Knicks face Celtics in playoff opener

The 2013 NBA playoffs will tip off at Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon, with the New York Knicks playing host to the rival Boston Celtics in that marquee NBA betting matchup.

The Knicks are 3-0 both SU and ATS in their past three games against the Celtics, but just 5-5 both SU and ATS in the past 10 meetings between the Atlantic Division clubs. The UNDER paid out for totals bettors in the last three Knicks vs. Celtics games.

New York battles the Celtics, currently with a 41-40 mark (37-41-3 ATS). The OVER/UNDER records, important for totals bettors, are 40-40-2 for the Knicks and 42-38-1 for the Celtics. (Note: follow us on Twitter for line updates and injuries news).

View Boston vs New York Odds and Stats.

Betting Line:
The visitors opened this morning as 8-point underdogs in this one at most sportsbooks tracked at Odds Shark (including 5Dimes), while the total was hovering around 192.5 at BetOnline and other shops.

Power Rankings / Prediction:
The Knicks - Celtics odds would favor the Knicks if the lines were set according to power ranks. New York is rated No. 9 in our latest Odds Shark poll, while the Celtics sit at No. 16. Math models based on recent stats and predictive formulas point to a 101-97 win for the Knicks.

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How They Match Up:
In rebounding, the battle of the boards features New York's No. 26-rated squad against Boston's No. 29-rated roster. When it comes to long-range shooting, New York rates No. 1 in the league with 10.9 per game, while their foes tonight rank No. 25 with 6.1 per outing.

In comparing how the teams stack up statistically, the Celtics own the league's No. 13-rated mark, allowing 99.5 points per game when playing on the road. New York, on the other hand, rates No. 9 in scoring on their home court.

Boston lost its last outing, a 114-90 result against the Raptors on April 17. The Celtics failed to cover in that game as a 6-point underdog, while the 204 combined points took the game OVER the total. Boston was run off the court by the Raptors on Wednesday as Toronto blasted them 114-90 at Air Canada Centre.

Last time out for New York, they were a 98-92 winner as they battled the Hawks at home. The Knicks covered in the match as a 5-point favorite, while 190 combined points moved the game UNDER for totals bettors. The Knicks got a 33-point performance from Chris Copeland as New York handed Atlanta a 98-92 defeat on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

Boston Celtics Trends:
When playing on Saturday are 3-7
Before playing New York are 8-2
After playing Toronto are 7-3
After a loss are 4-6

New York Knicks Trends:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Boston are 4-6
After playing Atlanta are 8-2
After a win are 8-2

A few Celtics at Knicks trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Boston's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Boston's last 5 games on the road
Boston is 13-5 SU in its last 18 games when playing on the road against New York
Boston is 18-7 SU in its last 25 games when playing New York
New York is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
New York is 16-2 SU in its last 18 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New York's last 5 games at home
New York is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Boston

Next up:
Boston at New York, Tuesday, April 23
New York home to Boston, Tuesday, April 23