Los Angeles Lakers (24-25) vs. New York Knicks (31-17)
Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks 2/3/24 – On Saturday, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are set to face off in an exciting NBA showdown that promises to be captivating. The Lakers face the Knicks in a matchup that more than meets regular-season matchup; rather, this battle of grit and glory promises plenty of drama for free basketball predictions fans looking for exciting upsets and surprises.
The Lakers’ poor record can be attributed to defensive issues and sloppy late-game execution on offense. They are allowing over 116 points per game and have struggled to close out tight contests. However, their roster has plenty of individual talent, led by PG D’Angelo Russell putting up over 17 points and 6 assists per contest. If Russell gets hot and big man Anthony Davis dominate the paint, the Lakers could pull off the upset.
The Knicks have exceeded expectations this year behind the stellar play of PG Jalen Brunson. Brunson is averaging nearly 27 points per game in his first season in New York while shooting over 37% from three-point range. He spearheads an offense clicking on all cylinders, while the Knicks have held opponents to just 111 points a night with stingy team defense. They should be able to impose their will at home in this matchup.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks 2/3/24 Game Info
|Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 8:30 PM ET
|Madison Square Garden
|NBA League Pass
D’Angelo Russell (PG) vs. Jalen Brunson (PG)
In his first season with the Lakers, D’Angelo Russell has played a key role at point guard, starting 38 of the 45 games he’s appeared in and averaging 30.7 minutes per contest. He’s posting 17.1 points and 6.1 assists per outing while shooting efficiently from the field (49.2% FG) and the free-throw line (77% FT). However, Russell has struggled taking care of the basketball at times, coughing it up 2 times a game. He also offers little on the defensive side with less than a steal and half a block each night.
Meanwhile, Jalen Brunson has thrived in his New York debut, cementing himself as an All-Star starter this season. Logging heavy minutes at 35.7 per game across 46 starts, he’s pouring in 26.8 points and 6.5 dimes per contest. Brunson has been slightly less efficient than Russell scoring the basketball but has limited his miscues with just 2.3 turnovers a night. He also chips in nearly a steal per game while matching up against elite point guards.
This matchup pits two of the game’s top young floor generals against one another. Russell offers flashy scoring ability but can be prone to mistakes. Brunson brings steady production across the board as the leader of an impressive Knicks squad. The player who can dictate the tempo and involve his teammates more should give his team the backcourt advantage. Lean slightly towards Brunson given his two-way impact and avoidance of turnovers.
NBA Odds/Point Spread: TBD, Total Odds: TBD
The betting odds for this game are currently TBD, but given the Knicks’ recent form and home advantage, they might be the favorites. However, the Lakers’ ability to surprise should not be underestimated, making this game an intriguing prospect for bettors.
Los Angeles Lakers Betting Trends
The Lakers have struggled to meet expectations recently, going just 2-3 against the spread (ATS) in their last 5 contests. This includes a woeful 2-3 ATS record over their previous 5 road matchups. However, trends indicate Lakers games are likely to turn into shootouts. The totals have gone OVER in 5 of their last 5 games overall. For the season, the OVER is hitting in nearly 50% of Lakers’ away contests (10 of 26).
New York Knicks Betting Trends
Meanwhile, the Knicks have been tremendously profitable for bettors over the past couple of weeks. They ride a perfect 5-0 ATS run over their previous 5 games. New York has also dominated at Madison Square Garden, owning a 15-11 ATS mark on their home court this season. However, Knicks games have mostly featured lower-scoring outputs of late. Only 1 of their past 5 matchups has gone OVER the total, which aligns with a 7 of 22 frequency overall in home games this year.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks 2/3/24 Betting Picks
Given the current form and statistical analysis, the Knicks seem to have the upper hand in this matchup. Their strong defense, coupled with consistent performance both on and off their home court, makes them a solid pick. However, the Lakers’ ability to score heavily and their unpredictability can’t be ignored.
For bettors, looking at the over/under might be a worthwhile consideration, especially given the Lakers’ recent trend of high-scoring games. In terms of premium game day picks, the Knicks could be the safer bet, especially with the home-court advantage and their current momentum.
Free Pick and Prediction: New York Knicks 118, Los Angeles Lakers 112.