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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Betting Tips / NBA Playoffs Game 1 New York vs Cleveland: Odds, Tips and predictions 04/15/23

NBA Playoffs Game 1 New York vs Cleveland: Odds, Tips and predictions 04/15/23

Basketball Betting Tips · 04/15/2023 - 6:00 pm · Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse

Publish Date: 04/14/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

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Prediction: Bet New York to cover
  • Over/Under: New York vs Cleveland (214.5)
  • Spread: Cleveland -5.5
  • Pick: Bet New York to cover
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Game preview Knicks vs Cavs

Jalen Brunson’s New York Knicks will look to take down Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers when they take on them on April 15, 2023. The Cavs are favored by 5.5 points; the total matchup over/under is 214.5.

Cleveland CavaliersCan the Cavs advance ?

In the regular season, the Cavaliers starting five dominated this matchup against the Knicks. But New York took control by Jarrett Allen playing over 65 minutes total in this series, having an advantage in bench play, and winning 3-1 overall.

Both are likely to change during the playoffs.

Most importantly, Caris LeVert’s minutes will prove difficult. Not only did the Cavs lose by 25.3 points per 100 possessions when LeVert was on the floor; Jalen Brunson shot 8-for-14 from the field while being defended by LeVert for 20 points, while the Knicks scored 63 in their 10 minutes versus him as his primary matchup.

LeVert outperformed Donovan Mitchell when it came to Brunson, scoring 36 points on 14-of-20 shots when Mitchell served as his matchup defender; when Isaac Okoro became his primary defender instead, Brunson shot just 2-of-11 during most minutes played.

The Cavaliers’ top players have the edge over those on the Knicks and will play more minutes for them, and the Cavs should win the series, but it will go six or seven games.

New York Knicks Can the Knicks continue to play well vs the Cavs?

Randle averaged 23 points per game against the Cavaliers, shooting 10-of-23 from 3-point range for 43.5 percent accuracy and 41.3% overall from 2-point range (41.3 percent overall). He posted just 34% from deep this season overall.

Most of Randle’s threes came off of over-help from the Cavs when covering pick-and-roll with soft coverage; if they could contain their guards better or switch in pick-and-pop more frequently it will limit his damage.

Randle struggled in a first-round loss to the Hawks two years ago; but if he can successfully space out Cavs big men while consistently finding and making threes, this will bring equilibrium back into their game and allow Randle and Knicks players alike to put it away more effectively.

Our Betting Pick for Today – Bet the Knicks -5.5

The Cavaliers have earned one of the best home-court advantages in the Eastern Conference this season, going 31-10 at home and finishing fourth in the East. Only the Bucks and Celtics own superior records at home this year, with 32-9 records in both.

Though Cleveland enters this series with the higher seed, New York outperformed them head-to-head during the regular season – winning three of four meetings between these teams including splitting two played in Cleveland.

The Knicks outrebounded the Cavs in all four regular-season meetings, though it should be noted that Jarrett Allen missed two of those games.

Game 1 between Cleveland and New York should favor the Cavs at home, yet this game seems much closer than its 5.5-point spread indicates. They recently met just a couple of weeks prior in Cleveland; New York won that matchup without Julius Randle being present.

Since Jarrett Allen has returned to the Cavs lineup, Okoro’s availability remains uncertain. Julius Randle’s status with the Knicks remains in flux – making this game highly contested and unlikely to yield more than five-point margin victory for either team.

 

Tip:
New York to cover
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