New York Knicks vs Toronto Raptors Betting Preview
This Thursday night, the New York Knicks head to Toronto to take on the Raptors. The Knicks are coming off a tough loss in overtime to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, falling 128-122 as Thunder star Kevin Durant poured in 44 points for the visitors. The Raptors knocked off the Washington Wizards at home on Tuesday night in relatively easy fashion, 106-89. Let’s take a look at this Thursday night matchup, so you can decide where your NBA betting efforts ought to go.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 28, 2016
Why should you bet on the Knicks?
Pay attention to the injury reports for Toronto, as Kyle Lowry hurt his left wrist and left the game with about four minutes to go, after he had already dropped 29 on the Wizards. If he’s out again, that would leave the Knicks with a big advantage against of the East’s real contenders. Voted a starter for the East in the All-Star Game, Lowry came back with negative X-rays, but he could still miss the Knicks game as a precaution.
In their overtime loss to the Thunder, the Knicks showed that they have really grown as a team. They pushed the Thunder from beginning to end — the Thunder needed all 44 of Durant’s points, as he hit the jumper to tie the game with 16.2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. The fact that the Knicks were missing their leading scorer in Carmelo Anthony (knee) shows you the quality at work in the Knicks’ game. Langston Galloway scored 21 points and Derrick Williams added 19 more, with 10 boards. The Knicks had an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Thunder were able to rally. Arron Afflalo scored 17 for New York and had a good look on a shot that clanged in and out just at the buzzer, a shot that would have given the Knicks a huge win. They could carry this momentum into the Air Canada Centre.
Why should you bet on Toronto?
The Raptors put on a balanced attack against Washington, as they have all season long. In addition to Lowry’s 29 points, Jonas Valanciunas added 13 (with a dozen boards), DeMar DeRozan scored 17 and Terrence Ross chipped in 15. The win over the Wizards gave Toronto nine straight victories, tying a franchise best. If they can knock off the Knickerbockers, Toronto would have won more games in a row than ever before, even the glory days with Vince Carter.
Toronto has built a reputation for an ironclad defense so far this year, and that held against the Wizards as the Raptors held them below 90 points. With Valanciunas going nuts with his ninth double-double so far this year, the Raptors could find their tenth consecutive win in their grasp.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I like Toronto to hold serve at home and fight off a scrappy Knick attack, 98-94. The Knicks continue to grow in the East and could find themselves in the playoff conversation, but they’ll need to build those wins against teams that are further down the standings, at least for now.