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NBA Playoffs 76ers at Knicks Game 1 Betting Preview

New York Ready for a Deep Playoff Run?

Madison Square Garden will be electric on Saturday night for the 76ers at Knicks Game 1 betting matchup. New York (50-32) has made improvement in each of their previous two postseason appearances under coach Tom Thibodeau, losing in the first round in 2021 but making it to the conference semifinals last year.

The 76ers (48-35) have made the conference semifinals in five of the last six seasons, but they’ll try to get even further in 2024 with Nick Nurse now coaching the team. Oddsmakers have New York a -3.5 favorite on Saturday and 61% of the betting public are giving the points with the home team.

Why the Sixers Have Value at +3.5

Nurse signed with Philadelphia in the offseason after neither Doc Rivers nor Brett Brown could deliver the team a trip to the Conference Finals. Nurse has some nice credentials in leading Toronto to the 2019 NBA Championship and being named the 2020 Coach of the Year. Even this year’s 48-35 record with Philadelphia is kind of impressive considering Joel Embiid has played only 39 games.

Embiid (knee) might not be fully healthy ever again in his career, but he’s a factor when he’s on the court with a 34.7 ppg and 11.0 rpg average this season. The big man is listed as questionable, but he was in the lineup for the Play-In Tournament on Wednesday and had a 23/15/5 line.

The Sixers have a lot of momentum coming into Saturday night’s game, riding a 9-game win streak. They did play on Wednesday, but that actually might be helpful to keep them in rhythm compared to the Knicks who have been off since Sunday afternoon.

Why the Knicks Have Value at -3.5

There isn’t an atmosphere in the NBA that can surpass the energy of Madison Square Garden when the Knicks are in the playoffs, and this team has obvious fed off its home crowd all season with a 27-14 record on their own court. The Knicks went 4-1 at MSG in last year’s playoffs.

Jalen Brunson has solidified his status as a superstar this year, averaging a career high 28.7 ppg. Brunson dropped 40 on the Bulls in the regular season finale to help New York clinch the #2 seed and has 30+ in 9 of his last 10 including 61(!) at the end of March against the Spurs.

New York took three of four from the 76ers this season including a 27 point win at the Garden in mid-March as well as a 14 and a 36 point defeat in Philadelphia.

Free 76ers at Knicks Game 1 Betting Pick

This is going to be a fun game to watch because of the electric atmosphere of the Garden as well as two brilliant coaches in Nurse and Thibodeau matching wits. Philadelphia is a different team with Embiid in the lineup, nd it’s always possible that the Knicks come out a little bit too amped for this series opener.

Free Pick: Sixers +3.5



Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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