NBA Betting: New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers

NBA Betting:  New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers

The New York Knicks took care of business at home to stave off elimination in their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Indiana Pacers but now have to fight to survive once again. This time, however, they’ll have to do so on Indiana’s tough home court. After the teams split the first two games of this series at Madison Square Garden the Pacers grabbed control and a 3-1 lead with two consecutive victories on their home floor. Now Indiana can eliminate the Knicks with a victory here and avoid a return trip to ‘The Big Apple’. The winner of this series will take on the Miami Heat for the right to go to the NBA Finals.

Indiana has been strong on their home floor all season with a 35-11 SU record good for 27-19 against the spread. They’ve also been money in the bank when laying points–as a favorite the Pacers are 44-14 SU/35-23 ATS. As a home favorite in this price range (-3′ to -6) they’re 10-2 SU/9-3 ATS. That being said, this isn’t a bad spot for the Knicks either–they were 15-10 ATS as an underdog. In fact, in a relative matchup the Knicks are a much stronger road team than Indiana which underscores the urgency for the Pacers to close out the series here. Indiana was very erratic away from home–in theory they’re the kind of team that *should* be good on the road but were just 19-21 away from home during the regular season. During the playoffs they’ve had some downright embarrassing road efforts including Games 3 and 4 of the series against Atlanta and the second game of this series.

That being said, we’re not sold on the Knicks who may have played their best basketball of the year during the second half of the regular season. They haven’t been a particularly good pointspread play in the postseason going 5-6 ATS and have a tendency for passive play on the defensive end of the court. Oddly enough, New York has the best opponent PPG of any team in the playoffs but that may be more of a function of who they’ve played and not how they’ve played. We look for the Pacers to take care of business here and advance to the Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.