Knicks Shockingly Open As Underdogs vs. 76ers

Joel Embiid, Jalen Brunson, Knicks, 76ers, NBA Playoffs
NBA Analysis Network

The New York Knicks earned the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference for the 2024 NBA Playoffs. They were the only team in the conference to reach the 50-win plateau, joining the Boston Celtics.

On Wednesday night, New York found out who their opponent would be in the first round. In a hotly contested NBA Play-In Game, the Philadelphia 76ers edged out the Miami Heat, meaning the Atlantic Division foes will be meeting in Round 1.

Normally, the No. 2 seed would be sizable favorites over the No. 7 seed. But, the 76ers aren’t your normal seven-seed. They have reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid back in the lineup and Tyrese Maxey is as talented of a scoring guard as there is in the NBA.

Had the 76ers remained healthy throughout the season, they assuredly wouldn’t be the No. 7 seed. Odd makers realize that and are giving Philadelphia a ton of respect in their first-round matchup against New York.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jalen Brunson, Joel Embiid, 2024 NBA Playoffs, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks Updates

Somewhat shockingly, the 76ers opened up as favorites in the series over the Knicks. Evan Abrams of ActionNetwork revealed New York is a slight underdog, listed at +100 while the 76ers were installed as -120 favorites.

The Knicks are only the second 1 or 2 seed in NBA history to be made underdogs in a first-round series. The last time was in 2021 when the Phoenix Suns, who were the No. 2 seed, were underdogs against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Suns won that series 4-2.

Will the Knicks have as good of a performance as the Suns did? If the regular season is any indication of what is to come, it is certainly possible. New York went 3-1 against Philadelphia, with all three victories coming by at least 14 points.

One of those blowout victories came with Embiid in the lineup for the 76ers. However, the Knicks also had Julius Randle still, as he is missing the remainder of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

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