Yesterday’s Results: 3-0
All Time Results: 84-94-2, -3.65 Units
Toronto Raptors +6.5 @ Milwaukee Bucks (-105) – 1 Unit
Although the Raptors are in a similar predicament as the Blazers were last night – namely, having to recover from an emotional game 7 to face a well rested team on the road – they have a few advantages that the Blazers lacked. For one, they get an extra day to rest between games. Also, they are facing a Milwaukee squad whose democratic – bombs away – approach might be negatively affected by the extended lay over.
Milwaukee didn’t look like their dominant selves until the second half of Game 2 against Boston. In that series, the Bucks had 6+ days rest but came out with no juice in Game 1, missing 26 of their 39 threes.
Milwaukee is 8-1 ATS in these playoffs. But how much has that do with their superb play, and how much of that is the result of their opponents internal problems? Boston communicated a complete lack of trust in one another the minute their season ended. Detroit was perhaps the least talented team in the playoffs. Perhaps the Bucks’ smooth sailing has less to do with their elite vessel and more to do with the peaceful waters they have navigated through up unto this point.
The Raptors will be by far the best, most cohesive team the Bucks have played over the past month. I like for them to keep it close.
Kyle Lowry Under 12.5 (+100) – 1 Unit
In 11 Game 1’s as a Raptor, Lowry has shot under 27% from the floor and averaged under 10 points per game. The Raptors went 1-8 in those games before Kawhi & have gone 1-1 since.
In these playoffs, Lowry has shown the same Game 1 struggles that he always has in Toronto, failing to quickly adapt to the novel challenges brought by a new team and series. In fact, Lowry has been even worse than his considerably terrible historical average. In two Game 1’s so far this post season, Lowry has scored a total of 9 points on 4/17 shooting, including 0-10 from 3. Especially given the Leonard-heavy approach the Raptors adopted in the 76ers series, I look for Lowry to try to influence this game in other ways than scoring.
Milwaukee Bucks -6.5/Over 217.5 (+260) – .5 Units
If the Bucks start nailing threes early, I could see this getting ugly. If the Raptors sleep walk through the first quarter, they might find themselves ill-prepared for ensuing Bucks blitz & and the corresponding barrage of trey balls and transition dunks. If they get down early, I look for the Raptors to let go of the rope on defense and instead try and re-establish some of their role player’s offensive games. Danny Green will need to find his shot this series eventually – and if the Raptors are in a hole I see Nick Nurse giving him a green light to bomb away. Lots of ill-advised threes would mean even more transition opportunities for this explosive and opportunistic Milwaukee squad.