Thunder vs. Knicks expert prediction and odds for Sunday, March 31st (Target total)

Mar 29, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jaylin Williams (6)
Mar 29, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jaylin Williams (6) / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder travel to Madison Square Garden for a Sunday matchup against the New York Knicks. 

The big news around this game between two teams at the top of their respective standings in each conference is that MVP candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been upgraded to questionable with his lingering quad injury that has cost him the last two games. Can SGA help get the Thunder back in the mix for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference? 

While Oklahoma City Thunder is of course better with him on the floor, I’m avoiding the side with SGA on a potential minutes restriction and instead focusing on the total.

Here’s my best bet for Sunday’s matchup:

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Thunder vs. Knicks Odds, Spread and Total

Knicks vs. Thunder How to Watch

  • Date: Sunday, March 31st
  • Game Time: 7:00 PM EST
  • Venue: Madison Square Garden
  • How to Watch (TV): MSG, Bally Sports Oklahoma
  • Knicks Record: 51-22
  • Thunder Record: 44-29

Thunder vs. Knicks Injury Reports

Thunder Team Injury Report

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Quad, Questionable

Knicks Team Injury Report

  • Isaiah Hartenstein, Wrist, Probable
  • Alec Burks, Shoulder, Probable
  • Mitchell Robinson, Ankle, Questionable
  • OG Anunoby, Elbow, OUT
  • Julius Rnadle, Shoulder, OUT

Thunder vs. Knicks Key Players to Watch

Oklahoma City Thunder

Josh Giddey: With SGA out of the lineup, the Thunder turned to Giddey to pick up the slack, and the Aussie did just that. The former lottery pick scored 23 points while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out nine assists in the 25-point blowout win of Phoenix. Yes, SGA may be back, but against an elite defense like the Knicks, Giddey will need to continue to perform at a high level. 

New York Knicks

Jalen Brunson: Fresh off a 61-point effort, Brunson will hope to play just as well but get the win this time for the Knicks, who lost in overtime to the Spurs. Brunson has been playing at an All-NBA level all season but will face a rugged Thunder defense on Sunday. 

Thunder vs. Knicks Prediction and Pick

The Thunder won the first meeting against the Knicks back on December 27th, 129-120, but I expect a far more defensive-minded affair on Sunday given the state of each team. 

Oklahoma City’s offense has slid back this past month, posting the 10th-best offensive rating in the month of March, per However, the team has remained defensive-minded and still posted a positive net rating. 

Meanwhile, the Knicks have suffocated opponents of late, posting the second-best net rating in the month of March despite playing at the slowest pace in the league. The team does a great job of blowing out inferior competition while also slowing the game down and executing in the halfcourt. 

The Thunder would prefer to play in the open court, but the Knicks transition denial is something to keep an eye on and this game may come down to the elite guard play of Brunson and the (hopefully healthy) Gilgeous-Alexander. 

I’m going to side with the under in what may be more of a defensive struggle compared to the first meeting. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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