Free NBA Pick: Raptors vs Bucks NBA Odds
Looking for Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks free NBA picks & NBA odds? NBA betting sees the Raptors taking on the Bucks on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at Fiserv Forum. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NBA basketball matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NBA hoops predictions like this Raptors Bucks game 1 matchup.
(0-0) Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks (0-0)
2019 Eastern Conference Finals: Game 1
Date: Wednesday, May 15th
Time: 8:00 PM EST
Venue: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
NBA Moneyline Odds: OFF
NBA Betting Odds: Bucks -6
NBA Betting Total: 217.5
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In what is sure to be dubbed the Klaw vs. the Freak the Eastern Conference Finals serves up a beauty of a series for fans. The Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors were the top two clubs in the East this season as well as in the NBA.
Each team features superstars with the Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo, the likely MVP of the regular season while the Raptors have arguably the MVP of the postseason in Kawhi Leonard.
In season these clubs were the only teams to finish top five offensively, defensively and in net rating. They rank first and second in playoff defense and net differential.
The Bucks won the season series 3-1 with their last meeting January 31 and since then each club made significant additions via trades and through the buyout market.
The victory on Sunday by the Raptors served up ‘the shot’ heard round the world as Kawhi Leonard scored 41 points and became the first player in NBA history to record a walk-off buzzer beater in a Game 7.
In spite of Leonard’s herculean effort, he struggled shooting Sunday and required 39 shots to register those 41 points. His teammates appeared afraid to shoot the ball even on open opportunities.
Granted the Raptors faced a much tougher test on their route to the ECF playing the sizzling hot Orlando Magic and lengthy Philadelphia 76ers. Toronto’s defense throughout the playoffs has been stellar but they’ll need a closer version of their seasonal offense if they want to continue the journey.
That said, the Magic and 76ers tested the Raptors and may have prepared them better than their counterparts. Although the Bucks starters will pose a similar threat in length their reserves aren’t as tall as the 76ers whose shortest member was 6’7 on Philly.
Similarly to the 76ers, rebounding and pace will be key areas of focus and again, everyone not named Kawhi has to shoot because they have perimeter threats who could make the Bucks pay if they simply take their open shots.
The other key is the Raptors offer arguably the best tandem of defenders to at least slow Antetokounmpo. Expect single coverage on Giannis since double teaming him only feeds into the Bucks strengths. Also of note, the Raptors ranked third in perimeter defense and first of the remaining teams.
OG Anunoby (appendectomy) remains out with no reported date of return. Chris Boucher has been upgraded to probable.
While the Raptors faced arguably the toughest road in the path to the ECF the Bucks sailed through facing a hobbled (or absent) Blake Griffin and his Pistons in round one and a Boston Celtics team whose off-court issues seeped onto the hardwood.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 27.4 points (6th), 11.3 rebounds (3rd), 4.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.6 blocks (7th) in the postseason. Comparatively, his superstar counterpart averaged 31.8 points (2nd), 8.5 rebounds is shooting 40.8%from deep and 53.9% from the field.
The Bucks have lost just a single game this postseason and that was only likely due to ‘rust’ given Milwaukee’s long layoff. Coach Bud will go 10 deep into his bench which will be a cause for concern with the Raptors bench struggles and absence of Anunoby.
In their eight victories, only one game had a differential of under 12 points and the other seven wins featured a differential average of 21.8 points.
Having faced no adversity to this point it will be interesting to see if Toronto’s much-vaunted defense can serve up enough to derail the momentum and confidence of Milwaukee.
NBA Betting Trends:
- Teams are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 head to head contests.
- Raptors hold a 5-5 record in last 10 head to head meetings.
- The over-under is 6-4 in team’s last 10 head to head matchups.
Free Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks NBA Prediction:
Until we witness Game 1 it will be hard to know if the Bucks of the first two rounds will simply continue their dominance or if they will finally play a squad capable of pushing this series past the gentleman’s sweep.
A series win by Toronto would represent their first Finals appearance while the Bucks would be making their third appearance.
It should be noted Lowry (17) and Leonard (22) missed a cumulative 39 games due to injury and rest but neither sat at the same time. This equates to the duo only playing 43 games together prior to the playoffs. Factor in Marc Gasol played only 19 games prior to the playoffs with Kawhi so the team is a work in progress.
Another intriguing side note is the Raptors were 1:27 away from victory with a three point lead on December 9th. Had Toronto won that game the teams would have finished tied with 59 wins.
4* Free NBA Betting Pick: Take Raptors and points
The Bucks depth will factor and the Raptors will need to rediscover their offense to make this a series. Toronto is battle tested and boasts a huge advantage in experience. The question is whether the older Raptors will be able to utilize that advantage since games now take place every other day.
Toronto is still riding the high of the winning while the Bucks are well rested. The question is how much rust Milwaukee will experience from their lengthy layoff. My gut says that combination and the Raptors starting on the road and considered the clear underdogs may allow them to steal the series opener.
Then again, given their absolute dominance, Milwaukee has my mind overruling my gut and eeking out the Game 1 win.
NBA Free Game 1 Prediction: Bucks 106 – Raptors 103
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