Wednesday’s Results: 0-3
All Time Results: 84-97-2, -6.15 Units
Toronto Raptors +6.5 @ Milwaukee Bucks – 1 Unit
Toronto Raptors -4.5 @ Milwaukee Bucks +390 – 1 Unit
If you picked the winner correctly in in these two teams playoff games you would be 20-2 against the spread. In other words, the spread mattered in only 2 of these teams 22 combined playoff games.
It strikes me that these are very high variance teams. The Bucks live and die by the three and in transition. The Raptors at times look like a diverse, cohesive offense. And at times look awkward defensive minded team completely inept on offense save Kawhi.
In a pivotal game 2, I think we get the good Toronto. Kyle Lowry played like an All Star again, hitting 6 threes in his return to the big lights of the Conference Finals. I think that performance will be huge for his confidence going forward. And if he is bombing away successfully, that makes the defense honor him full court, allowing so much more space in the frontcourt for the Raptors to run effective sets.
Since the end of the first round in these playoffs, the ATS loser is 5-0 ATS & 4-1 SU in Game 2. The Zig-Zag theory may live on after all. We might not just need to exclude the first round from this rule of thumb: the talent gap in the first round is often so big that the motivational edge doesn’t matter.
Doubling down with the Raptors -4.5. I figure if the Raptors cover they probably win, if the Raptors win they probably win by 5. For one thing, 5 is such a key number in the NBA. Secondly, the Bucks have not had to take many crunch time shots over the past couple months. If they are down by 3 with 1 minute left, I really like my chances of getting a miss or two and a foul or two to end the game by a 5+ margin.
Khris Middleton Under 17.5 +100 – 1 Unit
Kawhi Leonard is the prototypical defender for big, not particularly fast, jump shooting wings. The Bucks seamlessly went to other options when Kawhi was guarding Middleton. After the explosion of the Brook Lopez, I see the Bucks continuing to lean on many different threats in the half-court rather than funneling the ball to Middleton.