NBA Pick: Road Dog Raptors to Cover Against Knicks

Darin Zank

Sunday, December 14, 2014 5:26 PM GMT

New York just broke a 10-game losing streak, and still hasn't won two in a row yet this season. The Knicks, one of the worst bets in the Association so far at 9-16 ATS, goes searching for that first winning streak when they host East-leading Toronto Sunday night at the Garden.

Raptors-Knicks Betting Odds
Most NBA odds opened this game with Toronto favored by six points, the total proffered at right around 201. Many books then bumped the Raptors to -6.5 and -7, and dropped the total by about a bucket, to the 199 range.

Those who believe New York might surprise us and win this game outright could get a price of +255 on the moneyline at SBR Sportsbook.

 

Raptors-Knicks: The Situation
New York went off this season with a wins OVER/UNDER of 41. But at 5-20 the Knicks have to go 37-20 the rest of the way to go OVER their totals. Good luck with that.

The New York Knicks just snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 101-95 victory at Boston Friday night. The Knicks shot 49 percent from the floor, held the Celtics to 44 percent shooting, and won outright as six-point dogs.

That was the first time in nine games New York hit the 100-point mark, and the first time in six games the Knicks held their opponent under 100.

Toronto went off this season with a wins betting OVER/UNDER of 49. At 17-6 Toronto owns the best record in the Eastern Conference, and is on a great pace to play OVER its win total.

However, after starting this season 13-2, the Raptors are coming back to Earth, going 4-4 both SU and ATS over their last four games. Tuesday night they lost at Cleveland 105-101, but hung on for the cover as six-point dogs. And Friday Toronto pulled away for a 106-94 victory over Indiana, covering as a nine-point favorite.

The Raptors led the Cavaliers Tuesday 73-59 in the third quarter, but went cold in the fourth, as Cleveland rallied. Friday Toronto only shot 42 percent from the floor, but hit 20 of 22 free-throws, held the Pacers to just 41 percent shooting and won the battle on the boards 58-47.

 

Raptors-Knicks, By the Numbers
Toronto ranks 10th in the league in FG shooting at 46 percent, 12th in 3-point marksmanship at 36 percent and second in FT shooting at 80 percent. The Raptors also rank 23rd in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot 46 percent, 16th in rebounding at -.3 per game, and own a per-game assist-to-turnover ratio of 20/11, which is nice.

New York ranks 18th in FG shooting at 45.5 percent, eighth in 3-point shooting at 37 percent and fourth in FT shooting at 79 percent. The Knicks also rank 14th in FG defense at 45 percent, 26th in rebounding at -2.7 per game, and own a 21/14 A/TO ratio.

 

Raptors-Knicks Recent History
This is the first meeting this season between these two teams. Last year New York managed to split four games with Toronto, even though F Carmelo Anthony missed three of those games.

 

Raptors-Knicks Betting Trends
Toronto is 15-9 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, with six OVERS in its last seven games, as Raptors contests have averaged 209 points.

New York is 13-11 on the totals, as Knicks games have averaged 194 points.

Toronto is 6-3 SU, 7-2 ATS on the road this season.

New York is 3-9 both SU and ATS at home.

 

Injury Update
Anthony sat out Wednesday's loss at San Antonio with a sore knee, then scored 22 points in 39 minutes in the win at Boston Friday night. His status for Sunday is still a little uncertain. Also, guard Iman Shumpert hurt his shoulder Friday night and is out for the foreseeable future, and JR Smith missed Friday's game with a sore heel, and he's also iffy for Sunday.

On the other side of the scorers' table Toronto G DeMar DeRozan (19 PPG) is out with a torn thigh muscle. Toronto is 4-3 both SU and ATS since DeRozan went down, and it's hit the 100-point mark in six of those seven games.

 

Raptors-Knicks Free Pick
Nobody's going broke these days fading New York, and until the Knicks start showing some kind of improvement, the fade remains the play. So we are taking Toronto as our NBA pick, at what should be a manageable spread.

Free NBA Pick: Raptors at -6.5 at BetOnline