Winning Streak Ends for Somebody

Both the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors have enjoyed successful starts to the 2021/22 NBA season. Each team comes into Monday night’s matchup at Madison Square Garden on a three-game win streak, and the Knicks at 5-1 are tied with four other teams atop the Eastern Conference. 

While both teams are hot, betting odds favor New York at home here, with BetUS and BetOnline having the Knicks as -7 point home favorites. The Raptors (4-3) are playing just their third road game of the season in this matchup, so does that negate them from being one of Monday night’s NBA picks?

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Raptors Rookie Excelling 

Toronto knew they were going to have an adjustment period coming into this season after the offseason sign-and-trade of Kyle Lowry to the Heat. Pascal Siakam is also sidelined until mid-November with a shoulder injury, so the fact that the Raptors are 4-3 is kind of impressive. 

One reason to like Toronto getting the +7 points in Monday’s match is because Scottie Barnes has made the transition to the NBA seamlessly. The rookie out of Florida State was the #4 pick in the draft, so he does have high expectations, but he’s responded well in averaging 18.1 ppg and 8.7 rpg. 

Barnes has scored in double figures in every game, which is saying something considering Toronto is only averaging 103.7 ppg. Totals betting on the ‘under’ seems like a play for Monday night (O/U 211) because the Raptors also rank in the top five in defensive scoring, giving up just 99.7 ppg.

Knicks Have Depth 

New York has covered the betting spread frequently this season, going 4-2 ATS so far. One of the main reasons they’ve been able to accomplish that is because of their incredible depth that was evident in Saturday’s 123-117 win at New Orleans, in which Reggie Barrett had a career-high 35 points. 

Barrett is heating up in his 3rd NBA season, scoring 20 and 35 the last two games while averaging 17.2 ppg. One of the biggest issues the Knicks have faced this season is having too many mouths to feed, especially after the offseason acquisitions of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, but winning cures all, and the Knicks 117 ppg average is also 2nd best in the NBA. 

Besides the offense, New York continues to show the staple of any Tom Thibodeau team, which is the defense. One of the reasons the Knicks could cover the -7 point betting spread on Monday is because they could feasibly hold Toronto to under 100 points. Opponents are shooting 42.3% from the floor vs. New York, which is the 5th best defensive mark in the league.

Raptors at Knicks Pick 

This game would look a little more comfortable if the spread favored New York by -4 or -5 points. The Knicks are 16-6 ATS as a home favorite dating back to last season and are 2-1 against the number so far this season. 

Toronto is 3-4 ATS this season, and besides a 15 point loss to Washington in the season opener, the Raptors’ biggest margin of defeat is an 8 point home loss to Dallas. The Raptors are playing just their third road game of the season, which is important to note, and the Knicks are also back at MSG after two games on the road. 

Ultimately in a game that looks like it will be a defensive struggle, 7 points is just too much to hand out. There’s not going to be enough scoring to get to that margin of victory. If you are going to bet online, take the Raptors!

Pick: Raptors +7

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