Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks
The Cleveland Cavaliers are hoping to win back to back games for the first time since opening the season at 2-0 and another win on Monday will give them the chance to move back to 0.500 for the season. The Cavaliers head to Madison Square Garden to take on the surprising New York Knicks who were back to winning ways this weekend when beating the Sacramento Kings following a loss to the Orlando Magic.
That defeat came without Kristaps Porzingis who continues to thrive in his role as the leader of the New York Knicks since Carmelo Anthony was traded away to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Porzingis has a chance to really announce himself to the nation against the defending Eastern Conference Champions, but the Knicks may also give themselves some real belief on what they can achieve this season if they were to beat Cleveland twice already.
Extra motivation may have been given to the Knicks by comments made by LeBron James this weekend when he suggested the Knicks had made a mistake in their Draft choice. There is no doubt that the entire New York team will want to rally around Frank Ntilikina with the comments Porzingis and Enes Kanter made in support of their teammate.
The Knicks have to be confident of their chances as the home underdog considering how they have been playing over the last couple of weeks after a tough start. The Offensive side of the court has really seen New York thrive and they have to be feeling good about the chances of having a strong showing when going against the Cleveland Defensive unit which has struggled with the new veterans they have in place.
It has also been a surprisingly effective Defensive performance from the Knicks which has sparked their success in the early part of this season. If the Knicks can find a way of making the Cleveland Cavaliers miss, they have the size to win the rebounding against a team who have been missing Tristan Thompson’s energy on the boards.
New York doesn’t have a very good recent record against Cleveland, but they have already beaten them on the road this season. The Knicks are also 3-1 against the spread when given less than 5 points as the underdog while Cleveland is 0-2 against the spread laying less than 6 points as the favorite.
There are plenty of other trends that make the New York Knicks look appealing to cover and I will take the points with the home underdog in what looks a decent spot for them.
Handicap Betting Recommendation: New York Knicks 4.5 points at 2.00
Memphis Grizzlies v Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks might be crediting Eric Bledsoe for sparking their team back into life as they have won back to back games since trading for the Point Guard from the Phoenix Suns. Bledsoe wasn’t at his best in the second of those wins, but he has clearly provided a spark for a young team with big expectations.
The Bucks will be looking to get the better of the Memphis Grizzlies who have dropped four of their last six games and are concluding a five-game road trip with this one on Monday. So far they have split the last four games as Memphis have just lost some of the consistency they would like to see.
It is a transition for the Grizzlies this season with some veteran players moved on and the grinding style now moved on. At first they looked comfortable, but the Grizzlies are perhaps not as talented as they were with the system working for them and that has seen teams being able to have their way with them at times.
That has shown up on the Defensive side of the court in recent games and the Milwaukee Bucks have been playing well enough to think they can become the latest to take advantage of the Grizzlies. However, Memphis will also believe they are able to take advantage of some of the Defensive issues Milwaukee have been having and the key to this game may be on the three-point line.
This has been an area in which Memphis has continued to defend effectively, but now they face a Milwaukee team who have been very good from the three-point range. The team that can win that battle may decide the outcome of this one, but I have to like the Milwaukee chances considering the more consistency they have shown.
Neither team has great numbers in recent games against the spread, but I do like the Bucks at home in this one. With the Grizzlies finishing a long road trip, Milwaukee might be able to take advantage of some tired minds and the Bucks have played well enough in the last few days to make it three wins in a row behind some more big-time shooting from the three-point mark.
Handicap Betting Recommendation: Milwaukee Bucks – 4 points at 1.934
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