Sunday afternoon’s NBA betting showdown in the Big Apple could be a big time playoff preview, as the New York Knicks look to get the best of the Miami Heat at the Garden.
Something is really wrong with the Heat right now, and the national media is really picking up on it. Chris Bosh just doesn’t look like himself, and he is going to likely end the year averaging nowhere near a double-double per game. He is going to have a tough draw in this one in all likelihood in Tyson Chandler, who is a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year honors. LeBron James looked to be the league’s MVP this year, but he has since fallen off the boat just a bit as well. Meanwhile, Dwyane Wade is only just getting healthy, and he and LeBron really seem to be better off playing on their own instead of together on the same court. The rotation just hasn’t been there either for Head Coach Erik Spoelstra, who is really doing a number on his team by changing his starting lineup and the course of action for his guys off of the bench. In the end, this is a dangerous, dangerous spot for Miami, not because the team will really be hurt by losing this game, but because it could be the continuation of a slide that causes the team to trip up in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Knicks are locked into a battle just to get into the postseason. They won a huge game earlier this week against the Milwaukee Bucks on the road, and they are probably going to get the job done now. It isn’t a guarantee by any stretch of the imagination, though. New York and the Philadelphia 76ers, who entered the weekend in the No. 7 and No. 8 slots in the playoffs, are two up in the loss column of the Bucks. Of course, both teams are also just three back of the Boston Celtics, who at least are somewhat catchable at this point for the No. 3 or No. 4 seed in the East as well. Carmelo Anthony is playing like the alpha dog of the league right now. He is averaging over 28 points per game in his last 10, and he has terrorized every single defender that has come up against him in recent weeks. Add into the mix the play of Chandler, the confidence that is building with Baron Davis at the point guard spot, and the fact that Iman Shumpert has come into his own as a great perimeter defender, and the makings are there for New York to think about a first round upset in the playoffs.
The Final Word: This game just means a ton to these two teams. Of course, in this spot, we just don’t know if the Heat are going to be all that interested and able to get the job done in the Garden. We really think that New York plus the points is a steal of a play.
Miami Heat @ New York Knicks Free Pick: New York Knicks +3
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.