Will Julius Randle be available for the Game 1 showdown between the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks? That's the question everyone's asking as we head into the 2023 NBA playoffs.
Regardless of Randle's status, this is supposed to be the closest first-round matchup of the postseason. And that's reflected as much in the latest 2023 NBA playoffs betting odds. You can see the betting lines for Game 1, specifically, below:
|New York Knicks||+200||+180||+185|
Always remember to double-check these NBA online betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Knicks vs. Cavaliers betting odds are accurate entering Wednesday, April 12. That gives linemakers plenty of time to shift their odds in advance of tip-off on Saturday, April 15, at 6 p.m. EST. This holds especially true for Cavs vs. Knicks in Game 1. The lines stand to shift in a major way depending on Randle's status, which New York isn't expected to clarify until Friday, April 14 at the absolute earliest.
Of course, you don't have to worry about accessing the latest online NBA betting odds if you sign up with the right lines provider. That's where our reviews of the top online sportsbooks can come in handy. We have covered every nook and cranny of all the biggest names, arming you with the information necessary to find the best online betting sites for the 2023 NBA playoffs in the business.
Cleveland has home-court advantage and more star power. New York has the deeper roster. Which team should you trust entering Game 1? Let's get to our Knicks vs. Cavaliers predictions!
Are the Cleveland Cavaliers Offering Good Value to Beat the New York Knicks?
Paint us every shade of surprised when looking at the latest Knicks vs. Cavs odds. The linemakers are almost seem to be treating it as if Julius Randle won't play in Game 1.
We're not ready to go that far. Randle was reportedly a full participant in Knicks practice on Tuesday. That seems to suggest he'll be ready to go. At the same time, who knows what he'll look like if he does play; ankle injuries can be fickle. On top of that, star point guard Jalen Brunson is dealing with a hand injury. That could be pivotal. His ball-handling and on-a-whim floater are mission critical to the success of New York's half-court offense. If either he or Randle, let alone both, aren't 100 percent, the Knicks will be ultra-reliant on RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to get things done in the half-court.
To New York's credit, they are among the best teams in the league when facing top-10 defenses. But the Cavs are first in points allowed per possession. They have two premier defensive bigs in Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, who could take Randle out of the game while limiting the Knicks' looks at the rim and from floater range. That will put a ton of pressure on New York's outside shooters, which isn't necessarily the roster's strong suit.
The Cavs' own offense figures to match up well with the Knicks' defense, too. Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell are two All-NBA candidates, and New York isn't exactly awash with dominant point-of-attack defenders. Quickley is good in that role. Barrett and Hart are okay, but not great. Brunson will be targeted.
Overall, we're not too comfortable with the Cavs' moneyline. We think they'll win Game 1 in front of their home crowd, but we'd recommend waiting a bit before placing your wager. There's a pretty good chance the lines move in the Knicks' favor a bit and open up a better payout for Cleveland bettors.
OSB Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers (-245)
Here's Why We Should Expect Game 1 Between Cleveland and New York to be Super Close
Take a look at the latest NBA point spread betting odds for Cleveland vs. New York below:
- Cleveland Cavaliers, -6 (-110)
- New York Knicks, +6 (-110)
Six points is an awful lot to lay on the Cavs. Especially when the Knicks have been better on the road than at home this season. Sure, a few of the games between these two teams this year were determined by double digits. But Game 1s typically include a feeling-out process for both sides.
Now, this becomes a different story if either Brunson or Randle is a no-go for Saturday. We're betting they'll both be in the lineup—and that this game will be determined by five or fewer points.
OSB Prediction: New York Knicks, +6 (-110)
Predicting the Over/Under in Knicks vs. Cavs is Going to be Tough
Here are the latest NBA over/under betting odds for Game 1 between the Knicks and Cavaliers:
- Over 214.5 (-110)
- Under 214.5 (-110)
Two of the four meetings played by the Knicks and Cavs so far didn't even come close to hitting a 215-point threshold. We see this game unfolding in a similar fashion.
Not only will both squads be trying to feel out the other, but neither the Knicks nor Cavs play particularly fast. They like to get in the half-court and attack mismatches. That inherently drives down the score. Both offenses also don't take a ton of threes. That also increases the chances that at least one of them fails to eclipse the 100-point mile marker.
Finally, insofar as it helps: Most of the Knicks' road games hit the over this year, while a lion's share of the Cavs' home tilts also finished in the under.
OSB Prediction: Under 214.5 (-110)
Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your 2023 NBA playoffs betting: