The Milwaukee Bucks (10-6) look to start another win streak as they face the Toronto Raptors (7-10) on Wednesday night. It is the first meeting this season after Milwaukee won the series 2-1 last season. The only Toronto win back in August came with Giannis Antetokounmpo inactive, but he is good to go this time.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 – 07:30 PM EDT at Amalie Arena
Toronto is coming off two series splits with the Heat and Pacers, but this should be a tougher test than those games. Pascal Siakam, Toronto’s second-leading scorer (18.6 per game), was inactive for both games against the Pacers with a knee injury. He is questionable to play Wednesday night, but his presence could be a boost to the team if he plays.
Milwaukee is a 6-point favorite at most top sportsbooks. The Bucks are 1-4 ATS in their last five games and could (barely) cover as a 12-point favorite against the Hawks on Sunday.
Raptors Fade Away in Indiana
Toronto has struggled to start this season. The Raptors have not been this big of an underdog in a game since that August 10th win over the Bucks without their superstar MVP. Toronto is 2-3 ATS as an underdog this season.
On Monday night, the Raptors tried to get a sweep in Indiana, but faded badly in the fourth quarter. Toronto scored at least 30 points in each of the first three quarters and could only muster 17 points in the fourth quarter in a 129-114 loss. Toronto shot 40.9% from the field while the Pacers made 51.3% of their shots. That difference of 10.4% in shooting percentage points is the worst game the Raptors have had all season.
Hopefully, there will be some regression there. Milwaukee leads all teams in field goal percentage (.490) this season, while Toronto is ranked 27th (.438). While the Raptors are coming off a poor shooting night, they also allowed a season-high 129 points to Indiana, a solid offense, but not the No. 1 scoring offense like Milwaukee (120.1 per game) brings to the table. The Raptors do not have anyone averaging 20 points per game this season.
Bucks Start Three-Game Road Trip
This is the start of a little three-game road trip for Milwaukee, and Toronto should be the toughest test on it with games to come against the Pelicans and Hornets. The Bucks are coming off a disappointing week where they lost to the “super teams” of the Lakers and Nets, but they did pick up a 129-115 win over Atlanta on Sunday.
Giannis played great in the two double-digit wins against Toronto last year, or back when the Raptors were playing better basketball than they are right now. In the first game, Giannis scored 36 points with 15 rebounds. He had 19 points and 19 rebounds in the second game, as well as eight assists in both matchups.
Currently, Antetokounmpo has had at least 25 points and 12 rebounds in three straight games. We know he can keep this streak going. Last season, he had two different eight-game streaks of 25 points and 12 rebounds. While Wilt Chamberlain used to just call that stat line “game day,” it is rare air for more recent NBA history as no one else has had a longer streak since 1983-84, and only Charles Barkley (1990) can say he matched it.
While the Bucks have that one special player, their second-best player, Khris Middleton, has cooled off from downtown after a blistering start to the season. Through 10 games, Middleton, a career .393 shooter from three, was shooting an unsustainable .509 from three-point land, but that has fallen to .297 in his last six games. The rate was always going to go down, but he could do better than he has as of late.
However, Toronto has historically been a bad matchup for Middleton. In 24 games against the Raptors, Middleton averages 14.2 points per game, his lowest average against any Eastern Conference team. In the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals loss, Middleton averaged just 13.7 points per game, a disappointing finish to his first All-Star season.
The Raptors look far from ECF territory this year, but Middleton will have to continue improving if the Bucks are to get back to that level and further in the postseason.
Milwaukee is 8-3 in its last 11 games, only losing to the Jazz (13-4) and the star power of the Nets (11-8) and Lakers (14-4). Of Milwaukee’s 10 wins this season, nine of them have been by at least nine points. Every other game was either a loss or a 112-109 win against Dallas two weeks ago.
If you like the Bucks to win this game as you should, then feel confident in them to cover the spread as well in your NBA picks.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.