Raptors vs. Knicks NBA Odds & Picks: Will New York Cover 12 Consecutive Games? (Saturday, April 24)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Julius Randle.
- New York's magical season continues as it looks to win nine-straight games and maintain position for the Eastern Conference's No. 4 seed.
- Toronto is just trying to sneak into the play-in tournament but has won four games in a row.
- See which team Joe Dellera likes to continuing its winning streak, below.
Raptors vs. Knicks Odds
|Time||Saturday, 1 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday and via PointsBet|
If you told almost any NBA fan over the offseason if the Raptors and the Knicks would be slotted in the No. 4 seed and the No. 12 seed in April, most would not be surprised; however, if you said it was going to be the Knicks in sole possession of the No. 4 seed most would have called you absolutely crazy. But here we are, and the Knicks are actually good while the Raptors are barely alive in the play-in tournament.
Both of these teams are playing well as of late, the Knicks are riding an eight-game winning streak, and the Raptors quietly have a four-game winning streak of their own. Will New York continue their impressive streak and make this nine-straight wins and 12-straight covers or will the Raptors play spoiler?
The Raptors are listing a few players on the injury report for today’s contest. Chris Boucher and Paul Watson are out, and Rodney Hood who missed the Raptors’ last game on Wednesday is questionable. Keep tabs on their status using our Fantasy Labs Insiders Tool.
Not to rain on the Raptors’ parade, but their four-game winning streak has come against the Nets without Durant and Harden, the Thunder without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Magic and the Spurs. While the Nets are good, it’s much less impressive without Durant and Harden, and the Spurs are a fringe playoff team. The Thunder and Magic are just actively tanking.
The Raptors have been mediocre all season, but what is interesting is that based on their offensive and defensive splits, they have essentially been the unluckiest team in the league and have secured 5.2 fewer wins than expected, per Cleaning the Glass. They have a +0.7 point differential good for 14th in the league.
They have missed stretches of games without Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, and Pascal Siakam which has hurt their team as a whole. When those three share the floor, the Raptors are +5.7 points per 100 possessions and have forced their opponents to turn the ball over on 17.6% of their possessions. This trio is critical for the Raptors to succeed.
New York Knicks
The Knicks will be without Alec Burks once again due to health protocols, but Taj Gibson will be available after suffering a laceration.
The Knicks’ defense has been strong all season long, but their season-long Offensive Rating is just 109.9, 21st in the league at the time of this writing, per NBA Advanced Stats. The change during this winning streak is the Knicks have an Offensive Rating of 116.4, tied for fifth-best in the league over their last nine games. The Knicks have changed their shot selection and are taking more 3-point shots, rather than relying on less efficient 2-point shots. As a result, we have seen their eFG% rise from 52% to 54.4%.
This transition to take more 3-point shots makes too much sense, especially in today’s NBA, but for the Knicks it’s a change that was necessary. They shoot 38.7% as a team from long range, good for sixth in the league and 1.5% higher than league average, per Cleaning the Glass. This allows New York to space the floor more appropriately and open up more cutting lanes and passing opportunities.
These two teams played about two weeks ago, and although Fred VanVleet missed that contest, the Knicks held on to win and cover in a defensive battle where neither team shot the ball particularly well.
The Knicks’ strong shooting from 3 should be able to expose this Raptors team which allows opponents to shoot 38% from 3-point range and allows 3-point opportunities at the third-highest frequency in the league. And while Toronto relies on their own 3-point shooting to succeed, the Knicks allow the lowest 3-point percentage to opposing teams. This battle behind the arc favors the Knicks.
The Knicks have been dynamite as a home favorite this season and are an impressive 13-2 ATS, per our BetLabs Database.
Even though VanVleet is playing in this game, I expect the Knicks to continue their hot streak. This line has been buoyed by the Raptors’ winning streak (albeit against lessor or injured teams), and I like the Knicks to cover this number which has already moved a point in their direction from a soft open at -2 to -3 on BetMGM.
Pick: Knicks -3