Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for Game 5 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup at Madison Square Garden, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on TNT.
Boston could’ve road off into the sunset after going down by a 3-0 deficit in this series, but it captured a 97-90 overtime victory as 1.5-point home underdogs in Game 4 Sunday, while going OVER the betting total of 181.5.
The Celtics are 3-0 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) off an upset win as a home underdog dating back to the start of the regular season, with two of those games climbing above the total.
Still in command
New York certainly wants to end things here, especially considering that no team has ever blown a 3-0 series lead in the NBA playoffs, but it won’t be easy in trying to eliminate a proud franchise on the other end.
The Knicks are 7-3 SU and 3-7 ATS revenging a loss versus an opponent as a road favorite, with the OVER going 6-4 in those 10 opportunities.
NBA handicappers are certainly aware that there’s one statistic that jumps off the page in this series, with the Knicks enjoying a +4.0 advantage in terms of turnovers through four games.
The Celtics are averaging 16.8 miscues, which is 2.2 higher than their final numbers during the regular season in that particular category. Boston would likely have the series in its favor if not for point guard Rajon Rondo being out for the year with a knee injury.
Dynamic duo—together again
Carmelo Anthony is averaging 33.0 points per game in this series, but is coming off a 10 for 35 shooting performance at the TD Garden, as the Knicks offense struggled to find its rhythm without Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith.
Smith averaged a career-best 18.1 points during the regular season, but was suspended for a game due to landing an elbow on the chin of Boston’s Jason Terry.
I'm expecting his energy off the bench to provide the necessary lift in covering this number in front of the home crowd.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Knicks as one of their NBA picks Wednesday night, as they’ve covered the number in five of the last seven overall meetings in this series.
Boston will fall to 7-22 SU and 11-16 ATS as a road underdog since the start of the 2012-13 campaign.
NBA Pick: New York Knicks -8.5 at Bet365