NBA Odds: Cavaliers Will Cover At Knicks Team Playing In Back-To-Back

Lebron James

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 2:22 PM GMT

The New York Knicks wouldn't be given a great shot to beat Cleveland regardless, but those chances are likely less Wednesday at Madison Square Garden with the Knicks playing their second game in 24 hours. The Cavs are -7.5 on BookMaker NBA odds.

Cavaliers Back In Form?

When you are the defending NBA champions and highly favored to win your conference again, things can get boring in the slog that is the 82-game regular season. I think Cleveland (14-5) just went through that with a three-game losing streak last week in losing to Milwaukee, at home against the Clippers and then in Chicago. The Cavs weren't even all that competitive.

But clearly LeBron James and Co. were motivated on Monday night when they visited Toronto in the third meeting of the season already between last year's Eastern Conference finalists. The Cavs looked back to normal with a 116-112 win to improve to 3-0 against the Dinos this year. James took it upon himself to carry the load with a season-high 34 points in 42 minutes. Kevin Love had 28 points and 14 rebounds, Kyrie Irving 24 points and seven assists, and Canadian Tristan Thompson six points and 14 rebounds.

Starting shooting guard J.R. Smith left early with a knee injury, and it didn't look good live. But it appears that the Cavs avoided disaster as an MRI revealed no structural damage and  Smith might even play Wednesday. Cleveland did get back small forward Mike Dunleavy from a two-game injury absence Monday but he played only seven minutes.

The Cavs raised their NBA championship banner and got their title rings on Oct. 25 to open the season and then went out and crushed the visiting Knicks 117-88. LeBron had a triple-double of 19 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds, the first-ever triple-double by a Cavalier on opening night. Irving had 29 points.

Cleveland has won seven straight overall against the Knicks by an average margin of 12.5 points. New York has been held to less than 90 points in six of those games. It also has dropped five in a row at home in the series. LeBron averages 28.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in his career at Madison Square Garden -- he loves playing at the "World's Most Famous Arena." Irving is averaging 28.4 points at MSG, his best of any NBA arena.

The Cavaliers are 7-11-1 ATS on NBA odds this season.

 

Knicks Playing Their Best Ball

New York (12-9) won a fourth straight game Tuesday at the injury-depleted Heat, 114-103. Carmelo Anthony tied his season high with 35 points and Kristaps Porzingis had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Joakim Noah had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds in just 14 minutes, and Courtney Lee returned from a two-game injury absence with nine points and seven rebounds as the Knicks got three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2012-13 season.

However, point guard Derrick Rose left the game with back spasms. If you know Rose's injury history, it's hard to see him playing in this game. Rose said it was not just his back, but part of his right side that was bothering him all the way to his groin. Brandon Jennings would start if Rose is out.

Anthony averages 22.0 points and 8.2 rebounds in his career against Cleveland. He led the Knicks with 19 points in the first meeting. The Knicks are 0-4 in the second of a back-to-back this season, 0-1 at home (118-99 loss to Houston).

The Knicks are 13-8 ATS on NBA picks.

NBA Free Pick: Cavaliers -7.5Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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