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Donovan Mitchell leads the Cleveland Cavaliers in our Knicks vs. Cavaliers picks.
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles against Nic Claxton #33 of the Brooklyn Nets. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Can the shorthanded New York Knicks win on the road, or will the Cleveland Cavaliers keep up their strong play at home? Our Knicks vs. Cavaliers prediction is based on the best NBA odds.

If the season ended today, the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks would meet in the first round of the playoffs.

The Knicks were dealt a tough blow earlier this week when it was announced star forward Julius Randle will be out for at least the next two weeks. New York is the No. 5 seed in the East, sitting 2.5 games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets and four games behind the Cavaliers.

The Cavs are 2.5 games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 3 seed, and the competition at the top of the Eastern Conference is surely going to lead to some great games down the stretch.

Can the Knicks get a big win on the road, or will the Cavs clamp down at home against a team missing its top scorer?

Here is our best Knicks vs. Cavaliers prediction (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Knicks vs. Cavaliers prediction

Knicks vs. Cavaliers Under 222 (-110 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

New York has averaged a respectable 115.4 points per game this season (13th in the NBA) and 114 on the road (12th). Those numbers have come with Randle in the lineup, and his absence will be his first of the season. Randle leads the team in points (25.1) and rebounds (10) and ranks second in assists (4.1). Without their primary scoring option and key facilitator, scoring might be difficult.

As if New York’s offense wasn’t facing enough of a challenge, Cleveland is head-and-shoulders above the rest of the Association in points allowed at 106.7, with Miami next at 109.8. The Cavs are even better at home, allowing a league-low 104.3 points per game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, nearly five points fewer than second-place New Orleans (109.1).

Surely the Knicks will be able to catch a break without Cleveland center Jarrett Allen available, right? The Cavs sport a 111.7 defensive rating with Allen in the lineup compared to a 110.6 rating when he’s out. The defense allows fewer points per 100 possessions with him on the sidelines. 

While Cleveland’s defense improves without Allen, the offense suffers. The Cavs scored 113.1 points per game with Allen available compared to just 107.6 when he’s out. This matchup is set up perfectly to hit the Under.

Knicks vs. Cavaliers best odds

FanDuel (-110)

Under 222Under 222Under 221.5Under 221Under 222

Caesars is the only book offering this total at 221, and while we’d be comfortable betting this total down that low, there’s no reason not to take the extra point at DraftKings, FanDuel, or PointsBet when the odds don’t change. There’s no benefit to betting the total at BetMGM, as the odds are shorter and there’s no opportunity to push.

Knicks vs. Cavaliers odds

Check out our NBA Finals odds and NBA MVP odds.

Knicks vs. Cavaliers odds analysis

The Cavs opened as 5.5-point favorites, and the line has moved down to as low as Cavs -4. Bettors have laid 62% of bets on Cleveland to cover.

Cleveland sports an impressive 23-12-2 against the spread record as the home favorite this season, but New York’s 24-14 ATS record as the road team is the second-best in the Association. The Cavs have won and covered in four of their last five, while New York has done so in two straight.

This will be the fourth matchup between these teams this season, and the home team won and covered in each of the first three.

The Knicks have hit the Over in three of their last five, but the team is just 17-19-2 to the Over as the road team this season. Cleveland is 18-20 as the home favorite and has hit the Over in just two of its last five.

These teams hit the Over in just one of three matchups this season. The total opened at 221.5, and it has moved half a point in either direction. Unsurprisingly, bettors favor the Under with 51% of wagers placed on that outcome.

Knicks vs. Cavaliers game info

  • Date: Friday, March 31, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: Bally Sports Ohio
  • Location: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, OH

Knicks-Cavaliers pick made 3/31/2023 at 9:40 a.m. ET.

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