New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers odds and predictions: Who is the favorite?
The first round of the playoffs is here, and we’ve got a intriguing matchup between the Knicks and the Cavs. With that, here are the odds and predictions.
The No. 5 seed New York Knicks will travel to the No. 4 seed Cleveland Cavaliers to start their opening round series from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Saturday. The two teams come into this one having been extremely close in the Eastern Conference standings, meaning this could go either way. With that said, the Cavs are slight favorites to win this best-of-seven series.
Knicks vs Cavs: The lay of the land
New York edges head-to-head but that means little
If we’re honest, the fact that the Knicks lead the head-to-head 3-1 could be misleading here. Yes it’s true, that in their most recent meeting back on March 31st, New York got the ‘W’ in a game that ended 130-116 without the services of Julius Randle. On that night, the victory came largely on the back of Jalen Brunson’s 48-point outing. This, however, is where the problem for the Knicks exists. For starters there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding Randle’s ankle. As for Brunson, while it’s clear he’s a very talented player, he can’t be expected to put 40-plus points on the board every night.
The Cavs’ Donovan Mitchell is going to be a problem
Let’s start with the facts. With an average of 28.3 points per game, Donovan Mitchell has powered the Cavs to the playoffs for the first time in five seasons and it’s his very first campaign with the team. Now, let’s get contextual: Mitchell has a problem with the Knicks. Being a native of New York, it’s now clear that he saves his best for when he plays against his hometown team. Mitchell has averaged 5.8 assists against New York across his career which is his second-most versus any team in the league. That’s not to say Cleveland doesn’t have other weapons. Indeed, two players are averaging 10 rebounds per game and then there is the rising star, Darius Garland who’s averaging 21.6 points and 7.8 assists per game.
Knicks vs Cavs: The Odds
|Categories||New York Knicks||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Picks||+5.5 (-110)||-5.5 (-110)|
|Over/Under Points Total||o215 (-110)||u215 (-110)|
Knicks vs Cavs: The Prediction
While we don’t expect the Knicks to get swept, it’s hard to see them getting past the Cavs. Between Randle’s pesky ankle problems and the unfair expectation on Brunson to cover for him, it just doesn’t seem to make sense. That is of course before we weigh up what the Cavs are working with. Ultimately, we’re going with a Cleveland win in six games.