Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting odds for Game 1 of this Eastern Conference semifinal matchup from Madison Square Garden, with the opening tip scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.
Indiana snapped a 13-game losing streak in Atlanta that dated to December 2006, as it eliminated the Hawks in six games with a 81-73 victory as one-point road underdogs Friday night.
The Pacers are 11-11 straight up (SU) and 12-10 against the spread (ATS) in the NBA playoffs the last two-plus seasons, with no advantage found in terms of the betting total (11-11 Over/Under).
Never a dull moment
New York jumped out to a 3-0 series lead against Boston in their quarterfinal series, but needed six games to finally move past the opening round for the first time since 2000, as it tallied a 88-80 victory as two-point road favorites in Game 6.
The Knicks went 12-6 SUATS versus Central division opponents during the regular season, with the UNDER going 12-6 in that situation.
Regular season series
The home team won all four meetings during the regular season in SU fashion, while posting a 3-1 ATS record. Total players will find that the UNDER was 3-1 in those four contests, with both games in the Big Apple falling below the number.
NBA handicappers will find that the Knicks are 6-2 ATS in the last eight overall meetings between these two rivals.
Indiana shot just 35.9 percent from the field in three road games against Atlanta, which is a bit concerning if you’re interested in backing this team as one of your NBA playoff picks Sunday, as New York has allowed just 83.2 points over its last five games.
The Pacers scored just 156 combined points in dropping both road games against the Knicks during the regular season.
All eyes will be on Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, as the NBA’s regular season scoring champion averaged 29.2 points per game versus Boston, but he’s been nursing a left shoulder injury over the last few contests.
The former Syracuse Orange star has averaged 25.1 points on 44.4 percent shooting in his career against the Pacers, but was held to 22.0 in three meetings during the 2012-13 campaign.
Game 1 outlook
I established the Knicks as 4.5-point favorites against the Pacers in the series opener, which signals that I should grab the points Sunday.
Indiana will likely improve to 8-3 ATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points.
NBA Pick: Indiana Pacers +5.5 at Pinnacle for your NBA picks