The Best Knicks Bets This Season

The New York Knicks have been one of the biggest surprises in basketball this season, and riding an MVP-caliber performance from Carmelo Anthony and a Coach of the Year candidate in Mike Woodson, just how far can the Knickerbockers go this season? Many have credited New York’s seemingly newfound reserve of grit and strength in close games, and that has certainly helped them; those traits were on full display in the Knicks’ 114-106 victory over a feisty Orlando Magic squad.

“Just a matter of us trying to get it going,” Anthony said. “To get it going and doing whatever it takes to win a basketball game. That’s what we did. … It seemed like when it was time to really buckle down and try to win the basketball game, we did those things.”

It was the kind of ugly game that teams, even good ones, so often lose. It’s on the road, the team is gassed, they know they can let one slip through their fingers and still be fine in the big picture. However, none of those classic trademarks of a slumping (yet successful) team happened. Anthony scored 40 points, threw the team on his shoulders and willed them to victory. Those are the kinds of wins that you don’t typically see out of the Knicks.

So what are the smartest bets on the Knicks this season? There are three that I really like. Number one: bet on Carmelo Anthony to lead the NBA in scoring. He’s currently averaging 29.3 points per game, the best average in the entire Eastern Conference. He trails only Kobe Bryant, who currently sits at 30.5, and if Kobe has the kind of cold stretch he’s prone to having, Anthony could easily seize the NBA’s scoring crown.

This season, the Knicks have Anthony playing out of the post, and while much has been made of this switch and its potential (or lack thereof) during playoff basketball, the fact of the matter is that it’s the regular season, and posting up ‘Melo seems to be working just fine. He is an uncanny scorer and passer in the paint, and when he’s consistently double-teamed, the Knicks’ bevvy of three point shooters has been finding open looks at a historic rate. Carmelo himself is killing it from three this season, another reason I think he can take the NBA’s scoring title.

A second good bet for the Knicks this season is for them to win the Atlantic Division. They currently have a 4.5 game lead over their new crosstown rivals the Brooklyn Nets, and while the Nets have been playing better of late since the Avery Johnson firing, they don’t seem to have the pieces to sustain a serious run at the division crown. Brooklyn’s point guard, Deron Williams, is having the worst season of his career, with all major statistical categories bottoming out. They should not be able to catch the Knicks for the divisional title. While you might not be able to find great odds on the Knicks to win the Atlantic, it’s still a smart bet.

Third, I love the bet for the Knicks to reach the Eastern Conference finals. The East is both weak and wide open, leaving a seemingly clear path for the Knicks to face off against the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Of course, a lot can happen between now and then, but I love the way the surging Knicks have played thus far this year and would not be shocked at all to see them playing for the Eastern Conference crown.

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