The New York Knicks (11-7) battle the Toronto Raptors (9-10) this Friday (12/1/23). Get Knicks vs. Raptors moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.
New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors Prediction
The biggest mismatch in this game is the bench battle. Therefore, I am taking New York’s second quarter moneyline because the benches will be on the court for nearly half the duration.
The Knicks rank 6th in bench net rating due to their abundance of elite role players. Immanuel Quickley will be a perennial 6MOY candidate because he’s an electric scorer and shot-creator. Toronto’s guards likely struggle to stay in front of him, especially in isolation. He plays off of Isaiah Hartenstein’s screening and connective passing well, and Donte DiVicnenzo’s combo guard skills provide offensive versatility. Factor in Josh Hart’s all-around glue skills, and New York’s bench has a significant advantage over Toronto’s limited depth. Outside of Gary Trent Jr and Precious Achiuwa, the Raptors depth chart is relatively bleak, which is a huge reason why they are 22nd in bench net rating.
Meanwhile, New York’s starters can hold down the fort. Toronto is 16th defending pick-and-roll ball screens and 19th defending in isolation per ShotQuality. Dennis Schroder remains a quality defender, but Jalen Brunson is on another level at the moment. He can break down this Raptors defense off the dribble and consistently create advantages. RJ Barrett, on the other hand, has scored 30+ points in three straight games against Toronto, who is currently surrendering the 7th most points per game to small forwards. Even if Julius Randle misses the contest, New York will still possess enough firepower to compensate.
Overall, the Knicks should ride their bench to a decent lead in the second quarter before the starters maintain the edge until halftime. Grabbing it at plus money is great value here.
New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors Prediction: Knicks 2nd Quarter Moneyline
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New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors Best Odds
The Raptors are 2.5 point favorites, although the line will move depending on Julius Randle’s status. New York must win this game roughly 45 percent of the time for their +122 moneyline to be profitable in the long run; otherwise, it holds a negative expected value.
New York Knicks Starting Lineup
Toronto Raptors Starting Lineup
New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors Injuries
Julius Randle (20.4 PPG) is questionable for New York, while Toronto will be without backup center Christian Koloko.
New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors Key Matchups
Knicks Transition Defense
The Raptors own the 4th best transition offense based on derived shot quality, and they achieve it at the 7th largest rate (per ShotQuality). Therefore, New York must force Toronto to play in the half-court and grind the pace to a halt. Their elite offensive rebounding can help them, as the Raptors won’t be able to quickly initiate the offense via an outlet pass with Mitchell Robinson terrorizing them on the glass.
Raptors 3PT Shooting
Perimeter shooting has been Toronto’s Achilles heel, as their 34.4 3PT% sits 26th across the NBA. Pascal Siakam in particular has struggles; he owns a 20.8 3PT% on roughly four attempts per game. If the Raptors continue their shooting woes, then the Knicks have an excellent chance to steal the second quarter.