NBA Predictions: New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat

New York Knicks at Miami Heat
Friday, 1/27/12, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Miami -10
Current Betting Line:  Miami -11
Opening Total:  199
Current Total:  195.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony has been hampered by injuries most of the 2011-12 season

New York has dropped seven of its last eight games and will continue a four-game road trip Friday night in Miami.  The Knicks are going to be hard-pressed to win their third consecutive game in this series, especially with star forward Carmelo Anthony banged up.  “I can’t really put my finger on it right now,” commented Anthony this week.  “I can’t figure it out.”  He is averaging a team-high 23.6 points per game and is one of four starters averaging double figures in scoring.  New York is 0-5 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite this season.

The Knicks have had trouble scoring all season, being held below 90 points in five of the last six games.  “We’ve got to find a way to score,” commented Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni.  “We’re not scoring the basketball.”  New York is desperately needing Baron Davis to get healthy to fill the point guard role, while the team is missing a reliable three-point shooter to extend the defense, ranking as one of the worst shooting teams from beyond the arc despite being among the leaders in attempts.

Miami has won five of its last six games and comes off a 101-98 win over the Detroit Pistons as 8.5-point road favorites.  The Heat have failed to cover their last three games after putting together a three-game winning streak against the spread.  “We’re getting there,” commented Heat forward Shane Battier.  There’s no question that the team is one of the best in the NBA defensively, holding its last six opponents to 91.8 points per game.  Miami is 2-6 ATS when playing against a team with a losing record.

The Heat are led by the play of forward LeBron James, who is averaging 29.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.  Miami has put together a 13-5 record thus far during the 2011-12 campaign, including a 5-2 mark when hosting Eastern Conference teams.  Offensively, the team is averaging 104.4 points per game, shooting 48.8 percent from the floor.  Center Chris Bosh has really come along over the past four games, scoring at least 20 points a contest, which is currently a season high in that category.

Bettors will likely back the Knicks due to their 5-1 ATS mark as a road underdog of 5 to 10.5 points, while the Heat are 3-8 ATS at home versus teams with a losing road record.

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