New York Knicks vs Houston Rockets Preview (12/31/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The New York Knicks, undoubtedly one of the most volatile teams in the NBA, will hope to break out of their recent four-game on Saturday night when they face the Houston Rockets. An in-depth analysis of our betting predictions and picks, the projected starting lineups, and current odds are all available below.

New York Knicks Vs. Houston Rockets Betting Odds

The New York Knicks are 5.5-point road favorites against the Houston Rockets, despite having a problematic injury report. RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, and Trevor Keels will all miss the matchup against Houston, while Jalen Brunson is considered day-to-day. The Rockets will be without Jae’Sean Tate, who has only played in three games so far this season.

New York Knicks Vs. Houston Rockets Prediction

Just when many people thought the New York Knicks were getting into a groove, they dropped five straight games (after winning eight in a row.) To add to the confusion surrounding the New York Knicks, they have performed better on the road than at home, which is quite rare, especially at the NBA level.

While New York appears to be a much-improved offensive team, boasting the ninth-highest rating in the NBA, it still lacks consistent firepower, particularly from behind the arc. The Knicks rank 25th in 3P% (three-point percentage) and eFG% (effective field goal percentage), which are areas that have haunted them for several seasons.

Complicating matters further, one of New York’s most significant strengths (rebounding) will be virtually nonexistent due to Houston’s incredible prowess on the glass. The Rockets rank first in total rebounding rate and third in offensive rebounding percentage, while the Knicks rank sixth and third, respectively.

Meanwhile, Houston has struggled, winning merely one of its past eight games; its only win came against the mediocre Chicago Bulls. The Rockets have shot poorly during that stretch, barely surpassing 30% from deep. They are having issues not only defensively, which has been the case for several years, but offensively, too.

Despite New York’s recent slide, I still like for it to cover in this spot. The Knicks are a better road team than home team and should exploit Houston’s horrendous defense. I’ll take the Knicks against the spread, as I expect them to cover in the closing minutes.

Betting Trends

  • New York is 12-6 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Houston is 8-6-2 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 36-34-1 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

In this non-conference game between New York and Houston, their defenses will be featured as our key matchup. See which team will improve their defense to grab an important victory!

New York’s Defense vs. Houston’s Defense

Both of these teams have struggled recently, winning a combined one of their past ten games (five each.) In their past five games, Houston has an offensive rating of 113.7; New York’s rating has been 121.5. An offensive rating over 120 is extremely impressive, so what is the issue for New York?

The answer to that question is simple: defense. For the Knicks to have dropped all of those games, they would have had to play horrendous defense. Their defensive rating of 127.2 during that period further validates that claim. Unfortunately, Houston has not been much better on that end of the floor recently.┬áThe Knicks should figure out how to tighten up their defense, and they know that a win versus Houston could right the ship once again. Advantage: New York’s Defense.

New York Knicks Starting Lineup

PG: Jalen Brunson
SG: Immanuel Quickley
SF: Quentin Grimes
PF: Julius Randle
C: Mitchell Robinson

Houston Rockets Starting Lineups

PG: Kevin Porter Jr
SG: Jalen Green
SF: Eric Gordon
PF: Jabari Smith Jr
C: Alperen Sengun

Key Injuries

New York Knicks Injuries: RJ Barrett (Out), Jalen Brunson (Q), Obi Toppin (Out), Trevor Keels (Out)

Houston Rockets Injuries: Jae’Sean Tate (Out)

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

Hot NBA Matchup Previews Stories