Game: Toronto Raptors at New York Knicks
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Raptors +7, Knicks -7
The Raptors have won three straight to move to 4-3 as they head to New York to take on the 5-1 Knicks tonight. New York made some offseason changes to get better on offense. It appears those changes have worked. The Knicks are second in the NBA in scoring averaging 117 points per game. One thing has suffered though and that is head coach Tom Thibodeau’s lock-down defense.
The Knicks led the league in points allowed last season, but now rank 19th through six games. New York is giving up 109.8 points per game. What is also a surprise is the defense of the Toronto Raptors. Through their first seven games, the Raptors are giving up 99.7 points per game. That ranks fifth in the league. Toronto has allowed 100 points or less in four of its seven games so far.
Rookie Scottie Barnes is really playing well for Toronto leading the team in both scoring (18.1 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg). Pascal Siakam, the team’s leading scorer the last two seasons, will probably not return to the Raptors until mid-November. OG Anunoby averages 18 points a game and G Fred VanVleet adds 17 and 7.3 assists.
The Knicks counter with Julius Randle who averages a double-double (20.8 ppg, 11.2 rpg) per night. Evan Fournier (17.5 ppg), RJ Barrett (17.2 ppg), and Kemba Walker (15.0 ppg) have led to the Knicks offensive explosion. Much of that offense is coming from the Knicks’ success from behind the three-point arc. They are shooting 41 percent from three-point range led by Fournier’s 3.8 makes per game and Walker’s 3.7.
The Knicks’ lone loss came to a very poor Orlando team that they had just beaten two nights earlier. Toronto beat the Magic on Friday night 110-109. The Raptors did not cover the spread, which is something they haven’t done well recently. They are 3-4 ATS this season and 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games. The Raptors have done well on the road with a 6-1 ATS record in their last seven away games.
The Knicks are 4-2 ATS this season and they are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against Toronto played at Madison Square Garden. New York has been very good at home recently winning 14 of its past 18 home games.
Tonight’s total might appear low at 211. It’s the lowest total the Knicks have seen so far this season. The Over is 4-2 in the Knicks’ six games this season. The Under is 4-3 in Toronto’s seven games this season. Toronto faced a total of 206 in Friday night’s win over Orlando. That game ended up going Over. The Raptors have been the underdog in two previous games this season. Both of those ended with the total going Under. Toronto is a 7-point underdog tonight. The Raptors have won eight of the last ten games in the series with the Knicks.