Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) drives into Cleveland Cavaliers guard Cameron Payne (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) drives into Cleveland Cavaliers guard Cameron Payne (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)| (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
NBA

NBA: Monday we like underdog Knicks, favored Celtics

Knicks (+12) @ HORNETS (221), 7:05 pm; Nets +9 @ CELTICS (221) 7:35 pm

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

Knicks (+12) @ HORNETS (221), 7:05 pm
Pick: Knicks +12

The Knicks play the back end of a back-to-back tonight in Charlotte after a 106-97 loss at Madison Square Garden against Miami on Sunday. While it’s been a lost season in the Big Apple, the Knicks have been staying competitive for the most part which is why we think at 12, this spread is too high against the Hornets. For argument’s sake, let’s say the Knicks were a 12-point underdog in each of their last 11 games. They would have covered in seven of them. The four they lost by more than 12 were against Houston, Golden State, Oklahoma City and Indiana before Victor Oladipo went down. All four of those teams are better than Charlotte so the Knicks are the only side we can look to tonight with the spread being as high as it is.

Nets +9 @ CELTICS (221) 7:35 pm
Picks: Celtics -9

At first glance, this line seems a little high, right? The Brooklyn Nets, a team that is 19-6 in its last 25 games, are getting nine points? However, Brooklyn has several injuries piling up and the latest was probably the biggest blow yet with Spencer Dinwiddie now sidelined for 3-6 weeks with a thumb injury. Boston just suffered a tough loss on Saturday night on its home floor against Golden State. The Nets were able to slide by without Dinwiddie against the Knicks on Friday winning 109-99 and covering the closing number by 1.5 points. Not only did Boston lose a nail-biter against Golden State on Saturday, but it lost 109-102 in Brooklyn two weeks ago and trailed in that game by 24 after three quarters. We like the Celtics to exact some revenge on a division rival tonight.

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