NBA Picks: Knicks vs. Heat

Steven Suarez

Sunday, April 6, 2014 12:20 PM GMT

The Knicks have been playing far better lately and have also made life difficult on the Heat in the past, but Miami will come in favored comfortably for Sunday afternoon's game in South Beach. Who are we backing with our NBA picks?

Odds Overview 
Opening NBA betting lines reveal the Heat favored by seven points, though a spread of six-and-a-half is also available at certain sportsbooks. Miami is 52-23 SU and 35-38-2 ATS, with New York at 33-44 SU and 34-43 ATS.

The total for Sunday's game was at 187 at time of this writing.

[gameodds]5/261130/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

New York Knicks
With New York's loss to Washington and Atlanta's win, the Knicks moved back down to the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference. With the Hawks set to face the Pacers in Indiana on Sunday, a win for Carmelo Anthony could very well mean they get back into eighth.

The loss to the Wizards on Friday was a tough one to take. J.R. Smith had a chance to win the game at the buzzer but his long-range effort was off and the Knicks ended up losing by a point. 

You can't fault Smith for taking on the responsibility. He was having a killer game, having nailed eight threes (12-of-23 from the floor overall) on his way to a game-high 32 points.

His performance helped make up for an off night for Melo, who had only 10 points on 5-of-14 shooting. He did have eight rebounds, five assists and four steals, but he also turned the ball over nine times. One would expect a bounce-back game against the Heat here.

Coming in, New York has gone 16-22 straight up and an even 19-19 against the spread when playing on the road. They've gone 3-1 SU and ATS over their last four contests away from home, however.


Miami Heat
The Heat will have had all of Saturday to think about their crazy double overtime loss to the Timberwolves on Friday. 

Ahead of tipoff, Miami was favored by eight points in the NBA odds, but it was clear from the start that Minnesota was up for the challenge.

With Dwyane Wade sitting out again, LeBron James and Chris Bosh had to carry the load and they more than obliged. LeBron had 34 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals, while Bosh put up 24 points, nine boards and two blocks. Mario Chalmers (24/6/6) came up big too.

The defense struggled to contain the likes of Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and Chase Budinger and allowed Minnesota to shoot 46.2 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent (12-of-32) from beyond the arc.

Now the Knicks come to town. And while Miami may be 30-7 SU on their home court this season, they're a very poor 16-20-1 against the spread.

Compare the top NBA Championship Betting Lines

NBA Pick
There have been three head-to-head meetings this season, with Miami winning twice both straight up and against the spread. The Heat cruised to a 108-82 victory in the latest meeting back in late February. 

Much has changed since then, however. The Knicks have been playing their best basketball of the season and the Heat have looked as beatable as we've ever seen them in recent weeks.

Of course, it helps that Wade is considered doubtful, with more responsibility therefore falling on the shoulders of LeBron.

When push comes to shove, we figure taking the points with New York is the better way to go with our sports picks. They're going to come out with a lot of focus here and know how important each and every game is at this point in their playoff pursuit. Back the Knicks.

Pick: New York Knicks +7