NBA Betting Thursday: New York Knicks at Miami HeatNew York Knicks at Miami Heat
Time: 8 PM EST
Spread: MIA -8
M/L: MIA -360, NYK +300
Betting Odds from Bookmaker
Are the Knicks the best team in the East?
They have been so far. They sit half a game ahead of the Miami Heat and have a better point differential, by a 3.3 point margin (+7.8 to +4.5). Carmelo Anthony is looking like a true MVP.
The bad news is that Melo may not play in this game.
He’s nursing a finger injury and that may make it difficult for the 13-4 Knicks to avoid their sixth straight loss at America Airlines Arena. The injury was sustained on a hustle play, as Melo dove into the bench and suffered a deep cut on his non-shooting hand.
It was J.R. Smith who came to the Knicks rescue, as he hit a buzzer beating jumper to defeat the Bobcats by two points. Tyson Chandler also came up big in the narrow victory over the much improved Bobcats, grabbing 17 rebounds to go with his 18 points. It was the fifth straight victory for the Knicks, but NBA oddsmakers aren’t giving them a good chance in this, mostly due to the likely absence of Anthony. NBA odds for this one sit at Miami as eight point favorites.
On November 2nd, the Knicks beat the Heat, but it was under the performance of Melo’s 30 points. Subtract his influence from the lineup and the picture changes significantly.
Miami suffered a loss to the horrible Washington Wizards, but Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were quick to dismiss the loss as just another game. “You move on,” Wade said. LBJ said “This ain’t a lesson for us, we just lost.” That cavalier attitude towards the loss isn’t necessarily a good thing for the Heat, but they can’t dwell on a loss to a horrible team either. It’s a long season.
James has averaged 30-plus points in his last 18 regular season games against the Knicks, and Wade has averaged 30-plus as well in his last 13 games in the series. Throw in Chris Bosh, and there’s a recipe for disaster.
The Knicks will rely heavily on JR Smith again if Anthony can’t go. He’s always had All-Star talent with a loser’s mentality, but things have changed for him this year in New York, leading many to conclude the struggles in his career were likely a result of disagreement with Nuggets coach George Karl.
However, Smith has shot just 33 percent from the floor in the last eight meetings against Miami since the start of last season, so his work is cut out for him. He’s going to be aggressive with or without Anthony, coming off the confidence of nailing a game winner.