NBA Betting: NY Knicks vs Miami Heat
- Updated: February 27, 2014
The Miami Heat have been on a hot streak lately, closing in on the top spot in the Eastern Conference. On Thursday night they will face an old nemesis as the New York Knicks come to town for an 8 PM Eastern time appointment at the American Airlines Arena in a game that will be televised on TNT.
Miami has won five games in a row and sports a 40-14 straight up record. Of course, that does not necessarily mean that the Heat are a big bargain when it comes to beating the basketball pointspread, as they have a 25-28-1 ledger in that regard. But they are only two games behind the Indiana Pacers for the #1 position in the East, and if they were to overtake Indiana, that would be extremely upsetting to the Pacers, because would put that team in the same exact position it was last season, when it had to go to Miami for the deciding seventh game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
The Knicks have struggled in any number of ways this season. They are only 21-36 straight up, which means that they have already lost eight more games and they did all last season. And they have burned money in the pockets of those people who have backed them with their NBA wagering dollars, going just 24-33 versus the number.
Miami Heat -10
New York Knicks +10
Over 201.5 points -110
Under 201.5 points -110
The big news as far as Miami is concerned is the fact that LeBron James will be in action, although it will be with the help of an accessory. James, as most people know, broke his nose last Thursday night when the heat went to Oklahoma City and beat the Thunder. The injury was bad enough that he sat out the next game against the Chicago Bulls, but he has been fitted for a protective mask and participated in practice on Wednesday. The plan is that he will be in action against the Knicks, although he’s made no secret about the fact that the mask is not all that comfortable. This will not be the first time LeBron has worn a mask, however; ten years ago he broke his cheekbone and wore protection at that time.
VietBet customers have seen Miami stifle opponents lately; the explosive Thunder scored only 81 points on 37.8% shooting in a runaway victory (103-81) for the two-time defending NBA champions, and the Bulls could not get anything going in the Sunday matchup, scoring 79 points on 36% “marksmanship.” Now Miami has had three full days off to get ready.
Basketball bettors who follow the news – and not necessarily that which appears on the sports pages – are aware that there is more drama surrounding the Knicks. This time, the subject of the attention is point guard Raymond Felton, who was arrested the other day on one felony and one misdemeanor charge of illegal firearms possession, as his estranged wife turned him in for having a semi-automatic gun with 18 rounds of body armor-piercing bullets. He could face jail time on the felony charge, although he does not have to appear in court until June 2. Felton practiced with the Knicks as usual and should be in the game as the starting point guard. However, this was not anything coach Mike Woodson needed to deal with at this particular time, considering the multitude of problems this New York team has gone through and the fact that he has been in front of a firing squad himself – figuratively speaking, of course.
If there is something encouraging for those NBA bettors at VietBet who are considering a play on the Knicks, it is the fact that this team seems to bring itself to its highest emotional level when playing against the Heat and it’s “Big Three.” In fact, New York has won four of the last six games against Miami, both straight-up and against the basketball betting odds. However, when these teams last met, on February 1, Miami prevailed by a 106-91 margin behind 54% shooting.
The two biggest superstars in this game are on a roll, when it comes to putting the ball in the basket. Carmelo Anthony has tallied more than 40 points in three of his last past four outings, while King James has scored 30 or more points in four consecutive games. When it comes to providing value against the basketball pointspread, however, Miami has not done so well in the role of a home favorite, covering in just nine of 25 attempts. Sometimes a team finds its “heart” when the cameras are on for one of these nationally- televised events, and such could be the case with the Knicks as they play the team that may just be its most hated rival, understanding of course that former New York coach Pat Riley is still the president of the Heat and there is no love lost between him and the Knickerbocker faithful.
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