RJ Barrett and the New York Knicks will begin a three-game road trip tonight against Darius Garland and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The last time these two teams played each other, the Cavs dominated the Knicks 126-109 at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 7. Ricky Rubio was the star of that game with a career-high 37 points (13-19 FG, 8-9 3pt) off the bench.
The Cavaliers are six-point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total set at 202.5.
Update — Jarrett Allen has been ruled out for the Cavaliers while Mitchell Robinson won’t play for the Knicks.
Pick ATS: Knicks +6
The Knicks snapped their three-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon with a 110-102 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. New York will hope to carry that momentum over onto the road where it’s been a mixed bag of results as of late (3-3 straight up in their last six road games).
The Knicks are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games and 11-10 ATS on the road this season. New York is 5-6 ATS when they are road underdogs and 4-2 ATS in the second game of back-to-back this season.
The Cavaliers have won four out of their last five games after they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 94-87 on Saturday night. Cleveland has won three out of the last four games at home by an average of six points.
The Cavaliers have been one of the best teams when it comes to covering the spread this season. Cleveland is 1-4 ATS in the last five home games, but are 14-7-1 ATS overall at home, which is the second-best home record in the NBA.
The Cavs will not have forward Lauri Markkanen for tonight’s game, who is out with an ankle injury that he suffered in Saturday night’s win. That will be a noticeable loss as Markkanen is averaging 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game this season. However, Cleveland is 8-4-1 ATS when they are listed as home favorites. If New York brings the same intensity and focus that they had against the Clippers, then it should be a close game.
Over/Under: Over 202.5
Neither of these teams score a ton of points, but they are very good defensively. The total has gone under in 10 of the Knicks’ last 15 games and under in four of their last six road games. Meanwhile, the total has gone under in six of the Cavaliers’ last nine games. I think that both teams can score over 100 points, however, making the over a top play.
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