Miami Heat (44-38) at New York Knicks (47-35)
Game Info: Sunday, April 30, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. EST (Madison Square Garden)
Betting Odds: Knicks (-4.5) / Over/Under (207.5)
Pick: Knicks (-4.5)
Sunday afternoon brings us the first game of the Second Round in the NBA Playoffs between the Miami Heat and New York Knicks, with this one being played inside the famous Madison Square Garden.
Miami barely squeaked into the Playoffs through the Play-In games, and decided they would continue on and deliver one of the biggest upsets in recent memory by taking down the #1 seeded Milwaukee Bucks with ease. They were able to shock the Bucks by beating them 4-1 through several stellar performances by Jimmy Butler. Although at times it seems as though Butler isn't in his top gear in the regular season, when the lights are bright, he always shows up. In game 5, the Bucks headed into the 4th quarter up 16 on their home floor, making it seem as though we were all preparing to get ready for a critical game in Miami in game 6. Nevertheless, the Heat had different plans and went on to outscore the Bucks 32-16 in the 4th, sending things to overtime, where they eventually won by a score of 128-126. Will the Heat be able to stay on Cloud 9 and take home court from the Knicks in game 1?
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New York did not give one inch to the Cavaliers in their First Round matchup, letting up less than 100 points in all 4 of their wins. Apart from playing elite defense all series long, they were able to hit clutch buckets every game to pull away late. If you thought the series between the Knicks and Cavs were going to be low-scoring, I suggest you tune into this series. In what many expect to be a lengthy and grueling series, the Knicks will need to execute once again down the stretch if they want to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. If they are to do so, Jalen Brunson will play a large part in their achievement. In Round 1, he scored 20+ points in all 5 games and brought a sense of calmness to them on the offensive end every time he was on the court. Can Brunson deliver against a stout Miami defense?
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- New York is 4-1 ATS in the Playoffs
- The Knicks are 30-18-2 ATS when coming off of a win
- The Heat are 15-30-3 ATS when coming off of a win
- Miami was 30-49-3 ATS in the regular season
The safe bet may be to ride the under in every game this series, but I will put my money on the Knicks to cover in game 1 as I feel they will use the crowd energy to punch the Heat first. Although I am siding with this series going 6-7 games, the Knicks will have to put their best forward here to avoid an early blow to their chances of advancing. Furthermore, I absolutely love the way Jalen Brunson is controlling the game late in crunch time. Give me the Knicks to win by at least a few baskets!
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