Lakers @ Knicks Preview: Julius Randle Takes it to Old Squad


January 31

We’re taking it to the Association tonight as the Los Angeles Lakers take on the New York Knicks in the Garden. The Knicks are seventh in the Eastern Conference at 27-24, which feels right. They are a likely play-in team with a chance at sneaking into the top six.

LA sits at 23-28, and it feels like this should be when they move up the standings with Anthony Davis’s recent return. They haven’t gotten the whistle blown their way of late, but they also haven’t been good enough to make a sustained run.

Lakers @ Knicks Game Information
  • Location: Madison Square Garden | New York, NY
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET | TV: TNT 

In a scheduling coincidence, LA and New York’s last two games were against the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets. Each team took the Celtics to overtime, where the C’s came out victorious against the Lakers – LeBron James would like to have a word with the officials – and both fell to Brooklyn.

The Lakers rested key players against Brooklyn in anticipation of tonight. The story of their season has been to display flashes but fall short. Similarly, the Knicks show signs of improvement and potential before reminding us that they can’t compete with the class of the East in a seven-game series.

Lakers @ Knicks Game Odds on FanDuel
  • Spread: Lakers +1.5 (-110) | Knicks -1.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Lakers (+102) | Knicks (-120)
  • Total: OVER 231.5 (-110) | UNDER 231.5 (-110)

Our first lean here is going to be to the UNDER. Defensively, each team forces their opponents to under 35% shooting from beyond the arc, good enough for top five in the NBA. Couple that with the Lakers being last in the league shooting threes, so we’ll favor the UNDER in this two-point fest. 

LeBron hasn’t played since his meltdown at the end of regulation in Boston, so part of us believes he’ll come out with a vengeance. That could favor his props, but the Lakers are under .500 for a reason.

Tonight comes down to us having more faith in New York defensively than the Lakers, who rank 27th in points per game allowed. The Knicks have the weapons to take advantage, so lay the small spread with the home favorite.

Knicks @ Lakers Prop Picks on FanDuel
  • Julius Randle OVER 38.5 Points + Rebounds (-115)
  • Quentin Grimes UNDER 10.5 Points (-115)
  • LeBron James OVER 28.5 Points (-120)

A stat-sheet filler, Julius Randle is a productive scorer and rebounder, so we’re playing his combo. Randle has gone over this mark in seven of his last 11. He’s had a ton of recent success against his former team, going off for 30-plus points in three of his last four against the Lakers. 

Quentin Grimes has gone under this total in five straight games. With a lot of his production coming from deep and with LA’s strong perimeter defense, this isn’t his night to break out. We’ll ride his UNDER once more and expect his shots to be limited. 

We look for LeBron to play with a chip on his shoulder tonight. While we don’t think that will translate to team success, he’ll take enough shots to put up points, so we’ll take the OVER on his scoring prop. 

Thumbnail photo via Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

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