Why You Should Bet Knicks Over/Unders When This Player Starts
BetQL’s model has dominated over/under bets during Elfrid Payton’s recent starts
- Elfrid Payton is the current starting point guard for the New York Knicks. The only moment from Payton’s season that casual NBA fans will remember is his altercation with Jae Crowder. However, the most attuned BetQL users have recognized that Payton has been a factor in determining whether to bet an over or an under on a Knicks game.
- BetQL’s NBA Model has gone 10-1-2 on over/under bets in the last 13 games Payton has started.
- Payton (ankle) is probable for Wednesday night’s matchup between the Knicks and Hornets in Charlotte.
- The OVER has gone 23-33 in New York’s games this season, hitting at just 41.1%. It has gone 10-17 (37%) in the 27 games in which Payton has started.
New York’s Terrible Offense
The inability of bettors to cash overs in Knicks’ games can be attributed primarily to New York’s anemic offense. The Knicks average a dismal 104.8 points per game, the third-worst scoring average in the NBA. The Knicks hit fewer three-point shots per game than any other team. They also own the league’s second-worst offensive rating.
Relying on Payton as their starting point guard has only exacerbated the Knicks’ offensive woes. The Orlando Magic selected Payton with the 10th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and after some uninspiring years there, the Knicks signed him to a two-year contract in the 2019 offseason. The knock on Payton throughout his career was that he can not shoot. Unfortunately for the Knicks, Payton’s shooting has further regressed in his first season with the team.
Payton has only hit 14 three-point shots on 59 attempts the entire season, which is a career-low 23.7% from the three-point line. Payton’s effective field goal percentage of 44.8% and true shooting percentage of 46% are his worst numbers since his rookie season. Payton is shooting an abysmal 53.6% from the free-throw line. He’s also playing an average of 27.4 minutes per game. That means the Knicks are playing more than half of the time with a guard who other teams do not have to worry about defending from the perimeter.
The OVER has gone 23-33 in New York’s games this season, hitting at just 41.1%. It has gone 10-17 (37%) in the 27 games in which Payton has started.
A Terrible Defense (Too)
The Knicks are not an impressive team defensively. Their defensive rating is one of the 10 worst in the league and they allow their opponents to shoot 38.3% from the three-point line, which is the second highest opponent three-point field goal percentage allowed in the NBA. They also have struggled to force turnovers and rank in the bottom ten of opponent turnovers per game. However, Payton is averaging a career-high in steals per 36 minutes. Payton’s defensive box plus/minus is also the best of his career. He has the second-best defensive rating on the Knicks and has contributed the third most defensive win shares on the team despite playing in only 36 games. Is he making a difference on that end of the floor? That's up for debate since the rest of the guys around him haven't performed consistently, but he's much more effective at that end of the floor.
The Knicks’ offensive problems when Payton starts will likely persist for the duration of the season due to the trade of Marcus Morris Sr. to the Clippers on February 6th. Morris Sr. led the Knicks in scoring before the trade. An already-weak offensive team has become weaker. The trade may lead to more shots for Payton, which would be an outcome supported by under bettors. Betting an under is not fun. However, there’s nothing more fun than cashing a ticket. Payton may be the key to getting to the window with an under ticket in New York’s games for the rest of the season.