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NBA Playoffs: New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Preview

The New York Knicks (1-0) will try to steal their second road game of the series Tuesday as they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers (0-1). The Cavaliers will host this one at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, with tipoff scheduled for 7:30 pm ET.

The Cavaliers are the favorites playing at home. They are -215 to win, while the Knicks’ moneyline sits at +180.

The spread finds New York as 5.5-point underdogs (-110), and the over/under for total points is 214 (-110).

Knicks Look To Get Greedy As Road Underdogs

For the second straight game, the New York Knicks will be underdogs against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and for the second straight game, they will look to upset the favorites. On Saturday, they took the opener 101-97.

In the victory, Jalen Brunson had a team-high 27 points. Aside from him, only two other players had double digits as both Julius Randle (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Josh Hart (17 points, 10 rebounds) also had double-doubles.

It is not surprising to see Randle and Brunson leading the scoring as they did so all season for the 11th-ranked offense (115.8 points per game). Randle averaged 25.1 points, 10 rebounds, 4.1 assists) and Brunson averaged 24 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.2 assists.

In terms of scoring defense, the Knicks also rank 11th, allowing opponents an average of 112.9 points per game. If they can continue to clamp down on defense like they did Saturday, they should be in great shape for this series.

Cavaliers Hope To Split In Front Of Their Home Faithful

At 31-10, the Cleveland Cavaliers played exceptional basketball at home all season, which is why it was so surprising to see them drop the opener. Trying to bounce back, they will now hope to split with the Knicks before the series moves to the “Big Apple.”

In the loss, Donovan Mitchell was sensational. He had a game-high 38 points to go along with eight assists and five rebounds.

Darius Garland was the second-leading scorer with 17 points, while Jarrett Allen (14 points, 14 rebounds) and Evan Mobley (eight points, 11 rebounds) also had solid contributions.

Defensively, the Cavaliers have been the best in the NBA this season, allowing an average of 106.8 points per game. Their defense Saturday was even better than their season average, but they have to improve on offense. This season, Cleveland ranked just 25th in scoring, averaging 112.1 points per game.

Take New York And The Points

New York is not only 6-2 over their last eight games, but they are also 4-1 both straight up and against the spread in their last five against the Cavaliers. When playing at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, they are 6-2 against the spread in their last eight.

For Cleveland, they are 12-6 in their last 18 games, but they are just 1-4-1 against the spread in their last six. In five of the last seven games against the Knicks, the UNDER has hit.

Expect the Cavaliers to play better in this one and it wouldn’t be shocking to see them pull off the victory. Still, the Knicks seem to match up well with the Cavaliers, and if they can play defense to the level they did Saturday, they should be able to be in this game until the very end.

For that reason, the best value in this one is to take the Knicks at +5.5 (-110) on the spread.

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