Matchup: Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Game 1
Date/Time: Saturday, April 20,2013 3 p.m. (ET)
Basketball Odds from VietBet
Point Spread: New York -6.5
Boston’s current form heading into the first game of this best-of-seven series leaves much to be desired with a 3-6 record both straight-up and against the spread in its last nine games. The end result was an overall 41-40 SU record and a 36-42-3 record ATS. The Celtics really struggled on the road this season with a woeful 14-27 SU record and an extremely costly 15-25-1 record ATS. The total has gone OVER in their last five games.
It is that time of year for players such as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to rise to the occasion if the Celtics are going to have any chance to grab the early edge in this series opener. The aging veterans have combined for 33.4 points, 14.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists a game this season. This duo has been able to elevate their play in the postseason before, but they will probably have to take things even higher to pull off the upset for a team that is not nearly as deep as it use to be. Boston is ranked 18th in the NBA in scoring (96.5 points) while allowing an average of 96.7 points a game on defense.
With the possible exception of Miami, you would have a hard time finding a hotter team heading into the playoff than the Knicks after closing out the regular season with a 16-2 SU run in their last 18 games. It has been an extremely profitable run as well with a 15-3 record ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in three of their last four games. New York went 54-28 SU and 46-34-2 ATS this year including a solid 31-10 SU (25-16 ATS) record at home.
The last time this team lost a game at Madison Square Garden was to Oklahoma City on March 7. Since then, the Knicks are 9-0 SU and 8-1 ATS including a 108-89 rout of Boston on March 31 as 6.5-point favorites. Carmelo Anthony put up 24 points in that contest which was slightly less than his league-high average of 28.7 points a game. A huge plus for the Knicks this season has been the play of JR Smith off the bench with an average of 18.1 points a game. New York is averaging 100 points while holding its opponents to 95.7 points.
Free NBA Playoff Pick
Boston has a legacy of coming up big in the playoffs, but you have to question how much gas is left in the tank especially on the road against a team that has only lost twice in almost two months. Stick with New York to make a statement on Saturday afternoon with a relatively easy win over its Atlantic Division rivals.
New York 98 Boston 89
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