Free NBA Picks: Cavaliers at Knicks Odds
by Alan Matthews - 1/29/2014
Sorry, New York Knicks fans, it looks like embattled Coach Mike Woodson will make it to Super Bowl Sunday, something that didn't look like a sure thing not too long ago. Indeed, the schizophrenic Knicks are streaking again, this time in a good way. They have won three straight, all at home, entering Thursday's matchup with Cleveland.
The Cavs, meanwhile, continue to flounder even after acquiring Luol Deng as they have lost four of five. and all five of those were in Cleveland (the one victory coming against awful Milwaukee). With trips to Houston and Dallas to follow this game, the Cavs seem likely to find themselves at 16-32 soon. That would be a season-high for number of games under .500. I still say they make the playoffs in the East, however.
Another reason to tune in for this game is that the NBA All-Star reserves will be announced beforehand on TNT. It's the second of four meetings this season between the Knicks and Cavaliers.
Cavaliers at Knicks Betting Story Lines
Cleveland isn't a good offensive team, ranking No. 24 at 96.1 points per game, and it's struggling to find the basket right now. During that just-completed five-game homestand, the Cavs never hit triple digits and the only excellent defensive team they played in that stretch was Chicago. The Cavs lost 100-89 Tuesday night to New Orleans as Cleveland had no answer for Anthony Davis. The Pelicans scored 16 straight points to close the first half and all but wrap things up.
Davis largely had his way inside because Cleveland's Anderson Varejao was out with a knee injury. Varejao, who averages 8.8 points and 10.3 rebounds, is very iffy for this one. Deng didn't look very healthy himself. He was just 3-for-10 from the field with the Cavs minus-19 when he was on the court. Deng has been battling a sore Achilles'. He hasn't been the same player yet with Cleveland as he was in Chicago -- the Bulls appear to have traded him at just the right time. There was a bright spot in Tuesday's loss for Cleveland. The 2013 No. 1 overall pick, Anthony Bennett, who has looked like perhaps the biggest bust in NBA history, had a season-high 15 points along with eight rebounds in a season-high 31 minutes.
New York seems to be riding the coattails of Carmelo Anthony right now. He had that memorable 62-point game Saturday against Charlotte and followed it with 35 in a win over the Lakers and 24 in just 28 minutes in a 114-88 rout of Boston on Tuesday. Knicks fans are so fickle. Melo has one huge game and now they all pray he comes back next year. New York got back Metta World Peace on Tuesday for the first time since late December due to a knee procedure, and he had three points in eight minutes. Amare Stoudemire hasn't played since Jan. 17 because, well, he's Amare Stoudemire and brittle. He's unlikely to return for this one. You know he would like to play Saturday against Miami on Super Bowl weekend in New York. Of course, Andrea Bargnani remains out indefinitely with an elbow injury.
This New York winning streak followed a five-game skid that led to a team meeting -- and questions about Woodson's future. Don't get too excited Knicks fans, anyone can beat Charlotte, the Lakers and Boston.
Cavaliers at Knicks NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, the Knicks have opened as six-point favorites with a total of 196.5. Cleveland is 19-26 against the spread (7-15 on road) and 20-25 "over/under" (12-10 on road). New York is 19-26 ATS (8-17 at home) and 24-21 O/U (15-10 at home). The Cavs are 4-1 ATS in their past five after a loss of more than 10 points. They are 1-6 ATS in their past seven after allowing at least 100 points in their previous game. The Knicks are 7-1 ATS in their past eight after an ATS win. They have been great the past two seasons on Thursdays, covering 13 of the past 17. The under is 7-0 in Cleveland's past seven against the Eastern Conference. The over is 4-0 in the Knicks' past four. The favorite is 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings.
Free NBA Picks: Cavaliers at Knicks Betting Prediction
On Dec. 10 in Cleveland, the Cavs beat the Knicks 109-94 behind 37 points and 11 assists from Kyrie Irving. That was back when the Knicks were in a major funk and was their 11th loss in the past 13 games. Woodson was definitely in some hot water back then. Carmelo had 29 for New York. Bargnani was the only other Knick in double figures with 11.
I am a bit conflicted here. The Knicks absolutely might be looking ahead to Saturday's game, where they will have the spotlight of the national media in town for the Super Bowl. However, Cleveland is just lousy on the road and Varejao is their best frontcourt player. If the spread was a few points more I'd lean Cavs if Varejao were to play, but not at six. Knicks and the under.
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