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New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) high-fives New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale near the end of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)
New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) high-fives New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale near the end of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)|Associated Press
NBA

NBA Sunday night: Greg Frank picks the Cavaliers vs Knicks and Raptors vs Lakers

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

1-1 Saturday, 16-14-1 overall.

Cavaliers (+2) @ Knicks (215.5)

Pick: Cavaliers +2

That’s right the New York Knicks are favored tonight! But, if you paid attention to John Beilein’s college teams you’d know that effort was almost never a problem. So far, that’s been true for the Cavs in the NBA. Cleveland might not be ready to make the postseason yet, but the Cavs have played hard for Beilein out of the gate posting a 4-3-1 ATS mark after eight games. After winning by double digits and controlling the game almost the whole way in the nation’s capital on Friday, I expected the Cavaliers to be favored at Madison Square Garden tonight. Granted, the Knicks had an impressive win on Friday as an 11-point underdog in Dallas, but had lost four in a row prior to Friday and did not cover in three of those four. It’s a small sample size, and the Knicks covered in three of their first four games, but simply put, I expect the Cavaliers to be better than the Knicks this season and with New York at its current state, I’m not sure if homecourt advantage exists here. Cleveland is the side I want to be on in this game.

Raptors (+10.5) @ Lakers (214.5)

Pick: Raptors +10.5

I was waiting for the Lakers line inflation to come and it appears to have arrived. Los Angeles is 6-2 ATS out of the gate. ATS records tend to regress to the mean, especially those of heavy public teams like the Lakers. Phoenix and Miami are the only two teams with identical or better ATS records than the Lakers and I’d say there’s a greater likelihood the Suns and Heat keep having success against the number than the Lakers. Sportsbooks will much sooner adjust for a team that’s going to garner a lot of support than a middling team that probably won’t end the year much better than .500. Now we get the defending NBA champions catching double digits? Toronto has had success against the spread as well this season having covered in five of eight games so far and posting a 6-2 straight-up record. What better way to remind the NBA world you were more than Kawhi Leonard last season than to win this game in LA tonight? I won’t go that far, though if you sprinkle the Raptors moneyline tonight I wouldn’t blame you, but I certainly expect the Raptors to cover this number.

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