Tom Thibodeau and the New York Knicks are closing in on their first playoff berth since 2013. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire).
- The New York Knicks are 3-point favorites over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday (April 24th, 1 pm ET)
- New York has reeled off 11 straight ATS victories
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
Two of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference clash on Saturday (April 24th, 1 pm ET) for a matinee affair at Madison Square Gardens. The hometown New York Knicks enter play winners of eight straight, while the visiting Toronto Raptors are riding a four-game winning streak of their own.
Raptors vs Knicks Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline at FanDuel||Total|
|Toronto Raptors||+3 (-105)||+134||O 216.5 (-105)|
|New York Knicks||-3 (-115)||-158||U 216.5 (-115)|
Odds as of April 23rd.
New York opened up as a 3-point favorite, in a game that features a total of 216.5. The Knicks got past Atlanta in overtime on Wednesday, while the Raptors were victorious over shorthanded Brooklyn in their last outing.
Raps Beat Up Brooklyn
Toronto took advantage of a Nets squad without Kevin Durant and James Harden, by downing Brooklyn by 11. Pascal Siakam led the way with 27 points and 9 rebounds, while OG Anunoby poured in 25.
After playing most of the season with a depleted roster of their own, both Fred Van Vleet and Kyle Lowry were back in the lineup, helping the Raps move within a half game of 10th place and a spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament.
Fantasy numbers from @pskills43
27 Pts | 9 Reb | 6 Ast | 2 Stl pic.twitter.com/jERsz4WrmL
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 22, 2021
The belief was Toronto was looking to tank after such a lousy start, but despite trading away three players at the deadline, this recent winning streak has them knocking on the playoff doorstep. They’re currently tied with Chicago for 11th place in the East, and have the same number of wins as 10th place Washington.
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Knicks Continue to Roll
New York meanwhile, hasn’t lost in two-plus weeks after beating Atlanta 137-127. Eastern Conference player of the week Julius Randle led the way with 40 points and 10 rebounds, while Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley added 20, and R.J. Barrett poured in 16.
3rd 40+ point game of the season for Ju. He put on a show 🍿@J30_RANDLE | #NewYorkForever pic.twitter.com/X9uSdt8eHH
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) April 22, 2021
The Knicks shot 53.8% from the field, and 54.3% from three en route to sweeping the season series with the Hawks, and have now shot 47.4% or better in four straight games. They’ve also cleared 115 points in five of their last eight contests, showing big signs of improvement for a team that ranks in the bottom-five in points per outing.
EIGHT STRAIGHT KNICKS WINS! pic.twitter.com/uPHhiy60YY
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) April 22, 2021
Defensively, last game not withstanding, New York is elite. They rank first in the entire NBA in points against and opponent field goal percentage, while no team is better at defending the three-point line. They’ve allowed 109 points or less in six of their past nine contests, and the only three games where they didn’t hold an opponent below 110 points all went to overtime.
Now Is Not the Time to Fade New York
The Knicks recent surge has moved them up to fourth place in the East, and in prime position to advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Their current winning streak sits at eight, but they’ve actually been riding an even more impressive streak ATS. New York has covered 11 straight games, and are 25-12 ATS versus Eastern Conference opponents.
Their 19-10-1 ATS at home, and were victorious both straight up and against the spread in their last meeting with Toronto on April 11th.
As for the Raptors, their recent run has been nice, but let’s consider the competition. Brooklyn was the only team they beat ranked inside the top-8 in either conference and they were missing arguably their top-two players. Wins over OKC, Orlando and San Antonio are nothing to brag about, and prior to the victory over the Nets, Toronto had dropped five straight versus top-8 competition. Expect them to come crashing down to earth against a very strong Knicks squad on Saturday.
Pick: New York Knicks -3 (-115)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.