Take the Cavs (-5.5) on Monday Night When They Host the Knicks

The New York Knicks (+5.5) travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. J.B. Bickerstaff finally has a long-term contract and is on pace for his best season as a head coach. The Cavaliers are coming off of a 94-87 victory at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Cleveland has won six of its last seven. Meanwhile, the Knicks have not been too high or low this season.

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Looking back at the last meeting between the Cavaliers and Knicks, it is a shock to see that the Knicks were 7.5-point favorites. However, at that time, the Knicks were 6-3 and the Cavaliers were 6-4. The Cavaliers ended up winning the game by a whopping 17 points behind a career-high 37 points from Ricky Rubio on November 7, 2021. The victory, which was the Cavs’ fourth in a row at the time, gave the NBA world the indication that Cleveland should be an interesting team this season. Then, Cleveland would go on to have winning streaks of four, six, and five.

There was unfortunate news for Cavs fans, as Rubio and Collin Sexton both encountered season-ending injuries, but Cleveland is primed to be a decent playoff team. The Cavaliers also brought veteran guard Rajon Rondo to Cleveland. The Knicks have had their fair share of injuries as well, but they are getting healthier. It is just Derrick Rose who is sidelined for the long term after having right ankle surgery. Kemba Walker has been dealing with knee issues as well.

How the Cavaliers will Cover the Spread

The Knicks have played pretty average basketball this season, so expect a duplicate performance by the Cavaliers on January 24. Cleveland is in a hotly-contested Central Divison, so every win counts. The Cavaliers are battling the Chicago Bulls and defending champion Milwaukee Bucks for the divisional crown. The Cavaliers bring a top-three defense into the game on Monday night against the Knicks’ 24th-ranked offense.

In the meeting earlier this season, the Cavs flexed their muscles on defense, especially from 3-point land. Including the victory at Madison Square Garden, Cleveland has held opposing offenses to 30 percent or worse shooting from deep 15 times this season. The Cavs are 13-2 in those games. The key once again for them will be the 3-point line.

Unfortunately, the Cavs may not be able to have a season-best 3-point shooting performance this time around. At MSG, they shot 19-for-35 from 3-point. On the bright side though, Cleveland is a perfect 10-0 when shooting at least 40 percent from downtown in 2021-22. The best advice is to take the Cavs, who are only giving only 5.5 points at home in this contest against the Knicks.