- High-scoring Bucks visit the Toronto Raptors at temporary Tampa location
- Milwaukee leads the NBA in scoring at over 120 points a game
- Check the odds, analysis and betting preview below
The Toronto Raptors are out of sorts, undermanned, and just surrendered 129 points in a beating at the hands of the Pacers. Things don’t get any easier for the temporary Tampas, as they welcome in the Milwaukee Bucks – the highest scoring team in basketball.
Coincidentally, Giannis and company just finished hanging 129 on the Hawks. It’s likely the reason they’re 6-point favorites Wednesday night.
Bucks vs Raptors Odds
|Milwaukee Bucks||-6 (-110)||-255||N/A|
|Toronto Raptors||+6 (-110)||+210||N/A|
Odds from FanDuel taken January 26. Tip-off is Wednesday at 7:30pm ET
The Raptors sit 10th in the East at 7-10, while the Bucks are tied for second in the conference with the Pacers, both at 10-6.
Here’s the good news: the Bucks have not skipped a beat offensively after an offseason overhaul that netted them Jrue Holiday. In fact, Milwaukee leads the league in scoring at a blistering 120.1 points a game — the only team to sit above that 120 plateau.
They’re paced, as always, by Giannis Antetokounmpo, the back-to-back MVP who’s averaging 27 points on a clean 54.6% shooting, 10.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists in a tidy 32.3 minutes a night.
— NBA Philippines (@NBA_Philippines) January 25, 2021
Khris Middleton has been the breakout star. No longer the only other top option, the addition of Holiday has perhaps eased him back to just being a devastating scorer, and he’s doing it with remarkable precision. Middleton is putting up 21.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.3 dimes, shooting 52.2% from the field, 42.6% from three and 92% from the stripe.
— Sports ②④x⑦ (@B_R_R_D) January 22, 2021
But the defense hasn’t caught up with the scoring prowess. Milwaukee is 10th in defensive rating, after leading the NBA a season ago.
And it’s hard to know what to make of this team still: they were beaten by both the Nets and Lakers recently, and their wins list includes three against the Pistons, and W’s against the Bulls, Magic and Cavaliers. There’s not a signature win in the bunch, but they’re better than most teams in the league, if that makes sense.
Toronto Trying To Keep Up
Since digging themselves a 2-8 hole out of the gate, the Raptors have won five of their last seven, though they’re still operating on shaky ground. They’ll enter the game without Pascal Siakam, who’s out with a knee injury, while Kyle Lowry is still less than full strength with a foot injury.
For a team that ranks 19th in scoring, that’s a lot of firepower that will be out or hobbled Wednesday night.
Raptors turning defense into offense 👀 pic.twitter.com/DXN8SZEf2H
— The Lead (@TheLeadSM) January 23, 2021
The Raptors will have to continue forcing turnovers and getting out in transition. They are tops in the NBA in fast break scoring, potting 16.7 points a game, and fifth in points off turnovers at 19.5 points a night.
Toronto will hope for the continued hot play of wing OG Anunoby, who is scoring at a career-high 14.6 points per game. He’s really found the groove from deep as of late, averaging three 3-point makes a game in his last 10, while shooting it at a sparkling 43.3% on the season.
OG showed up & showed out
30 Pts | 8 Reb | 5 Stl | 4 3pm pic.twitter.com/c7eAWsMTGY
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 25, 2021
But while the Raptors rank ninth in 3-point percentage on the year, they are just a lowly 27th of 30 teams in field goal shooting at 43.8%. If Milwaukee can close down the running game — they rank second in fast break points allowed at 9.0 a night — they’ll force Toronto to execute in the half court.
What’s The Best Bet?
This is not a prove-it game for the Bucks, and they regularly rampage through the lower tier of competition. Even with a fully healthy roster, Toronto was going to have trouble containing this offense.
Elite teams force Giannis into a jump shooter by clogging the paint, a strategy Toronto employed to great success in the playoffs in 2019. While Antetokounmpo is having a great statistical year, he’s barely at 30% from deep. Packing the paint might keep things close, but these teams are just too far apart in game play right now (and Middleton is too efficient) for this element to matter.
The pick: Bucks -6 (-110)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.