Suns vs. Knicks prediction and odds for Monday, January 2 (Back Phoenix to pull off upset)

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Phoenix Suns have an afternoon start against the New York Knicks on Monday, tipping off at 3 p.m. EST at Madison Square Garden.

Phoenix has fallen to seventh in the Western Conference, losing six of its last 10 games, and remains without Devin Booker due to a groin injury.

The team should have a couple key players in the lineup on Monday, as Cam Payne and Landry Shamet are both listed as probable for this contest.

New York is dealing with injuries of its own, missing Obi Toppin and R.J. Barrett. Jalen Brunson, the team’s starting point guard, is listed as questionable with a hip injury. He’s missed all three games on New York’s Texas road trip.

If Brunson sits, the Knicks will have an extremely short rotation once again, and they’ve relied heavily on Julius Randle and Immanuel Quickley to carry the scoring load.

New York is in the eighth spot in the East, but has struggled at MSG this season, going just 8-10 straight up.

The Suns aren’t the same team offensively without Booker, but are they being undervalued as short dogs with Barrett out and Brunson questionable?

Let’s break down the latest odds and make a pick for this matchup:

Suns vs. Knicks odds, spread and total

Suns vs. Knicks prediction and pick

The Suns have not played well as of late without Booker, but they have a deeper team than New York right now, especially if Brunson sits.

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has really shortened his rotation as of late, playing Randle, Quickly and Quentin Grimes huge minutes. At some point, fatigue is going to catch up to this Knicks team, and this may be the game fresh off of traveling from Houston.

New York is just 5-6-1 against the spread as a home favorite this season, and the Knicks have been super up-and-down. They won eight straight games, and then proceeded to lose five in a row, blowing a late lead to Dallas and getting outplayed by the lowly San Antonio Spurs.

The Suns have been hard to figure out without Booker, getting blown out by the Washington Wizards, but forcing OT on Christmas Day against the Denver Nuggets and upsetting the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis.

This game is going to come down to Brunson’s status, but he’s been listed as questionable in three straight and sat out.

I’ll lean with the Suns to pull off the upset with the Knicks winning just one of their last six games.

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.