Two of the most profitable teams in the NBA will collide Thursday night (8 PM ET, TNT) when the New York Knicks visit the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors lead the Atlantic Division at 30-15 SU and 27-18 ATS, while the much-improved Knicks are in the playoff hunt at 22-25 SU and 27-20 ATS.
Toronto gets a rare chance to strut its stuff on TNT before hosting the All-Star Game on Valentine’s Day. The Raptors have won nine straight games at 8-1 ATS to climb within two games of the Cleveland Cavaliers for first place in the East. The team is relatively healthy and firing on all cylinders now that center Jonas Valanciunas (21.3 PER) has returned from the injured list.
New York’s progress has hit something of a roadblock at 2-5 SU and ATS over the past seven games. Swingman Carmelo Anthony (20.5 PER) missed Tuesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a sore left knee; the Knicks still extended OKC to overtime before losing 122-128 as 9.5-point home dogs. Anthony is considered day-to-day for now, as is Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry (23.0 PER), who sprained his non-shooting wrist in Tuesday’s 106-89 win over the Washington Wizards (+8.5 away).