Knicks vs. Heat Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The New York Knicks head to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat in a game with significant seeding implications in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks currently sit in fifth place with a 42-31 record while Miami is seventh at 39-34.
Miami has lost their two previous games to the Knicks, so if the Knicks can take care of business tonight, they will secure their tiebreaker and essentially be five games up on Miami, likely entrenching them in the Playoffs. A win for Miami would keep give them the opportunity to split the season series with a fourth matchup looming in one week.
Let’s break down how to bet this Eastern conference showdown between the Knicks and Heat.
The Knicks are healthy as the season winds down and Jalen Brunson’s return has been welcomed. Despite losing to the Timberwolves a few nights ago, Julius Randle will look to continue his red-hot scoring after dropping a career-high 57 points on Monday. It would not surprise me to see Randle come out firing in the first quarter as he’s such a streaky scorer. Randle’s first quarter points line is listed at 9.5, a number he has exceeded in both games against Miami this season with 12 and 20.
Brunson’s return is significant because he makes the offense hum; while the team played well without him, his presence elongates the bench and the team is able to get stronger bench vs. bench minutes, which has been a strength for this team.
One of those new bench contributors is Josh Hart. Since joining the Knicks, Hart is an absurd +19.1 in point differential, per Cleaning the Glass. His contributions as a scorer, passer, defender, screener, and rebounder as incredible. He’s a jack of all trades: Head coach Tom Thibodeau can deploy Hart in any situation and expect him to excel. His addition has been incredible for the Knicks. He gives them versatility at the wing and that’s invaluable in today’s NBA.
When the Knicks have run out lineups with Brunson, Hart, and Randle, the team is +22.9 points per 100 possessions while scoring 137.8 points, per Cleaning the Glass. He has truly fit into this team and made them better.
The Miami Heat have listed Kyle Lowry (knee) on the injury report but he’s expected to play. Caleb Martin (knee) is also listed as questionable for this contest. Their expected starting lineup would be Gabe Vincent, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Love, and Bam Adebayo.
Since Kevin Love has been acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers he has played significant minutes for the Heat. He’s playing 21.2 minutes per game with 7.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. In the 13 games with Kevin Love, the team has allowed 110.5 points per game compared to 102.9 without him.
His presence has also impacted Bam Adebayo’s rebounding numbers and he’s recorded just 7.0 boards per game compared to 9.9 without him. In 13 games alongside Love, Bam has exceeded his current rebounds line of 8.5 in just three games. Since Mitchell Robinson’s return from injury, the Knicks are the fourth-best rebounding team in the league at 52.8% Rebounding Rate. I’ll take Bam’s rebounding under tonight at 8.5 where you can find it.
Miami has been unable to find consistent success with their current starting lineup – the team is just +0.8 in those possessions and they’ve struggled to score just putting up 111.6 points per 100 possessions. They may struggle to keep up with the Knicks.
On the season, the Knicks are a flat out better team than the Heat and this spread is wrong. The Knicks are the seventh-best team in Adjusted Net Rating at +3.0 while Miami is 21st at -0.4. These teams are in different classes this season. While Miami has the postseason pedigree with Butler, Adebayo, and Herro, the lean on this team’s prior performance is far too great.
Their two previous games were decided by a collective four points; however, the Knicks emerged victorious in both and I expect that again tonight. I think the wrong team is favored and the Heat have been an abysmal home favorite with just a 9-22-2 ATS record while the Knicks are 16-10 ATS as a road dog.
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