Knicks vs. Heat: Jeremy Lin and LeBron James Face Off in South Beach

New York Knicks at Miami Heat
Thursday, 2/23/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  Miami -10
Current Betting Line:  Miami -9
Opening Total:  199.5
Current Total:  199.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

76ers Heat NBA Playoffs Game 4 Preview
The Miami Heat welcome in the New York Knicks Thursday night before the NBA All-Star break

New York has alternated wins and losses over its last five games, coming off a convincing 99-82 win over the Atlanta Hawks as seven-point home favorites on Wednesday night.  The Knicks will head out on the road for the first time since Feb. 14.  Point guard Jeremy Lin continues to be the biggest NBA storyline, averaging 23.9 points and 9.2 assists over the last 11 games.  “It’ll be fun,” commented Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony about the atmosphere for this contest due to Lin’s emergence.  New York is 7-6 ATS as an underdog this season.

The Knicks have compiled a 7-8 overall record on the road this season, including a winning 5-3 mark versus the Eastern Conference.  New York will be traveling to South Beach for the second time this year, dropping a 99-89 contest in the first meeting this year as 12-point road underdogs.  Anthony will need to play a big part in this game offensively, as he’ll be playing his third game since coming back from various injuries, scoring 26 combined points in the first two contests.

Miami has won seven consecutive games by a double-digit margin and comes off an impressive 120-108 win over the Sacramento Kings as 13.5-point home favorites.  The Heat have covered six of those seven games and the “under” is 3-1 over the last four contests.  “We’re playing a great team and it’s going to be a good evaluation of where we’re at,” stated Lin about matching up with the Heat.  Miami is 1-4 ATS as a home favorite of 9.5 to 12 points and the “under” is 4-1 in that situation.

The Heat have tallied a 13-2 record since last facing the Knicks last month, with shooting guard Dwyane Wade managing to score 24.1 points per game over that span.  He is second on the team in scoring, as star forward LeBron James leads the way in averaging 27.6 points per game.  Miami is averaging 103.8 points per game offensively, while holding opponents to just 94.6 points a game.  Surprisingly enough, the Knicks come in with the better defense statistically, surrendering 93.8 points per game.

Bettors will likely back the Knicks due to their 4-0 ATS mark in the last four meetings, while the favorite is 0-4 ATS in the same span of games.

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