The Miami Heat (38-21, 19-14 away) visit the New York Knicks (25-34, 13-17 home) Friday night for an Eastern Conference showdown in the Big Apple. Miami’s won six of their last seven matchups, while the Knicks have dropped three in a row and seven of their previous eight. Miami won the first tilt between the two teams, 110-96, last month.
Friday’s tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. EST inside Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. Miami is a 4.5-point road favorite, and the over-under total is currently at 211.0 points.
What to Know – Miami Heat
Miami sits atop the Eastern Conference standings in a tie with the Chicago Bulls. The Heat have won their last five road contests, including a 111-107 double-overtime thriller over Charlotte on Thursday.
The Heat are seventh in the East, averaging 108.9 points per game while shooting 46.0% from the field and 37.3% from the 3-point line. Miami’s defense ranks third in the East, surrendering 104.4 points per game, allowing teams to shoot 44.2% from the floor and 34.3% from beyond the arc.
Kyle Lowry scored 25 points, and the Miami Heat rallied to knock off the Charlotte Hornets on prior to the All-Star break. Ducan Robinson added 21 points and P.J. Tucker, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo all collected double-dobules. Miami played without Tyler Herro, Dewayne Dedmon, and Caleb Martin.
Miami is 33-25-1 against the spread this season with a 19-13-1 mark ATS on the road. Miami is 7-2 ATS over their last nine games against the Knicks.
What to Know – New York Knicks
The banged-up Knicks needed the break to regroup after closing out the first half of the regular season with three-straight losses. New York suffered a 111-106 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in their last contest before the break.
New York scores 105.1 points per game, 13th in the East, hitting 43.4% of its shots from the floor and 35.2% of its shots from deep. The Knicks’ defense holds opponents to 106.6 points per game, 44.5% shooting from the field, and 34.6% shooting from three.
Julius Randle erupted for 31 points, but it wasn’t enough for the short-handed Knicks to overcome a 38-point outburst by the Nets in the final stanza of play. Randle added ten rebounds, and Immanuel Quickley came off the bench to score 18 points. New York led by as many as 28 points in the second half before the Brooklyn comeback.
The Knicks are 26-33 ATS and 13-17 ATS on their home court. New York is 1-7 ATS over their previous eight games.
The Pick is In
Friday’s matchup is the first contest of the second half for both teams. Miami ended the first half on a high note, while the Knicks needed a reset after a disastrous final few weeks.
Getting RJ Barrett back to the lineup would be huge for New York, but even if he can go, the injuries to key players is still too much to overcome against one of the top teams in the East. Miami wins comfortably.
Betting Pick: Miami Heat -4.5