NBA betting: Bettors confident in Knicks, big money on Jazz to bounce back

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Bettors are confident that the New York Knicks will bounce back.

The Knicks dropped Game 1 of their first-round playoff series to the Atlanta Hawks thanks to some late-game heroics from Trae Young, who sent the New York City faithful out of Madison Square Garden stewing.

In Game 2 of the series, the Knicks are two-point favorites at BetMGM with the total set at 212.5. The Knicks opened at -2.5, but the spread has since ticked down a half-point. Still, bettors are siding with New York to even the series at 1-1 before it heads down to Atlanta.

According to BetMGM, 78% of the bets and 80% of the money is on the Knicks to cover the spread. More bettors (69%) are siding with the over as well, though the money is nearly even — 51% on the over, 49% on the under.

Similarly, the Knicks were a 1.5-point favorite for Game 1 but the Hawks ended up winning, 107-105. Before that game, the Knicks closed out the regular season by covering the spread in 15 of their final 20 games.

Can the Jazz rebound in Game 2 vs. Grizzlies?

The biggest upset of the NBA Playoffs so far came when the Memphis Grizzlies went into Salt Lake City and knocked off the Utah Jazz, the West’s top seed, in Game 1.

The Grizzlies were an eight-point underdog in Game 1, yet they were able to pull out a 112-109 victory. In Game 2, the Grizzlies are again big underdogs. This time, the spread is set at 9.5, having already moved a point from the opening spread of Jazz -8.5.

The Jazz will have star guard Donovan Mitchell back in the lineup, but most bettors are siding with Memphis to cover the spread again. According to BetMGM, 66% of the bets are on the Grizzlies. However, the sharp money — 62% — is on Utah to bounce back.

The total in this one is set at 218.5 and most bettors — public and sharp — are on the over. Per BetMGM, 78% of the bets and 84% of the money are on the over.

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell warms up before the start of their NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Salt Lake City. The Utah Jazz announced that All-Star guard Mitchell will miss Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell warms up before the start of their NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Salt Lake City. The Utah Jazz announced that All-Star guard Mitchell will miss Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Will the Wizards cover a big spread again?

Before the Knicks and Hawks tip off, the Philadelphia 76ers — the East’s top seed — will look to take a 2-0 lead over the Washington Wizards.

The Sixers fell behind the Wizards at halftime in Game 1 before pulling out a 125-118 victory. The Wizards narrowly covered the eight-point spread in that one. And again in Game 2 they are eight-point underdogs at BetMGM with the total set at 229.5, a point below the opening number of 230.5.

While the bets are pretty even — 55% on Washington, 45% on Philadelphia — the 76ers have received a large majority of the money at 83%. The Wizards are 23-14-1 ATS on the road this season. 

The splits on the over-under are much closer with 60% of the bets and 61% of the money on the over. The over hit comfortably in Game 1.

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