NBA Odds: Knicks vs. Cavaliers prediction, pick, how to watch – 3/31/2023

The New York Knicks (44-33) visit the Cleveland Cavaliers (48-29) on Friday night! Action tips off at 7:40 p.m. ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Knicks-Cavaliers prediction, pick, and how to watch.

Here are the Knicks-Cavaliers NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NBA Odds: Knicks-Cavaliers Odds

New York Knicks: +3.5 (112)

Cleveland Cavaliers: -3.5 (-108)

Over: 221 (-110)

Under: 221 (-110)

How To Watch Knicks vs. Cavaliers

TV: MSG, Bally Ohio

Stream: NBA League Pass

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT

*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*

Why The Knicks Could Cover The Spread

Last 10 & Standing: 5-5 (Fifth in the East)

ATS Record: 42-32-3 (57%)

Over Record: 39-36-2 (52%)

New York will look to take the season series against the Cavaliers tonight after winning two of the first three matchups. That being said, both of their prior wins came in New York as the home team emerged victorious from each of the first three meetings. The Knicks enter tonight having won two straight games but will be without their leading scorer, Julius Randle.

Despite Randle’s absence, the Knicks should feel confident in their ability to cover against a Cavaliers team they’ve already beaten twice this year. New York features an incredibly balanced roster that ranks 13th in scoring and ninth in points allowed. They are especially stingy inside, allowing the fewest points in the paint per game. Additionally, the Knicks defend the three well as they hold opponents to the seventh-fewest three-point percentage in the NBA. Perhaps their biggest advantage tonight comes via the glass. New York outrebounded Cleveland in each prior matchup this season and should dominate down low tonight with the Cavaliers missing their center. For the season, the Knicks rank second in offensive rebound rate and 11th in defensive rebound rate.

If the Knicks are going to cover with Julius Randle out of the lineup, look for their backcourt to carry the scoring load. Point guard Jalen Brunson will likely shift into the leading scorer role as he ranked second behind Randle with 23.6 PPG. Additionally, his playmaking should rise as well despite already averaging 6.1 APG. While
Brunson did struggle in their three prior meetings against Cleveland, he’s eclipsed 23 points in three of their last four games and should be a focal point tonight.

The X-factors for the Knicks are their other two guards, Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett. Both young scorers have been phenomenal since the All-Star break. Quickley in particular has taken off, averaging 19.6 PPG while shooting 48% from the floor. Barrett is right behind him, chipping in 19.2 PPG and 4.4 RPG.

Why The Cavaliers Could Cover The Spread

Last 10 & Standing: 7-3 (Fourth in the East)

ATS Record: 41-33-3 (55%)

Over Record: 38-39 (49%)

Cleveland will look to even up the season series and get a big confidence boost against a team they will likely see again in the first round of the playoffs. Although the Cavaliers are coming off a heartbreaking road loss to the Hawks, they had previously won four straight games. Now, they return home where their 30-8 record ranks as among the elites of the NBA. Cleveland will notably be without center Jarrett Allen and forward Issac Okoro tonight.

If the Cavaliers are going to cover without their starting center, they’re going to need everyone else to step up on defense. Cleveland allows just 106.7 PPG – the lowest mark in the NBA. However, Allen is a huge part of that as his shot-blocking will be surely missed. That being said, history would tell you Allen will be missed more so on the offensive end. In 12 games without their center this season, the Cavaliers have given up just 104.4 PPG but scored a minuscule 107.6 PPG. That included their 81-92 loss to New York in which the team shot 35% overall. With Allen out, they’ll need to continue to rely on their guards to produce offense.

Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland form arguably the best backcourt in the Eastern Conference as the two combine for 49.3 PPG and 12.3 APG. Both young guards are supremely efficient as well, with neither shooting lower than 46% from the floor or 38% from beyond the arc. Mitchell in particular is someone to watch out for as he’s averaged 28.3 PPG against the Knicks this season and is coming off a 44-point outing against the Hawks.

The X-factor for the Cavaliers tonight is second-year big man Evan Mobley. Mobley wasn’t very aggressive in their first three matchups with New York but has seen his confidence and role expand dramatically in recent weeks. Since the All-Start break, Mobley averaged 18.8 PPG, 9.4 RPG, and 1.9 BPG while shooting 58%.

Final Knicks-Cavaliers Prediction & Pick

With no Randle for the Knicks, I expect Cleveland to roll in a game they should control from the beginning.

Final Knicks-Cavaliers Prediction & Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -3.5 (-108)

The post NBA Odds: Knicks vs. Cavaliers prediction, pick, how to watch – 3/31/2023 appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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