New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors Over/Under Pick


The New York Knicks fading playoff hopes could very well hinge on the outcome of this Friday night's matchup against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. Tip-off for this Atlantic Division battle is set for 7 p.m. (ET) and the game will be available on NBA League Pass.

Point Spread: Toronto -5
Total Line: 193.5
Knicks vs. Raptors Game Overview
The Knicks head into this crucial test two games in back of Atlanta for the eighth and final postseason berth in the East. They also bring a two-game skid into this contest after suffering back-to-back losses to Washington at home and Miami on the road. These setbacks snapped a three-game winning streak so New York is now 3-2 both straight-up and against the spread in its last five outings with the total staying UNDER in four of those games. It is 16-23 SU on the road this season with a 19-20 mark ATS.
The big question mark for New York heading into this game is the health of Carmelo Anthony's shoulder. The team's leading scorer with an average of 27.5 points per game has a deep bruise but it is not supposed to keep him out of the lineup. The Knicks will also need a strong effort from Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to lock-up a much needed win. Chandler leads the team in rebounds (9.8) and Felton leads in assists (5.7).

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Toronto brings a four-game winning streak into Friday night's contest but it is 2-2 ATS during this run. The Raptors are currently tied with Chicago in the East standings at 46-32 and they hold a three-game lead over Brooklyn for the Atlantic Division title so there is still some high motivation to win this game. They have gone 25-14 SU (21-17-1 ATS) at home this season and the total has gone OVER in their last four outings at the Air Canada Centre.
Amir Johnson has been out of the starting lineup the last four games and he remains questionable for Friday night, Toronto is also dealing with the distraction caused by center Jonas Valanciunas' recent arrest for drunk driving. He played in Wednesday's victory over Philadelphia and scored a career-high 26 points so I would expect him to play Friday night as well. Toronto has been a middle-of-road team in the NBA when it comes to scoring points (101.1 PPG) but it has one of the better defenses in the league by holding opponents to just 97.8 points on the other end of the court.

New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors Betting Trends
The Knicks are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a SU winning record at home but they are 4-0 ATS in their last four games playing on three or more days' of rest. The total has gone OVER in four of their last five games following a SU loss.
The Raptors are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games and 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 games at home against a team with a SU losing record on the road. The total has gone OVER in four of their last five Atlantic Division games.
Head-to-head in this matchup, Toronto is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings and the total has gone OVER in four of the last five games. The Raptors swept a home-and-home series both SU and ATS in late December and they will close-out the regular against the Knicks next Wednesday to complete the four-game season series.

Total Line Pick
There is little doubt that the Knicks have to win this game, but I have some serious concerns about Anthony's ability to successfully shoot the ball. He has hit just eight of his last 31 shots while playing through the pain. I do not expect things to get much better this Friday night so I am going against the recent trends in this series with a play on the UNDER in this contest.