Lakers vs Knicks Picks and Predictions: James Gives New York Buckets

Los Angeles was shorthanded in yesterday's game against Brooklyn, but LeBron James and AD are set to suit up against New York. Our NBA betting picks are expecting the King of MSG to dominate in his return to the Garden tonight.

Last Updated: Jan 31, 2023 1:24 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers NBA
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We have an exciting matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks tonight. New York enters tonight having gone 5-5 in its last 10 games and will continue to ride Julius Randle.

L.A. needs to start piling up wins quickly, starting tonight. Randle could be in for a tough matchup tonight as Anthony Davis is back in the rotation for the visitors, but tonight will likely be the LeBron James show.

Find out your best options with our free NBA betting picks and predictions for the Knicks vs. Lakers tonight.

Lakers vs Knicks best odds

Lakers vs Knicks picks and predictions

It's rare to see the great LeBron James sit out a game against New York.  Although he has been dealing with foot soreness, James likely sat out against the Brooklyn Nets to put on a show at Madison Square Garden tonight with fresh legs. James has been on a tear lately, and with Mitchell Robinson still sidelined, I suspect he will put on a show tonight!

Let's first go down a little historical path. LeBron is unquestionably one of the most dominant players to haunt the Knicks over the years. The legend has averaged 28.1 points, 7.4 assists, and 6.8 rebounds in 28 road games against the Knicks.

Every time he steps into The Garden, there is a heightened level of attention, as it's clear he is looking to put on a show. Combine that with the fact James has been on a surge of late, and it's clear he is going to ball!

Most recently, Bron scored easily against the mighty Boston Celtics, hitting shots from the perimeter and in the paint. He ended that game with 41 points on a very impressive 50% shooting from the field. 

Tonight, James gets a team that has surrendered 115 or more points in six out of the last seven games. Robinson's absence has significantly hampered the Knicks' ability to keep opponents out of the lane. You can guarantee that James will be forcing New York's defense all night, as it doesn't have any real shot blockers available.

LeBron has not faced the Knicks since last February, so he will be extra motivated to make a statement tonight. His Over/Under for points tonight is set at 28.5, and that's a mark he's covered in seven of his last 10 games.

New York's defensive rating continues to plummet, now down to 17th best in the NBA (113.4). If the Lakers are going to capitalize on that, it'll be on the backs of James and Anthony Davis, both of whom sat out last night to have fresh legs for tonight's game.

The Knicks' best defender is Quentin Grimes, who is too small to keep up physically with James. R.J. Barrett and Julius Randle don’t have the defensive skill set to slow James down effectively either. I'm expecting James to make a statement at MSG this evening.

My best bet: LeBron James Over 28.5 points (-122)

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Lakers vs Knicks spread analysis

The Lakers have significantly disappointed this season, with a current 23-28 record. Even with Anthony Davis back in the lineup, they still have a below-500 record with him, so there are no guarantees this train will get back on track.

Tonight's matchup to watch is who covers AD. When assessing the Knicks' roster, they don't have an ideal fit to cover the ultra-talented big man. The last time Davis met them in February, he left a mark with 28 points, 17 rebounds, 3 steals, and 4 blocks. We could be headed in that direction again tonight.

The spread for tonight's game is -2.5 in favor of New York. Neither team to date has been all that impressive against the spread. The Knicks boast a 26-23-2 ATS record while the Lakers are currently at 24-26-1.

Keep an eye on the number 118.2. That's how many points the Lakers surrender to opponents on a nightly basis. New York is 10-7 ATS when they score more than 118.2 points.

Lakers vs Knicks Over/Under analysis

L.A. may be a below-average overall team — and even with the lack of outside shooters — it can still score the basketball, currently averaging 116.8 points per game this season.

Tonight's Over/Under is currently set at 231.5. The Knicks score 114.3 points per game and have a Top 10 offensive rating (115.1) in the entire NBA. For New York, it's all about Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett, and Julius Randle. These three players score over 67 of the Knicks' points each night.

With neither team scaring anyone on the defensive side of the ball of late, there will be opportunities for both teams to score a lot tonight. Please remember that James didn't get a critical call at the end of a recent game against the Boston Celtics that caused a storm on television and social media.

He was very disappointed in the lack of calls he's been receiving from referees, and that feels like a tipping point going into tonight. I expect James to get a lot of favorable calls, leading to many opportunities at the foul line. I'm leaning toward the Over tonight. 

Lakers vs Knicks betting trend to know

The Over is 4-1 in the Knicks' last five overall. Find more NBA betting trends for Lakers vs. Knicks.

Lakers vs Knicks game info

Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Date: Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET

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