76ers vs Knicks NBA Free Pick & Prediction [Game 1]

Sixers and Knicks kick off their Best-of-7 series at Madison Square Garden

Philadelphia (47-35) at New York (50-32)
When: Saturday, April 20th 2024
Where: Madison Square Garden,
New York, NY

Time: 6:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: New York -2/206.5

Eastern Conference rivals the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks will meet for the 10th time in a playoff series, but first since 1989. Game 1 of their series starts on Saturday evening at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks are 3-point favorites with a total of 209. For the series, both teams are -110 despite the fact that this is a 2 vs. 7 matchup in the seeding. The over/under for total games in the series is 5.5, with the over a -210 favorite. Philadelphia in six is +350 followed by New York in seven at +450.

New York took the regular season series 3-1 and all three victories were blowouts. However, Joel Embiid only played in one of those for Philly and he’s back and healthy now. The teams have split the past 10 meetings overall and ATS. The total went under in all four games this season. The Knicks earned the second seed in the Eastern Conference after going 50-32, while the 76ers clinched the seventh seed Wednesday night by knocking off the Miami Heat 105-104.


Embiid was limited to just 39 regular season games this season, which is a big reason why Philly had to go through the Play-In to get into the first round. The big man recorded 23 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in the win over Miami on Wednesday. Nic Batum was huge off the bench with 20 points, including 6-for-10 from beyond the arc and five rebounds. The 76ers went 31-8 with Embiid in the lineup but just 16-27 without him. Only three guys played in at least 70 games this season. Reserve Paul Reed played in all 82 games while Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey played in 70 games apiece. Philadelphia is 10-1 ATS in their past 11.


New York beat Chicago on the season’s final day to secure a No. 2 seed and a date with the 76ers. If they finished third, the Knicks would be playing the Indiana Pacers instead. Guard Jalen Brunson had a career year, averaging 28.7 points (third in team history) and 6.7 assists. His 11 40-point games were tied for second in Knicks single-season history, while Brunson’s six 30-point, 10-assist games and 36 30-point games both were firsts for the franchise. The Knicks acquired forward OG Anunoby from Toronto during the season and New York went 20-3 with him in the lineup, but he missed 27 games with an elbow injury. New York held opponents to under 100 points in 23 games this season, tied for first in the NBA.

This should be a terrific series. The 76ers are on a roll right now with Embiid in the lineup and have covered 10 of their last 11 games. Embiid is also a big difference-maker on the defensive end. The Knicks have failed to cover three of their last four games as a favorite. This game will come down to wire, so I’ll grab the points in this one.

Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.

Pick: 76ers +3