The New York Knicks head to Miami to take on the Heat. The Heat are a very strong home team and are favored by the NBA odds, but are they the right NBA pick?
New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat
Wednesday, January 26, 2022- 7:30 PM EST at FTX Arena
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks fought valiantly but fell short against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night. The Knicks were down by 15 at one point in the fourth quarter. They erased the deficit and had a chance of victory when Julius Randle's 3-point shot missed its mark.
So while the loss was disappointing, the Knicks did exceed expectations and covered the spread against the NBA odds. Before the game, the Knicks had a winning record on the road, yet a losing record at home. After the loss, the Knicks are now .500 on the road at 11-11 on the year.
The Knicks will be playing on one-day rest in this game. The Knicks have been disappointing without multiple rest days. The Knicks are 12-19 on the year in games with which they have one day of rest.
The Knicks are a streaky team this season and, unfortunately, the Knicks are currently trending downward. The Knicks have lost four of their last five games. All is not bleak in New York, however. RJ Barrett has been a bright spot for the Knicks with his continued development this season.
They are currently second in the team in scoring at 17.4 points per game. Barrett is often called upon to create his own shot and has been doing better finishing with both hands, after being primarily a left-handed scorer last season. The Knicks hope that RJ Barrett continues to develop into a strong offensive option.
The Miami Heat have been excellent at home this season. They currently have the best record at home in the Eastern Conference at 16-5. While their opponent tonight, the Knicks, have struggled on one day of rest, the Heat have the rest advantage this evening.
A well-rested Heat team is dangerous. The Heat are 8-0 this season in games played where they have had two days of rest. While the Knicks are struggling downward, the Heat are trending in the right direction. This is no surprise since they recently returned Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo to the lineup.
The Heat have gone 7-2 in their last nine games. The Heat have also been able to avoid losing streaks. The Heat have not lost consecutive games since November. The Heat is not at full-strength with Kyle Lowry out and Tyler Herro being questionable. Yet the Heat have been one of the best teams at adapting to missing players out of the lineup.
They have been the epitome of a “next man up” culture. Of all the teams in the league, you can argue that the Heat has absorbed injuries and covid protocols called better than any other team.
Jimmy Butler vs. RJ Barrett
As mentioned earlier, RJ Barrett has been the key to the Knicks perimeter offense especially with Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose missing time. Jimmy Butler is the Heat's best perimeter defender and is known for locking down opposing stars.
Butler plays a tough energetic brand of defense that can shut down even the strongest of scorers. If RJ Barrett is able to prove that his improvement this season is for real and score against one of the NBA's best defenders in Butler, the Knicks have a great chance to cover the NBA odds or even win outright.
If Jimmy Butler is able to put the clamps on RJ Barrett, the Heat will have a great chance of victory and covering the spread.
I like the Heat to get it done tonight against NBA odds. The Knicks have been an inconsistent team, and I can always count on a good Heat performance at home. The Knicks fought hard against Cleveland, but the Heat are a tier above the Cavaliers.
The Heat will not let a stranglehold slip away as the young Cavaliers did. The Heat also has an advantage during the bench minutes, which is key to covering the spread. RJ Barrett has a tough matchup against Jimmy Butler, which could completely neuter the Knicks' offense.
The Heat play defense the way the Knicks would like to. The Heat is an example of how Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau wants his team to play. Today's best bet is the Miami Heat -6.5 (-110).
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.