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New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) shoots with Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7), center Robert Williams III (44) and forward Jayson Tatum (0) defending during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019.
New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) shoots with Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7), center Robert Williams III (44) and forward Jayson Tatum (0) defending during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019.|Kathy Willens | Associated Press
NBA

NBA Monday: Greg Frank picks Bulls vs Knicks and 76ers vs Hawks — will RJ Barrett lead the Knicks to their first win of the season?

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

Bulls (-1.5) @ Knicks (223.5)

Pick: Knicks +1.5

Both teams playing at Madison Square Garden tonight are not very good at basketball. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bet on this game! All tickets cash the same and someone is going to win when the Bulls visit the Knicks. Our money is on the short home dog here. The Knicks might be 0-3, but they’ve covered the spread in two of their three losses which is a sign that David Fizdale’s team is at least playing hard out of the gate. If those efforts continue, a team like Chicago coming to New York makes for a good match for the Knicks to put one in the win column. After all, the Bulls lost their season opener in Charlotte against a Hornets team that might be worse than the Knicks this season. RJ Barrett’s hot start continues as the Maple Mamba will be the best player on the floor on Monday night getting the Knicks their first win of the season.

76ers (-5.5) @ Hawks (222)

Pick: Hawks +5.5

This is a nice early-season spot for Atlanta to make a bit of a statement. The Hawks figure to be vying for one of the bottom playoff seeds in the Eastern Conference in 2019-2020. Atlanta already knocked off last year’s bottom two playoff teams in the East to start the season beating Detroit and Orlando. Looking beyond Monday night, the Hawks have a home-and-home with Miami, another team that’s probably going to be on the playoff bubble in the East. So, for the end of October, this is as big of a week and you’ll find for an Atlanta team seeking to get to the postseason in just the second year under head coach Lloyd Pierce. Pierce was previously an assistant on the Sixers’ staff so he should be well-prepared for tonight’s game. For what it’s worth, Atlanta did win the season series against Philadelphia last season 3-1. Point guards gave the Sixers lots of problems last season and Trae Young is one of the league’s better young guards. Look for the Oklahoma product to shine and for the Hawks to stay inside the 5.5.

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