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Raptors’ Lack of Depth Could be Costly vs Favored Bucks

After rolling through the Pistons and Celtics and most of the NBA during the regular season, the Milwaukee Bucks will look to draw first blood in the Eastern Conference final vs the Toronto Raptors tonight. The Raptors are coming off a grueling seven-game series and needed a miracle shot from Kawhi Leonard to make it this far. The Raps also dropped three of their four games vs the Bucks during the season and have lost four of their last five games in Milwaukee.

The Bucks opened as 6-point favorites with a total of 217.5.

Raptors vs Bucks Game Center

STANDOUT STATS

  • Outside of a Game 1 loss vs the Celtics in the second round, the Bucks have been dominant in the postseason. They’re 8-1 SU and ATS in nine games and seven of their wins have been by double digits. In five home playoff games, the Bucks have scored 115 points or more in four of them and own a +16 point differential.
  • The Raptors were on the brink in the second round and dropped two of three road games vs the Sixers. They’ve had trouble scoring on the road in the playoffs as evidenced by their 100.4 scoring average in five away games while shooting a pitiful 32 percent from behind the arc.
  • This series is a tale of two superstars with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard front and center and both are on a first-name basis. Giannis averaged 28.4 points per game and 10.8 rebounds vs the Celtics while going to the free-throw line an average of 13 times (69 percent shooting). Not to be discounted as second fiddle, Kawhi averaged 34.7 points vs the Sixers and single-handedly willed the Raptors to the Eastern Conference final.
  • The Bucks and Raptors faced each other four times during the regular season with the Bucks winning three times, twice in Toronto. Both Kawhi and Giannis only played in three of those games with the Greek Freak averaging 27 points, 15 rebounds and five assists while the Klaw averaged 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
  • One of the key reasons why the Bucks have crushed teams in the postseason is their ability to get to the rim. They lead the postseason with an average of 31.5 free-throw attempts per game and they also have a +11.8 point differential in points in the paint.
  • Secondary scoring will be crucial in this series as defenses key in on Giannis and Kawhi, which is why Khris Middleton and Pascal Siakam could be the X factors in this series. Middleton has averaged 19.1 points per game in the postseason while averaging an insane 46.7 percent from behind the arc. After Kawhi, the next leading postseason scorer on the Raptors is Siakam at 20.8 points per game and 48.3 percent shooting from the field.
  • Coming into Game 1, Raptors games had been a huge boon for UNDER bettors. The UNDER has hit in nine of their 12 playoff games with those outings having an average combined score of 199.5 points per game.

My Best Bet for Raptors vs Bucks

Bucks -6

I’m all-in on the Bucks winning the Eastern Conference and while I think the Raptors will likely push this series to six or seven games, they will likely get outplayed tonight because of how much energy they expended to overcome the Sixers.

The Bucks have dominated teams at home during the regular season and they have multiple players who can get a bucket at any time whereas the Raptors lean on Kawhi Leonard so much that I don’t see anyone outside of Pascal Siakam scoring more than 20 points. I’m also high on taking the Bucks to cover the -2 first-quarter spread and -3.5 first-half spread too.

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