The New York Knicks are in the postseason for the first time in eight years and are in control of their first-round destiny if they can beat the visiting Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon. The Knicks (40-31) enter the final game of the regular season tied with Atlanta for fourth place in the Eastern Conference but own the tiebreaker against the Hawks. A victory over seventh-place Boston (36-35), which is already ticketed to compete in the play-in tournament, gives New York the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage in a first-round series vs. Atlanta.
Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET from Madison Square Garden. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Knicks as 11.5-point favorites, while the over-under for total points scored is 213.5 in the latest Celtics vs. Knicks odds. Before you make any Knicks vs. Celtics picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned over $9,100 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up over $1,100 on its top-rated picks this season and entered Week 21 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 99-64 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Celtics vs. Knicks spread: Knicks -11.5
- Celtics vs. Knicks over-under: 213.5 points
- Celtics vs. Knicks money line: Knicks -700; Celtics +500
- BOS: The Celtics are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games
- NYK: The Knicks are 16-4 against the spread in their last 20 games
Why the Celtics can cover
The Celtics are locked in to the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference ahead of the NBA Playoffs, which means Boston will sit a long list of players on Sunday. Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier are among the notable names who will miss Sunday's contest against the Knicks. Tatum, a two-time NBA All-Star, is averaging 26.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game this season. He had 25 points and 10 rebounds in a 101-99 victory over New York on April 7.
Despite missing the likes of Tatum and Walker on Sunday, Boston will enter its matchup against the Knicks confident they can keep it close. That's because the Celtics are 6-1 in their last seven matchups against the Knicks. In addition, Boston has won each of its last five games against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Why the Knicks can cover
Forward Julius Randle put New York in position to claim the No. 4 seed by recording a triple-double with 33 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in Saturday's 118-109 overtime win over Charlotte. He scored only two points on a pair of free throws in the extra session but assisted on all five of his team's field goals to ice the victory. Randle also filled up the stat sheet vs. Boston last month with 22 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals.
The Knicks allow the fewest points in the league at 104.8 points per game and also hold opponents to an NBA-low 33.9 percent shooting from behind the arc. Guard Derrick Rose sat out Wednesday vs. San Antonio and was limited to 25 minutes on Saturday, but he scored 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting and is averaging 21.0 points over his last seven contests. Alec Burks just missed his second straight double-double (14 points, nine boards) on Saturday.
How to make Knicks vs. Celtics picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 209 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Celtics vs. Knicks? And which side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a roll on NBA picks.