CHICAGO BULLS (19-14)
at NEW YORK KNICKS (23-12)
Tip-off: Friday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: New York -4, Total: 191
Both the Bulls and the Knicks are trying to get on track with a win at Madison Square Garden Friday night.
Both teams are coming off losses, as Chicago fell 104-96 at home to the Bucks on Wednesday, while New York scored just 76 points in a five-point loss at Indiana on Thursday night. The Bulls could be without PG Kirk Hinrich (elbow) in this one, and the Knicks are likely to be without C Marcus Camby, who re-injured his foot in the loss to Indiana.
Which team will avoid consecutive losses on Friday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The experts are 9-5 ATS (64%) in the past two days, and are 55% ATS (65-54-1) since Dec. 22. StatFox Brian is 6-3 ATS since Sunday and 19-9 ATS (68%) since Dec. 23, while StatFox Scott is 12-6 ATS (67%) since Dec. 29, giving him a season Best Bets mark of 56% ATS (50-40), with Brian (55.2% ATS) and StatFox Gary (51.2% ATS) also profitable. The four experts are collectively 52% ATS (219-203-11) on Best Bets for the season. For NBA Totals, the experts are a profitable 33-27 (55%) since Dec. 28 with StatFox Brian going 11-7 (61.1%) during this span. Scott continues to have a great year at 52-37 (58%) for his season NBA totals.
In their last game on Wednesday, the Bulls slipped up and had a bad defensive performance, letting up 104 points to the Bucks. PF Carlos Boozer continued to play well for Chicago, scoring 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds while shooting 8-of-15 from the floor. In Kirk Hinrich’s absence, Nate Robinson had a monster game. He pitched in 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting, while also adding six assists, five steals and five rebounds. He’ll need to play well again if Kirk Hinrich has to miss the game again with his injured elbow.
The Knicks are coming off two bad losses to both Boston (a 7.5-point underdog) and the Pacers. They have been struggling since the insertion of PF Amar’e Stoudemire (9.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG in 20.8 MPG) in the lineup, but they will be getting SF Carmelo Anthony (29.0 PPG, 2nd in NBA) back from a one-game suspension. In the four games before the suspension, Anthony was averaging 32.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 4.5 APG on 43% FG and 41% threes. SG J.R. Smith did his best to keep the Knicks in the game against the Pacers in Anthony’s absence, scoring 25 points and dishing out six assists. C Tyson Chandler has been playing well lately, especially against Indiana, when he scored 12 points and grabbed 15 rebounds while also blocking three shots. This is a big game for New York and it will certainly need the bench players to step up.