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New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Playoff Odds, Picks & Predictions

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 4 mins

New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Playoff Odds, Picks & Predictions

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Donovan Mitchell’s first season with the Cleveland Cavaliers boosted the team to the postseason for the first time in five seasons. Now, they look to make another statement in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, starting with a first-round showdown against the New York Knicks. 

The No. 4-seeded Cavs are led by Mitchell, who averaged 28.3 points, but they are also armed with the NBA’s top-ranked defense, two players averaging nearly 10 rebounds per game, and emerging star Darius Garland (21.6 ppg, 7.8 apg). 

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The fifth-seeded Knicks are also a team on the rise, jumping from 37 wins to 47, led by one of the premier 1-2 punches in Julius Randle (25.1 ppg) and Jalen Brunson (24.0). The biggest question going into Game 1 is the availability of Randle (ankle), who hasn’t played since March 29. Randle is only one of four players in the league averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists (Jokic, Giannis and Embiid are the others), so his status is key. 

Ahead of Game 1, Bookies.com breaks down the series and makes our NBA picks to back on betting apps.

Cavaliers vs. Knicks Game 1 Odds

Cavaliers vs. Knicks NBA Playoff Betting Tips

Defense First: The Cavaliers allowed 106.9 ppg on the year, ranking No. 1 in the NBA in total defense. The interesting thing is, the Knicks were a respectable 8-12 when scoring under 107 points, including 2-0 in such games vs. these Cavs. New York also managed 130 on Cleveland in its most-recent matchup, on March 31. 

Mitchell vs. Brunson: Donovan Mitchell led the Cavs in scoring in all four matchups with the Knicks, including a 38-point effort in the opening game and a 42-point outburst in the last one. Jalen Brunson scored 48 points in the March 31 showdown after averaging 17.7 ppg the first three matchups. Jalen could blow up points-wise if Randle doesn’t suit up for New York. 

Cleveland Conundrum: The Cavaliers are covering the spread on Ohio betting apps at a 60.5% rate as a home favorite this season. But the Knicks are a just-as-solid 60.7% covering as a road underdog. Over/Under season trends have no clear lean to exploit, either. In the two in-season matchups at Cleveland, each team won once, with 13- and 14-point margins. 

Cavaliers vs. Knicks NBA Playoff Best Bets

The Cavaliers are -200 to win the series, while the Knicks are posted at +150 on New York betting apps. The Knicks got the best of the Cavs in the regular season, but if Randle can’t give it his best shot, New York is going to be in trouble and in a hurry. 

Cavs post standouts Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley are a tough ask for a smaller Knicks lineup, even with Randle in there. Without him, this series goes five games. 

That said, New York can win it with Randle, and it posted 130 points on the Cavs’ defense without him in March. There is value in going with the Knicks to win at +150 on sports betting apps, or with picking the series to last a full seven games at +185, but not both. I lean slightly on the series going the distance

Best Bet: Series To Go 7 Games at +185

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Cavaliers vs. Knicks Schedule

  • Game 1: New York at Cleveland, 6 p.m., ET, ESPN
  • Game 2: New York at Cleveland, TBD
  • Game 3: Cleveland at New York, TBD
  • Game 4: Cleveland at New York, TBD
  • *Game 5: New York at Cleveland, TBD
  • *Game 6: Cleveland at New York, TBD
  • *Game 7: New York at Cleveland, TBD

*-if necessary

About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.