Cleveland is favored by two points over the visiting Knicks
Everybody is still talking about (and recovering from) yesterday’s Super Bowl. I want to send a big congratulations to all of Chiefs Kingdom for proving me wrong in my Super Bowl prediction. Watching San Francisco lose put a big smile on this Packer fan’s face. Still though, the sports world continues to turn even after the biggest game in the country is played, so we must still venture onward into the treacherous landscape that is sports betting.
The Knickerbockers will conclude their four game series with the Cavaliers tonight in Cleveland. New York currently holds a 2-1 advantage in this series, but at this moment in time, it might better serve both teams to lose. Neither franchise will make a miraculous second half run and find themselves in the playoffs at the end of the season, they’re just not good enough. In fact, by record, these are two of the four worst teams in the NBA. The other two squads at the bottom of the league are the Hawks and the Warriors. However, this matchup will have major implications come May when the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery is held. As it stands right now, the 14-36 Knicks are a full game ahead of the 13-37 Cavaliers in the NBA standings. In the current lottery system, the difference between the 3rd worst record and the 4th worst record is significant. The team that finishes with the 3rd worst record in the league has a 14% chance of securing the 1st overall pick in the draft, which is almost the same odds as the 1st and 2nd worst teams in the league. Meanwhile, the team that finishes with the 4th worst record in the NBA only has a 12.5% chance of landing the top overall pick. It doesn’t seem like a big difference, but I would rather have a 14% chance than a 12.5% chance, that’s just simple math. As odd as it may sound, the losing team in this game may be the real winner in the end. We won’t officially know until the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery which is slated for Tuesday, May 19th. That’ll will be an interesting day for certain depending on how the rest of the season plays out.
With all that in mind, it goes without saying that professional teams don’t play to lose and get draft picks. It was the immortal Herm Edwards who said, “you play to win the game!” I expect both teams to come out tonight with winning aspirations, especially since this will be one of the more winnable games for either one of these squads.
It is pretty obvious that both these teams are not very good, as I mentioned before. Right now though, I think the Knicks are a bit better than the Cavaliers. New York has won three of their last seven games, which is pretty good for a bottom-feeder franchise like the New York. The Cavaliers have been abysmal though as of late. Cleveland has just one win in it’s 11 games, including a head-to-head 20-point loss against the Knicks at home! Just how bad have the Cavs been? According to ESPN, they have lost to a team with a losing record six times in their last 11 games. That means this one should definitely favor the Knicks, who get most of their wins against other bad franchises.
The only thing that troubles me if I’m New York is the injury situation. RJ Barrett will still be out in this game due to an ankle injury. On top of that, Mitchell Robinson is nursing a sore hamstring, and Julius Randle will be hindered by a quadricep injury. When push comes to shove though, I think the Knicks will still take this one. Marcus Morris Sr. looks to be completely healthy, and he has been the Knicks’ most dynamic scorer so far this season. Factor in the Cavs’ miserable record against bad teams, and I think this could be another double-digit win for the Knickerbockers. I am taking New York to win this one outright.