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NBA: New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Preview

The Eastern Conference playoffs kick off Saturday and the evening game features the No. 5 New York Knicks (47-35) against the No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers (51-31). The Cavaliers will host this one at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, with tipoff scheduled for 6:00 pm ET.

The Cavaliers are favored in this one playing at home. They are -200 to win, while the Knicks’ moneyline sits at +168. The spread features New York +5 (-114), and the over/under for total points is 216.5.

Knicks Hope To Continue Success Over Cavaliers

While Cleveland is the higher seed, the Knicks have had a lot of success against them this season. In fact, they have won three of the four matchups, including the last three. Trying to continue that success, New York will look to pick up the series opening win as road underdogs.

While the Knicks lost back-to-back games coming into the playoffs, New York has played well on the road this season. They went 24-17, and their last win over the Cavaliers was a 130-116 win in Cleveland.

Offensively, New York ranks 11th in the NBA, averaging 116 points per game (126.3 over their last three).

Leading the way is Julius Randle, who averaged 25.1 points, 10 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game over 77 games this season.

Other contributors include Jalen Brunson (24 points, 6.2 assists), R.J. Barrett (19.6 points, 5 rebounds), and Immanuel Quickley (14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds).

New York ranks 13th in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of 113.1 points per game (127.7 over their last three).

Cavaliers Hope To Stay Dominant At Home

At 51-31 overall, the Cavaliers have had an excellent season. They were especially dominant at home, going 31-10 on the year. Trying to maintain this dominance at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, they will hope to pick up the win Saturday night.

Cleveland’s bread and butter is their defense. They rank as the best scoring defense in the NBA, allowing opponents just 106.9 points per game (105 at home).

On the offensive side, they fall to 25th in the league this season. They averaged 112.3 points per game during the regular season.

Despite their mediocre offense, Donovan Mitchell has the ability to carry the team. In 68 games this regular season, he averaged 28.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game.

Darius Garland (21.6 points, 7.8 assists), Evan Mobley (16.2 points, 9 rebounds), and Jarrett Allen (14.3 points, 9.8 rebounds) have also had exceptional years.

Take The Knicks And The Points

While Cleveland had one of the best home records in the Eastern Conference, New York is no slouch on the road. These two teams also have similar styles with big men that can dominate the interior.

Looking at the trends, New York is 9-4 against the spread in their last 13 games against Cleveland, while the Cavaliers are just 2-5 against the spread in their last seven home games against the Knicks.

Expect this one to be close down the stretch, and for that reason, take New York +5 (-114).

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