- Bucks looking to go 3-0 against Raptors in the regular season
- Toronto hasn’t beat Milwaukee since winning in the Eastern Conference Final last year
- See the odds, our analysis and best bets for the game below
It’s the last chance the Toronto Raptors (50-19, 2nd in East) and Milwukee Bucks (55-15, 1st in East) will get to play each other this season — unless, of course, each make a return trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Toronto Raptors vs Milwaukee Bucks Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total|
|Toronto Raptors||+6 (-110)||+205||O 227.5 (-110)|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-6 (-110)||-250||U 227.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Aug 10th. Tip-off is 6:30pm ET
Milwaukee players probably still haven’t gotten over last year’s East Finals, where they blew a 2-0 series lead and lost four straight to the eventual NBA champions.
And while the Raptors are clearly the underdog by virtue of losing Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers, they are a still a formidable force and owners of the third best record in basketball. FanDuel’s Raptors vs Bucks odds have Milwaukee as 5.5-point favorites – how should you be wagering?
Bucks Have Something to Prove
Milwaukee has handled Toronto twice this regular season, winning by double digits both times. And while losing to the Raptors in the playoffs seems like a motivating factor, there’s also this: the Bucks are really, really good.
But they’ve been middling in the bubble with a 2-3 record — though they’ve been in every game and those losses have been by four points or less. Perhaps this is the matchup they need to remind them just how dominant they were prior to COVID.
Giannis Antetokounmpo en la victoria de Milwaukee Bucks ante Boston Celtics anoche:
— More Than A Game (@Pasion_Basket1) August 1, 2020
They are the only team that averages a double-digit point differential in the NBA this year, at +10.6. To put that into context, the second-place Clippers are at +6.6. The Bucks are mayhem right from tipoff, and have usually overwhelmed the competition by the fourth quarter.
It’s easy when you have the likely back-to-back MVP (and Defensive Player of the Year too) in Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak is averaging a shade under 30 points per game to go along with 13.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists in a tidy 30.8 minutes a game.
Most 30-Point, 10-Rebound Games – Last 25 Seasons
2019-20 Giannis Antetokounmpo … 33
2016-17 Russell Westbrook ………… 32
1999-00 Shaquille O'Neal …………… 32
2000-01 Shaquille O'Neal ……………. 31
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) August 6, 2020
But even with the year Giannis is having as an individual and what the Bucks are doing as a team, there are doubts. While they are top-5 in both points in the paint and field goal percentage, the Bucks are a middling 18th in three-point shooting. No matter how much Giannis does, Bucks games are going to come down to their ability to knock down the shots Antetokounmpo creates, once the defense plugs the paint in the postseason.
Siakam Finally Arrives for Raptors
Sunday’s win against the Memphis Grizzlies moved Toronto to 4-1 in the bubble, and it was the first time Pascal Siakam looked like the all-star that had elevated his game to elite status upon the departure of Kawhi Leonard.
Pascal Siakam Highlights – Raptors vs Grizzlies – 9-16 FG, 26 PTS, 3 AST pic.twitter.com/AMBW7JFkr9
— Raptors Republic (@raptorsrepublic) August 9, 2020
His team-high 26 points, which included four triples, was a welcome sign for a Raptors’ team that, more than any other contender, needs most of their players going at a high level to be successful.
Against Boston, almost no one could hit a shot, and the game was over early, a big-time blowout and Toronto’s first loss in the bubble. But they seemed to right the ship against Memphis, going 15-for-39 from three-point range (38.5%), while getting back to their bread-and-butter defense. Toronto held Memphis to 42.7% shooting from the field and 33.3% from deep.
Raptors ball movement leads to an open corner three pic.twitter.com/PaOk0qFOXI
— Overtime Heroics (@OT_Heroics) August 2, 2020
This will be a great test for the Raptors’ offense, to see if this scoring-by-committee and not relying on a superstar can work. Milwaukee is first in the bubble in field goal shooting defense, holding teams to 41.2%. Toronto is right behind them at 41.8%.
What’s the Best Bet?
Milwaukee closes out their bubble series with games against the Wizards and Grizzlies, so this will be their final true tune-up for a team that has nothing to play for until the playoffs. Expect Mike Budenholzer to use this opportunity to size up against a team they may need to get through in the playoffs.
This is the third game in the bubble for Toronto against a team that has beaten them twice in the regular season prior to the stoppage. They couldn’t be more opposite results: running away for a win over the Heat and trailing by as many as 40 in a loss to the Celtics. Regardless of who wins, this one stays close.
The pick: Raptors +6.0 (-110)
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