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NBA Midweek Specials: Raptors and the Lakers to Salute

Fri, Feb 9, 3:00am by Staff Writer

The Raptors will be looking to terminate the Knicks’ season, while in Los Angeles the Thunder will have to take on the Lakers with Superman aka Russell Westbrook under another injury cloud.

New York Knicks at Toronto Raptors

Friday, 9 February 2018, 10.30am at Air Canada Centre

The Knicks will be fine this season without Kristas Porzingis. They played badly with him and they’ll still be playing badly without him. The Knicks were able to trim the fat in the offseason bidding farewell to Melo and Phil Jackson, but their fortunes simply haven’t improved in the slightest.

The Raptors (37-16) are the polar opposite, they’re one star away from challenging the Warriors for the brass ring. They are sitting a game behind the Celtics in second spot in the Eastern Conference.

The game against the Knicks represents a milk-run compared to the midweek clash with Boston (111-91). The Knicks won’t be completely waving the white flag, the last time these two sides clashed New York found a way 108-100.

The Raptors will approach this game battle hardened after accounting for the Celtics (111-91) earlier this week.

What’s unnerving for the Knicks is that CJ Miles had 20 points and Kyle Lowry has 23 points. DeMar DeRozan is in All-Star form.

Sportsbet has the Knicks as $7.50 outsiders.

Take the Raptors to win by +13. They simply won’t be troubled by a Knicks side low on confidence and out of ideas for this season.

Best bet: Raptors to win by +13 at Sportsbet

Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers

Friday, 9 February 2018, 1.30pm at Staples Centre

If Russell Westbrook was a superhero he would be Magneto, the Ian McKellan version. I can understand that break-ups can be hard to take, but the more Russ plays Kevin Durant the more he reminds me of him. Westbrook can just pull out these amazing superhuman efforts the likes we haven’t seen since the days of Oscar Robertson and filled with a lot of anger. Now the Lakers are looming and like Magneto he has simply run out of energy.

After the amazing effort against the Warriors, Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony are both under injury clouds to face the Lakers. This Lakers version may not have the showtime swagger, but they are on the way. The Lakers have thrived in the face of white noise trade talk for Julius Randall, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson.

LA have won their last three games, including beating the Thunder on the road 108-104. Something about this game has upset written all over it.

The numbers don’t lie; since the beginning of January the Lakers (.733) have the highest winning percentage in the league behind the Rockets (.875)

The Lakers are good value at $2.77 at Sportsbet.

Take the Lakers who will be primed to do the double over the Thunder. The may not win a ring this season but the Lakers have all the makings of what might be down the road.

Best Bet: Lakers to win by 1-10 points at Sportsbet

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