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Bet On Knicks Heat – Miami Cruise Into All-Star Weekend With Romp Over Linsanity-Led Knicks

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/10/2014 4:15:37 AM

Online betting players have been watching New York with earnest thanks to a winning streak powered by the most unlikely underdog story in sports right now, but on Thursday, the Knicks travel to Miami to face the NBA's best team, and one that may feel like they're not getting the attention they deserve because of what is going on in the "Big Apple".

What: NBA Betting
When: Thursday, February 23rd, 8:00 PM ET
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
Pick: Miami Heat

Why Bet On New York Knicks (16-17 SU, 15-18 ATS as of Wednesday)

The Knicks still have to host Atlanta on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, and they'll be trying to get back on track after a 100-92 loss to New Jersey, also at home, in Carmelo Anthony's first game back after a groin strain. Anthony had 11 points and six assists in his return after missing the better part of eight games, which is when "Linsanity" kicked off in New York, and Jeremy Lin posted 21 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and four steals, but he also fouled out. Anthony wasn't the problem in this game, it was the Knicks' inability to slow down the Nets from three-point territory as New Jersey nailed 15 of their 31 long-range attempts. Deron Williams was the first victim of "Linsanity", and he played with a chip on his shoulder as he burned the Knicks for 38 points, including eight treys.

New York will likely go into this game without rookie Iman Shumpert (knee), who had to take his name out of the dunk contest on All-Star weekend, while Bill Walker (elbow) sat out his second straight contest. This will also give more time for Lin and Anthony to work out the offense, but against the Heat, the Knicks should look towards Amare Stoudemire, who will see a lot of Chris Bosh. Stoudemire has played well since returning to the lineup after the death of his brother, and he and Lin are putting together some solid pick-and-roll chemistry. That may be their best chance at pulling out an upset on the road against the NBA betting favorites to win the title.

Why Bet On Miami Heat (26-7 SU, 17-16 ATS)

The NBA's hottest team continues to roll after a 120-108 victory over Sacramento at home on Tuesday, and Mario Chalmers gave some backup to their superstar trio with 20 points, hitting six of his 12 three-point attempts. Of course, the attack was led by LeBron James (18 points, eight assists), Dwyane Wade (30 points, 10 assists) and Bosh (20 points, 10 rebounds), but when they can get scoring from other players, the Heat are almost impossible to stop. Miami shot an incredible 55.6% from the field, which shouldn’t be surprising as they lead the NBA in that category, and no one in the league is better at getting easy baskets. James, in particular, is shooting 55% from the field, which is good for fifth in the league, and no matter what you think of him, he is the most unstoppable player in the league by a wide margin. The Heat still give up more points per game than you’d think (94.6, 14th in the NBA), but they’re sixth in field-goal defense at 42.4%, so make no mistake: the Kings worked hard for their 108 points, shooting 44.9% from the floor.

Miami heads into their final game before the All-Star break with a clean bill of health, and they usually get up for challenges as they're 11-4 against teams that are .500 or above, and even though the Knicks may not actually get to that mark, the Jeremy Lin story has been the toast of the NBA. Don't put it past the Heat to play with some extra fire as their dominance of the league has been pushed to the side for Lin and the Knicks, and you could see one of their best defensive performances of the season, especially against Lin, who is prone to turnovers.

How It Will Play Out

Miami will surely be the NBA betting favorites in the opener of this week's TNT Thursday doubleheader, and they're 4-1 SU and 2-3 ATS in their last five at home against the Knicks, and the last two meetings have gone under the posted total. The Knicks are 7-8 ATS on the road this season, while the Heat are 8-8 ATS at home, but they've also been favored by nine or more points in half of their last 20 games at American Airlines Arena, which shows how highly sportsbooks think of them.

The Heat should cap the first part of their season with a victory over the Knicks, and even though Lin may get his share of points, he'll also turn the ball over a lot, and the Heat can start a fast break at any time. It’s going to be an entertaining game, but the Heat will end up running away with it late and covering the sports betting spread.

Knicks Heat Betting Pick: Miami Heat

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