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Bet on the NBAWhen the New York Knicks take on the Utah Jazz on Monday night, they will be coming off of a win over the Nets, but will also have to play without star Amare Stoudemire. Stoudemire's brother was killed in a car crash early on Monday, so Amare will not be playing in tonight's game at Madison Square Garden as he has returned to Florida to be with his family.

This will change the chance that the depressingly mediocre Knicks will be able to put together back-to-back wins for only the second time this season. After building up great expectations in last year's playoffs, New York has gone 9-15 this season, only managing to score consecutive wins during one four-game stretch early in January.

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One of the main disappointments for the Knicks has been the play of Carmelo Anthony, who the Knicks acquired late last year in one of the most publicized trades of the season. In their game against the Nets, Anthony shot 3-of-15 from the field and put up only 11 points. While he scored 26 in the previous two games against the Bulls and Celtics, both of those games were losses for the team. As a whole, Anthony has been shooting only 39.8 percent this season, compared to his 47.5 percent average throughout his career.

The Jazz are also attempting to put together back-to-back wins after defeating the Lakers on Saturday. The Jazz have a 13-9 record so far, but dropped four of their last six games before scoring a win over Los Angeles. While the Knicks have a 5-7 record at home, the Jazz are pretty weak when playing on the road, going 2-5 so far.

Both teams are fairly evenly matched in their disappointing performances and overall mediocrity, so calling this game is difficult. The absence of Stoudemire probably shifts the odds to the Jazz, although the sportsbook lists the Knicks as the -3 favorites right now. The total is 194 ½ for tonight's game at Madison Square Garden.


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