Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks
The Miami Heat and New York Knicks collide on the opening night of the playoffs from South Beach. The Heat are -8.5 point favorites over the Knicks with an over/under point total set at 187.
Head to head, the road team is 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings. The Heat are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 playoff games as a favorite and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5, but just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 Conference Quarterfinals games. The Knicks on the other hand are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games overall, but just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog of 5.0-10.5.
The matchup that everyone wanted to see in the first round is finally upon us as the Heat and Knicks take the floor for Game 1 to open this season’s playoff series. The Heat took all three regular season meetings against the Knicks this season, however you could make a case that New York were the more impressive team in the second half of the season. Since the coaching change, New York have been a different team to the one that limped through the first half of the season, winning 18 of their last 24 games to secure a playoff berth. While Miami still finished with one of the best records in the leauge, they didn’t look like that same dominate team of a season ago and they struggled away from home, going 18-15 on the road in the regular season.
Considering two of the Heat’s wins against the Knicks this season were by double digits, it’s not hard to see why the line is so high for today’s game. While you could make a strong case for Miami here, New York is playing as well as anyone in the league at the moment, bar the San Antonio Spurs, so they should pose a real threat to the Heat in this series. It would be hard to envision the Knicks stealing this one outright, but I think they keep this one within single digits
New York Knicks +8.5 Miami Heat