Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:15 PM EST.
Atlanta over NEW YORK
7:05 PM EST. There’s so much to discuss here but let’s start off with the Knicks being about the hottest commodity in the NBA for an extended period of time. No team in the NBA cashed more tickets than the Knicks (64.3%) this entire season and you can add another 15% to that to make it look closer to 80% in the final month of the regular season. To suggest New York’s stock is high would be an understatement yet on this gorgeous Sunday, where everyone on the East Coast will be outside enjoying the weather, the oddsmakers opened with the Knicks being a -1 point favorite in the prime-time spot of the day. On this gorgeous, early Sunday spring day, nobody gives a fuck about the first two afternoon games but bettors will be flocking to their TV’s to watch the Knicks/Hawks at 7, followed by Memphis/Utah at 9:30. Point is, very few will be betting the Hawks because the oddsmakers made the Knicks, the hottest team in North American sports, such an appealing choice at home.
There is talk in the media (listen to Stephen A if you want to vomit), that the Knicks are back baby, that they have a chance to get to the finals this year in such a wide open field, yet the oddsmakers have the Knicks listed at 70-1 to win it all and 36-1 to make it to the East Finals. Raise your hand if you have already bet that. Of course you have, who wouldn’t? Nets +240, Milwaukee 6-1, Knicks +70-1? Seriously? The point once again is that the Knicks look like a gift but the Futures prices suggest the oddsmakers give the Knicks almost no chance of advancing past the second round, should they even get by the first round. You have to understand that we’re not discussing some small market team here with little exposure. The New York Knicks are getting a galaxy of media coverage and positive press. We promise you that the media has massive influence on market perception. By the time this one tips off at 7:00 PM or thereabouts, one can expect to be spotting a point or two more so if you’re on the Knicks, bet it now. If you’re with us on Atlanta, wait until you consume your last BBQ baby back rib, then bet it.
We would be remiss to not mention other fodder that the media and market is salivating over regarding the Knicks’ chances against Atlanta. The Knicks fashioned a 3-0 regular-season sweep of the Hawks. Oddsmakers couldn’t care less, as they could have opened this game at -2½ New York and not swayed a single wager. By game time, the efficient market will very likely have this price up to -2½ anyway.
A good way to win the series is to win Game 1 on the road. The shooters surrounding Clint Capela for the Hawks – Trae Young, Bogan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari, LouWilliams – are more reliable than the shooters surrounding New York’s Julius Randle. The Knicks went 16-4 straight up in their last 20 games. Again, they owned the NBA’s best point-spread record, making them the most underrated team in the league...for the first 72 games but the gig is up. The line is screaming that the market is about to pay the price so let’s try and take advantage of the Knicks being the most overvalued team in the playoffs. It’s also worth noting that despite being an underdog in Game 1 and despite New York having a home court edge and despite the media gushing all over the Knicks, Atlanta is favored to win the series. Friends, if we read between the lines, Atlanta is the prudent play to a large degree.
The wagers are as follows:
If you are able to: Bet365 offers Game and series double at +200 (That is our 2 unit wager).
If you can’t do that, we’re suggesting Atlanta in Game 1 @ +112 or thereabouts.
If the Knicks win Game 1, come back with a Series bet on Atlanta before Game 2.
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Atlanta (Gm & Series Double) +200 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 4.00)