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New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors - 12/14/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Toronto Raptors (17-6) at New York Knicks (5-20)

NBA Basketball: Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 7:30 pm (Madison Square Garden)

The Line: New York Knicks +5 -- Over/Under: 201.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: MSG

The New York Knicks look to parlay a rare win on Friday night into back-to-back wins as they host the Toronto Raptors from Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.

The Toronto Raptors sit atop the Eastern conference at 17-6 with a 6-3 mark in road games.  The Raptors have taken care of sub-.500 teams this year with a record of 11-2. The Raptors are 2nd in the league in scoring with 108.4 points per game, but the team ranks just 18th on defense conceding 100.2 points per game.  Kyle Lowry is the main offensive catalyst especially with DeMar DeRozan out of action.  Lowry averages 19.7 points and 7.5 assists per game while leading the team in minutes.   Lou Williams is actually the next best active scorer, averaging 14.4 points per game in one of the league’s better sixth man campaigns.  Jonas Valanciunas leads the team in rebounding with 8.9 per game but the team would probably like to see PF Amir Johnson improve upon his five rebound per game average.

New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors - 12/14/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks finally won on Friday night to snap their horrid losing streak by beating the Boston Celtics on the road.  Carmelo Anthony returned to action to spark the effort, scoring 22 points and adding five rebounds, three assists and three blocks.  Amar'e Stoudemire chipped in 20 points and seven rebounds in the win and has been impressively regaining his form in reduced minutes.  The Knicks will still need to develop reliable scoring contributions in wake of a string of injuries that includes the underperforming J.R. Smith.  Don’t be shocked to see Tim Hardaway Jr. to eventually break out given the possibility to secure increased minutes during this stretch of the season.   The Knicks might have trouble pulling off the upset at home with just a 3-9 record thus far at MSG.

We might have underestimated the NY/Boston angle on Friday night but that winning look from the Knicks was probably fleeting.  The Raptors are a legitimate contender that preys on the weaker teams and I see them living up to that here.

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Toronto Raptors -5 (5 units)

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