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The Philadelphia 76ers have continued to remain near the top of the standings in the Eastern conference through this point in the season. The 76ers have won three out of their last five games.
Meanwhile, the New York Knicks have fallen to one of the worst marks in the league. The Knicks have continued to stumble south after back-to-back 20-point losses heading into Saturday's contest.
76ers looking to pick up slack on the roadThroughout the season, the 76ers holding one of the top records in the Eastern Conference, behind the play of their core group that has had some tough stretches this season. They have dealt with injuries along the way that currently sees them without their driving force Joel Embiid for the last week or so due to a torn ligament in his recently dislocated finger. Embiid has made progress in his recovery, but he's expected to be out at least another week when he will be examined again by the team. Until then, that puts pressure on the rest of the roster to pick up the slack while he's on the mend leading to bigger offensive roles across the board.
That has seen All-Star point guard Ben Simmons pick up a more prominent role as as even greater factor as the ball-handler despite his drop in production this season as he's averaging a career-low 15.3 points per contest. His play has picked up recently with him tallying a double-double in four out of the last five contests and has back-to-back 20-point outings. Meanwhile, forward Tobias Harris has also been a bigger scoring option as he's averaging 19.6 points while shooting 48.7 percent from the floor and 35.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Harris has scored at least 15 points in each of his last five game, including a pair of 20-point performances. The 76ers will need both Simmons and Harris to lead the way on the second leg of a back-to-back set.
Knicks struggling to breakthrough offensivelyIt has been a tough season for the Knicks that has seen them fall into all-too-familiar territory of being well out of the mix for the playoffs. It has been largely of their own doing of putting together a roster over the offseason that had didn't have any markedly improved areas on the team. Instead, the team has struggled to find their footing as they have yet to truly address their areas of need. Instead of being able to land any major impact players to help push the franchise forward they settled for adding players that fill largely the same type of cast with them being frontcourt help with the ability to stretch the floor with their shooting.
Frank steal ➡️ Julius bucket pic.twitter.com/nVOQFdjVn1— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 17, 2020
That has led to them going through many of the same issues that have plagued them over the last several years. That has seen them struggle to score as they have been one of the league's most ineffective teams on that end of the floor, averaging just 104.6 points per contest while shooting 43.4 percent from the floor. The Knicks have had their offensive woes continue to flare up over their last few games with them falling four times with three of those losses seeing them notch fewer than 110 points. With a matchup against a defensive-minded 76ers team that could once again be the case again with them struggling to fill up the scoring column.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Donbest.com, are:
- New York is 2-6 ATS in their last eight Saturday games.
- New York is 1-4 ATS in their last five games after allowing more than 100 points.
- Philadelphia is 10-4 ATS in the last 14 meetings against New York.
- Philadelphia is 5-2 on zero day's rest.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This should be one of the more easier games on the slate to pick from on Saturday night. The 76ers hold a decisive edge as the Knicks are in a continued downward spiral. They are coming off a disappointing outing against the Suns where they were playing from behind throughout the game. That makes it hard to trust that will pull forward against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, even without them having Embiid in the mix. In other words, it's a game for the 76ers taking that should see them win comfortably on the road against one of the league's worst teams.
Full-Game Total Pick
At the same time, it's not a game that should be dictated by the scoring on both sides. The 76ers currently hold one of the best teams in the league on the defensive end of the floor that should show out on Saturday night. That has seen them allow fewer than 110 points in their last four straight contests, which is a trend that should continue despite it being the second leg of a back-to-back stretch. Meanwhile, the Knicks are coming off back-to-back games where they have tallied no more than 102 points. All of this just reads that it will be a game that will be one-sided with New York struggling to score.