The Toronto Raptors visit the Milwaukee Bucks in a pivotal Eastern Conference matchup. The Raptors are coming off a road overtime win against the Knicks, while the Bucks are coming off a win against the Pacers at home. This should be an interesting matchup in the Eastern Conference race. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks Betting Odds
The Milwaukee Bucks are 1.5-point home favorites against the Toronto Raptors and are -130 on the money line. The over/under is also at 222. Milwaukee being favored here doesn’t make much sense, besides the fact that they are the home team. Their two best players are most likely not going to play in this spot with Giannis being out and Middleton being questionable. The over/under also makes sense because both of these teams are great on offense, but also great on defense too. This spread could move a bit based on if Middleton plays too.
Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks Prediction
The pick: Toronto Raptors +1.5
The Toronto Raptors haven’t quite lived up to how good they were last year. Pascal Siakam is a bona fide star in Toronto and has blossomed into a do-it-all player for them. He leads the team in scoring, rebounding, and assists too. The team is built around him and his versatility. Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet have also been big contributors for the Raptors and are tied for second in scoring production. O.G. Anunoby has also been very good and leads the team in steals, but could be on the trading block due to the emergence of Scottie Barnes.
As a team, the Raptors are better on defense than they are on offense and are top-10 in points allowed and blocks per game. On the other side, the Milwaukee Bucks have been very good once again this season, but are beat up right now. Giannis is the obvious key for the Bucks, but he’s not going to be available in this game, despite leading the Bucks in scoring and rebounding. Jrue Holiday will step up into the leading scoring role, while also leading the team in assists and steals per game. Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis should also step up down low with Giannis out because they are next in line for scoring and rebounding production too. Middleton should see a bigger role too if he’s cleared to play.
As a team, the Bucks have been very good defensively, and are top-10 in points allowed and rebounds. They are also second in the NBA in rebounds per game at 49 per game. Then on offense, they are top-10 in point differential.
The biggest thing with this game is that Toronto is more healthy than Milwaukee in this spot. With Giannis and Middleton banged up, it’s hard to take the Bucks here, even at home. The Raptors should cover and win outright in a close game on the road.
Raptors are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Bucks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 0 days rest.
Can Brook Lopez matchup with Pascal Siakam? Can Fred VanVleet matchup with Jrue Holiday?
Brook Lopez vs. Pascal Siakam
Pascal Siakam has been incredible for the Raptors and allows them to be very versatile. He averages 26 points, 7 assists, and 8 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up with Brook Lopez for some of the game and averages 15 points, 1 assist, and 7 rebounds per game for the season. This matchup should be big in the game because Siakam is able to beat Lopez off the dribble, but Lopez is a good defender. This matchup has big potential to decide the game for either team.
Fred VanVleet vs. Jrue Holiday
Fred VanVleet has been very good for Toronto this year. He averages 18 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds per game for the season. He’s going to be matched up with Jrue Holiday most of the game who averages 18 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds per game for the season. This will be a huge matchup in this game because both of these players match up evenly. Holiday is the better defender, but it’s close. These two players are the catalysts for their teams so this will be a big matchup here.
Toronto Raptors Starting Lineup
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineups
Toronto Raptors Injuries: PG Fred VanVleet (Back) P, SF Otto Porter Jr. (Foot) O
Milwaukee Bucks Injuries: PF Giannis Antetokounmpo (Knee) O, SF Khris Middleton (Knee) Q