Matchup: Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks
Date:Time: Tuesday, May 7, 7 p.m. (ET)
NBA Betting Odds: VietBet
Pointspread: New York -5.5
Total Line: 184.5
As the No.3 seed in the Eastern Conference, Indiana has very quietly eliminated Atlanta from the playoffs in six games in the opening round and opened-up a one game lead in the conference semifinals with a 102-95 victory over New York as a five-point road underdog in Sunday’s Game 1 of this best-of-seven series. The Pacers are 5-2 against the spread and the total has gone OVER in five of their first seven postseason games.
Balance has been the key so far for Indiana with an average of 95.6 points a game to complement a defensive effort that is allowing an average of 90.1 points. The Pacers are shooting just 42.5 percent from the field and 30.9 percent from three-point range, but they have done an excellent job under the boards with an average of 48.6 rebounds a game. This is even better than a regular-season average of 45.9 rebounds a game that led the NBA this year. Paul George leads the team with 18.7 points and 8.9 rebounds with David West chipping-in 16.9 points. George Hill and Roy Hibbert have combined to score another 29.6 points over the past seven games.
There have already been some major peaks and valleys for the Knicks this postseason. The No. 2 seed started off their opening round series against Boston with three-straight dominating wins, but were then pushed to six games behind two crushing defeats. The net result was a 4-2 series win with a 3-3 record ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in five New York’s first seven playoff games.
There is no doubt that Carmelo Anthony can light-up a scoreboard after leading the NBA in scoring this season with an average of 28.7 points a game, but this may actually be working against his team’s chance to win. He has averaged 28.9 points in the postseason but is shooting just 37.8 percent from the field and 26.3 percent from beyond the arc. Overall, the Knicks are averaging just 88.7 points a game while shooting 41.5 percent from the floor. Their biggest opportunity to avoid falling into an early 0-2 hole is to get back to playing the style of defense that held the Celtics to 80 points or less in each of the four victories in that series.
Free NBA Pick
New York only seems to respond to adversity when it comes to playing its best ball and the idea of losing the first two games of this series at home should more than qualify. Stick with the Knicks to put the clamps on the Pacers this Tuesday night to secure a much needed win at home that evens this matchup at one game apiece.
New York 94 Indiana 88
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.