New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers 4/18/23 Free Pick, NBA Odds, NBA Predictions

New York Knicks (47-35) at Cleveland Cavaliers (51-31)

Game Info: Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. EST (Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse)

Betting Odds: Cavaliers (-4.5) / Over/Under (213.5)

Pick: Cavaliers (-4.5) 

Tonight brings us to the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to dive into a matchup between the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers, with the Knicks getting the better of the Cavs in game 1. 

New York continues to fend off its critics in impressive fashion. It almost feels as though we are all waiting for the Knicks to turn into... the Knicks, but it just is not happening this year. Although it is hard to pinpoint one exact reason as to why this squad is different than years past rosters, the acquisition of Jalen Brunson over the offseason may be the exact reason it all is starting to turn around. At the time, many thought that the Knicks overpaid in free agency to pull him away from the Dallas Mavericks, but the more and more he continues to showcase his premier talent on the big stage proves to me that he may have been underpaid. With the chance to come away from Cleveland with a 2-0 series lead heading back to the raucous Madison Square Garden, we shall see if Brunson and Co. can deliver the goods once again on Tuesday night. 

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Cleveland ended the season on a great run of form, winning 7 out of their last 9 regular season games. Despite that, they were stifled on the offensive end for large portions of game 1 against the Knicks. This was always going to be a series that was played in the low 200s, but they are certainly not going to advance to the next round if they can not reach the 100 mark consistently in games to come. Now, the Knicks have won the last 4 games against the Cavs (including regular season play), so Cleveland will need to change up their original game plan if they want to turn this series around. Additionally, they will need to get more support from their secondary options to give Donovan Mitchell something to work with come tipoff. He was able to put in a dominant 38-8-5 performance in game 1, but being that that was not enough to secure a win on his home floor, expect the Cavs to try to get someone else involved to give the Knicks a different look to cover against. 

Betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- Cleveland is 23-16-1 ATS as the home favorite 

- The under is 23-18-1 when the Knicks are playing as the underdog

- The under is 23-17 when the Cavs are playing as the home favorite

The Cavaliers are one of the more well-rounded teams in the NBA from top to bottom and I expect that to show in game 2. This is a must-win for them as they can not lose both games on their home floor before heading out to New York to play games 3 and 4. I am going to keep this short and simple... the Cavaliers are going to win this one by at least a few baskets to send it back to The Big Apple split at 1-1. 

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