucks odds, spread and total
Knicks vs. Bucks how to watch
- Date: Tuesday, Dec. 5
- Game Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
- Venue: Fiserv Forum
- How to Watch (TV): TNT
- Knicks Record: 12-7
- Bucks Record: 14-6
Knicks vs. Bucks injury reports
Knicks injury report
- Dyland Windler – out
- Charlie Brown Jr. – available
- Jacob Toppin – available
- Jaylen Martin – available
- DaQuan Jeffries – questionable
- Evan Fournier – questionable
Bucks injury report
- Andre Jackson Jr. – questionable
- Pat Connaughton – out
- Jae Crowder – out
Knicks vs. Bucks key players to watch
New York Knicks
Jalen Brunson: Brunson went off against Milwaukee earlier this season, scoring a season-high 45 points in the Knicks’ five-point loss. The star guard is shooting a blistering 47.4 percent from beyond the arc this season, and this is a favorable matchup against a Milwaukee team that lacks an elite perimeter defensive stopper.
Immanuel Quickley: One could make the argument that Immanuel Quickley is New York’s third most important player because of his impact in the bench unit – and he’s shown he can really lead that group by averaging 15.4 points per game this season. The Milwaukee bench is thin, so the Knicks and Quickley could control the game with their RJ Barret plus bench unit.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: The two-time MVP has given the Knicks trouble in the past two seasons, scoring at least 22 points in each of his last four games against them – averaging 27.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. How he matches up with Julius Randle will be interesting to watch on Tuesday.
Knicks vs. Bucks prediction and pick
Underdogs have won outright in each of the first two NBA In-Season Tournament Quarterfinal games, and I’m willing to bet New York can cover this number on Tuesday.
There was an increased intensity on Monday night in the two matchups, and I think that benefits the team getting points here – especially since the Knicks lost by just five points without RJ Barrett the last time these teams played.
Barrett should help New York’s offense, which struggled mightily in that game against Milwaukee outside of Brunson. Julius Randle will need to be better, but he’s looked much more like himself in recent weeks.
Milwaukee is just 3-6-1 against the spread as a home favorite this season, winning those games by an average margin of less than four points.
New York, on the other hand, has been solid away from Madison Square Garden (6-4 straight up) and is 7-3 in its last 10 games.
I’m not willing to go as far as taking the Knicks to win this game, but I do think there is path for them to cover given their depth advantage over the Bucks.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.