The first game of the Saturday slate should be a good one, with the Knicks hosting the Raptors at 1 PM EST.
New York is on an incredible 11-0 against the spread run, and have won eight straight games. Toronto is fighting to remain in the playoff mix.
Let’s get a glimpse at both teams and make a pick for Raptors at Knicks.
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Toronto Raptors: Live and Die by the Three
The Raptors are 25-34, half a game back from the 10th seed, which qualifies for the play-in tournament.
On paper, the Raptors have a solid team. Ranked 18th on offense and 11th defensively, Toronto has the balance to put it together.
The Raptors are coming on strong of late, winners of four straight. Pascal Siakam leads the team in points and rebounds, with 20.9 and 7.2.
Fred VanVleet has played a solid supporting role once again, averaging 19.4 points to go along with 6.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
Offensively, the Raptors prefer to shoot the three – ranked third in threes made per game. Defensively, they lock down the interior, allowing the second least amount of points in the paint.
Their defense is susceptible to the long-ball, 24th guarding the perimeter.
The Raptors are 10-19 on the road, 26-33 ATS, and 32-27 against over/unders.
New York Knicks: All Defense
The Knicks are the hottest team in the NBA, winners of eight straight. The streak has catapulted them to the upper half of the East, currently in fourth place at 33-27.
Their success starts on the defensive end, as the Knicks own the top overall defense in the entire league.
Their offense leaves a bit to be desired, though it has come on strong. In terms of points per game and shooting efficiency, New York ranks 26th in the NBA.
Julius Randle leads the Knicks in scoring, with 23.9 points per game. Randle leads New York in all major categories, chipping in 10.5 boards and 6.1 assists.
Nerlens Noel has been a huge part of New York’s success, a legitimate contender for Defensive Player of the Year. Noel averages 2.2 blocks per game and one steal.
The Knicks are a steady team. Their defense is strong against all offenses, and their own offense isn’t particularly strong at any one thing.
New York is 20-10 at home, a league-best 38-21-1 ATS and 26-34 against over/unders.
Game Pick: Keep Betting on the Knicks
11-0 ATS in their last eleven is a remarkable run for New York, and it’s one we should continue pushing.
The Knicks match up well with Toronto. They are the best defense against three-pointers, so the one theoretical advantage for the Raptors is wiped away.
This is the third game between these two teams and the rubber match for the season. New York won most recently, and I expect a repeat on Saturday afternoon.
Bet the Knicks to cover the spread.