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Bryan Power

Bryan Power

(561) Indiana Pacers at (562) New York Knicks

(561) Indiana Pacers at (562) New York Knicks
May 8, 2024 8PM EDT
Play Rating:
5% – 1H New York Knicks -2.5 (-105)

5% New York 1H (8:00 ET): First off, please note this is a first half bet. A lot of things went right for Indiana in Game 1. They shot 52.3% from the field (including 10 of 26 from three). The bench had an insane 46-3 edge in points scored over their Knicks’ counterparts. Going into the half, the Pacers led by 9 (after a 31-point 2Q). And yet they still lost. That had to be demoralizing as the Knicks, led by Jalen Brunson’s 43 points (21 in the 4Q), came from behind to take the game 121-117. Indiana covered, but you get the sense they would not have, if not for the strong start. Here in Game 2, it’s the Knicks that I expect will be getting off to a strong start. 

I wasn’t all that surprised to see NY come back and win Game 1 as they’ve been a strong second half team most of the season and they came from behind multiple times in the first round to defeat Philadelphia (who is better than Indiana). But the Knicks also owned the league’s best net 1H rating at home (+7.8), which is why I am targeting them here in the first half of Game 2 (also a little worried about the number of minutes the starters played - could be late fatigue?). Conversely, Indiana has been a below average 1H team on the road this season (-1.8 net rating). So needless to say I do not anticipate seeing a replay of what we saw in Game 1 (when the Knicks, by the way, also turned it over 15 times).  

A big problem for the Pacers is that Tyrese Haliburton is simply not healthy right now. He had only six points in Game 1. Meanwhile, Brunson had his 4th straight 40+ point game while Josh Hart (24-13-8) was a beast and Donte DiVincenzo continued his 3-point assault against the Pacers from the regular season. Let’s not forget Indiana is poor defensively (121.1 PPG allowed on the road). The Knicks didn’t even have much of an edge on the offensive glass in Game 1 like I thought they would. Assuming they do have a more substantial edge here, and don't turn the ball over as much (they won't), it should result in a great start in front of a rabid MSG crowd and you can look for the Knicks to go into halftime with a comfortable lead. 5% New York 1H (Play to -4)

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