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NBA: Knicks vs Cavaliers First Round Series Odds, and Picks

By · April 11, 2023
  • The Knicks closed out the year 47-35, resting their key players down the stretch.
  • Cleveland also eased up as the regular season concluded, totaling 51 wins.
  • These two teams last met on March 31, in a game that the Knicks won 130-116.

The Knicks (47-35) and the Cavaliers (51-31) will meet for a fascinating first-round NBA playoff series. After Donovan Mitchell was nearly traded to the Knicks, he will now be facing them in the postseason.

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Series Schedule

GAME 1

  • When: Saturday, April 15, 2023, at 6 p.m ET
  • Where: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, OH
  • How to Watch: ESPN

GAME 2

  • When: Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at 7:30 p.m ET
  • Where: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, OH
  • How to Watch: TNT

GAME 3

  • When: Friday, April 21, 2023, at 8:30 p.m ET
  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
  • How to Watch: ABC

GAME 4

  • When: Sunday, April 23, 2023, at 1 p.m ET
  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
  • How to Watch: ABC

GAME 5 (if necessary)

  • When: TBD
  • Where: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, OH
  • How to Watch: TBD

GAME 6 (if necessary)

  • When: TBD
  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
  • How to Watch: TBD

GAME 7 (if necessary)

  • When: TBD
  • Where: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, OH
  • How to Watch: TBD

Odds

TeamOdds
Knicks+160
Cavaliers-200

Series Preview

New York made the postseason for the 2nd time in the past 3 years, continuing to grow their young talent. The Knicks have excelled under 3rd-year head coach Tom Thibodeau, and have seen impacts from across the board. Their leading-scorer, Julius Randle, may be inactive for Game 1, but will be re-evaluated soon. Even if he’s out, Jalen Brunson and Immanuel Quickley are dangerous playmakers, and will keep this close.

The Cavaliers already defeated the Knicks for one major prize back in September. They outbid them for superstar Donovan Mitchell, completing a blockbuster trade with the Jazz that surprised many. It has certainly paid off, with Mitchell only improving on his elite level of play. Cleveland did an excellent job of building the league’s best defense around Mitchell, silencing any concerns about his play on defense.


Picks

This should be an incredible playoff series between two dangerous teams. Even with the Donovan Mitchell storyline aside, these are two teams that could make deep postseason runs. I see them splitting the first two games in Cleveland, and then again splitting the next two in New York. I have the Cavs taking Game 5, the Knicks taking Game 6, and then finally New York’s bench being key in a Game 7 road win for the series.

Moneyline:

Keith McCarthy
Contributor Keith McCarthy is an experienced sports analyst with a passion for predicting the outcomes of games spanning across sports such as football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, with a special expertise in college sports.