Can The Bucks Put The Brakes On The Raptors?


Milwaukee Bucks (2-3 SU & ATS) vs. Toronto Raptors (3-2 SU & ATS)

Saturday, May 25, 2019, 8:30 PM EST

NBA Free Picks: Milwaukee Bucks +2 (-105)

Recommended Sportsbook: Pinnacle

The Raptors and Bucks collide in a game 6 showdown at Scotiabank Arena that is delicately poised on the NBA odds board. Raptors have the 3-2 edge in the series, but they are nominal home favorites at -128 to win straight up with Pinnacle Sportsbook and the -2-point favorites across most top-rated online betting sites.

Bookmakers went to press with the Raptors laying 2 points, and since open doors, the market hasn’t budged much because it appears betting is split evenly down the middle (50-50). Is it any wonder the public is so evenly split? This series has been anything but predictable.

The Bucks burst out of the gates winning back-to-back games in impressive style to get this series rolling. So much so there was natter amongst basketball experts about the possibility of a sweep by Milwaukee. So good and unstoppable looked Giannis and Company looked then.

Well, the Raptors put paid on that notion quick, giving the hashtag ‘We The North’ verve and swagger in online forums and a momentum that knows no boundaries it seems. Of course, it’s a huge occasion before the Raptors, a win would potentially send them into their first-ever NBA finals. But the manner in which they’ve reached this vantage point has to be the most impressive. To all intents and purposes, they looked down and out after game 2.

Kawhi’s Leonard has been the driving force behind this Raptors resurgence in the NBA playoffs. He’s been a human wrecking ball on the court, making a very talented Bucks squad look rather pedestrian, especially in the final quarter of the game when everything is on the line.

This is the first time the Bucks have lost three in a row this season. What was a productive bench that produced above 31.8 points per game on average during the regular season and 36.1 points per game during the playoffs went MIA. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a shadow of the potential MVP candidate he was up to the start of this series. He looks flustered, frustrated and flat out irritated by the Raptors’ incessant defense and, specifically, Leonard constantly in his face.

This is a must-win game for the Milwaukee Bucks. No ifs or buts about it. They were in the driver seat and bottled it. Sure, had things gone their way in game 3 in double overtime this would have been a different ball game. But it didn’t. Now they’re faced with the fight of their lives, just like the Raptors in game 3. Will the Bucks rise to the occasion as the Raptors did or will they fold entirely?

Giannis and Company have a lot to offer on paper, but maybe this is the rite of passage lesson. Sometimes one has to fail in order to learn how to succeed. Leonard has been there and done that. He has the mileage, and that experience is proving to be clutch. What will it be? What story will be told? It’s anybody’s guess. A right tossup between two very credible teams and fit NBA finalists. Suppose given how this series has gone, a game 7 wouldn’t hurt.

NBA Picks: Milwaukee Bucks +2 (-105) Pinnacle