The New York Knicks escaped MSG with a series split after losing Game 1 against the Heat, and a 4th quarter comeback was needed in Game 2 despite the absence of Jimmy Butler for Miami.
Butler’s availability for Game 3 in Miami is still labeled with a question mark, but three days off between the venue change could change everything.
Knicks and Heat Set for Big Game 3 Battle
Game 3 NBA Playoffs Round 2 Odds and Details:
New York Knicks @ Miami Heat; Saturday, May 8 @ 3:30 ET
Miami Heat -3 / KY Knicks +3 ~ Total O/U 208
Heat ML -150 / Knicks ML +135
The MSG fans were in full force on Tuesday night, and the big names were out to support the home team in Game 2.
Aaron Rodgers had a front-row seat of his own as he acclimates himself to his new surroundings in the Big Apple. The list of recognizable names in the building for Games 1 and 2 at the Garden are all well and good, but the health of Jimmy Butler is going to decide how the rest of this series will play out.
Aaron Rodgers wasn’t just a Milwaukee Bucks fan, he was a part owner and reportedly dating the daughter of another owner
Jets QB already been to the Garden three times in the last week – both Knicks games & Rangers game pic.twitter.com/zC5zypWbBv
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) May 3, 2023
The line setters have slapped an early -3 on the Heat with a 208 showing on the total, which I have already seen rise to 208.5 in just one day. If you were paying attention to the lines on Tuesday night, the announcement of Butler’s absence made the public go bonkers, as the Knicks went from -7 to -10.5 in the three hours leading up to the tipoff.
Miami easily covered that double-digit closing line in Game 2, and even without Butler on the floor the Heat managed to take a 3-point lead to the halftime locker room and were still up 6 points through the midway point of the fourth quarter.
Kevin Love hit the 3-point shot that gave Miami a 54 – 51 halftime lead, but he ended up only playing 24 minutes while contributing only 8 points in Game 2, the only starter not to put out a double-digit effort on the night.
Caleb Martin led the Heat with 22 points in Game 2, but anyone who watched that game was impressed with the 21-point effort from Gabe Vincent. Vincent basically took over a portion of the game, as he splashed down 4 of the team’s 17 3-point buckets in Game 2 that obviously weren’t enough to get the W.
While Jalen Brunson put up a game-high 30 points in Game 2, he had plenty of support from the guys around him to eventually make up the late deficit to eke out the 111 – 105 win at MSG.
Julius Randle came up with a 25 – 12 effort, and RJ Barrett threw 24 points into the mix for the Knicks in Game 2, although the New York bench added 21 big points to support the win.
Plays to Make for Knicks and Heat Game 3
“We’re not gonna make this a Thibs vs. myself thing. We’re not gonna even talk remotely about that. Because it’s gonna take our entire roster…It’s the Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks”
–– Jimmy Butlerpic.twitter.com/ziheLUPIbl
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) April 29, 2023
Naturally, the state of Jimmy Butler determines any direction you would take to put your action on the board for Game 3 of this series. The total is the first play I have in mind because the Knicks basically watched Miami toss 40 shots from behind the arc in Game 2 with Butler on the sidelines.
I think with or without Butler the total is going to be the best bet to make and I would grab that before it moves to 209 or higher. I assume if Butler does go, that total will inflate and the line on Miami might jump to -5, similarly affecting how the lines for Game 2 changed when Butler was announced as out.
I suggest the Over 208 and if Butler does indeed suit up for Game 3 you damn well better splash the pot with Miami to cover and take an easy home win. Should Butler not dress for Game 3, I am not going to play a side or spread but just expect points to light up the scoreboard regardless.
Knicks vs Heat Game 3 Bet to Make:
Over 208 Points @ -110 (BetUS)