Jordan’s NBA Picks: 81-60-1 (Playoffs 27-22-1)
Milwaukee (70-24 SU & 57-34 ATS) at Toronto (67-30 SU & 45-50 ATS)
Tuesday, 8:30 PM EST, TNT
Free NBA Pick: 1H Over
Recommended Sportsbook: BetOnline
Fast First Halves
We have seen the Raptors be pretty successful in the first halves of their games in this series. They have slowed down Milwaukee‘s pace some and simultaneously have been able to score on this Bucks’ defense.
The second halves have been a difference story, but it didn’t matter after an overtime win in Game 3 for the Raptors. Now Toronto must figure out how to sustain the pressure on the Bucks through all four quarters.
I have a lot of questions as to whether they can do that though. For starters, their defense isn’t as good as Milwaukee and they don’t have the guard depth to successfully counter the Bucks’ guards. Being able to bring George Hill and Malcolm Brogdon off the bench has killed the Raptors and those two almost helped secure a 3-0 lead for Milwaukee in this series.
That won’t stop in Game 4 either. After trading Delon Wright in the package for Marc Gasol, the Raptors have struggled matching the caliber of their guard depth to a team like Milwaukee.
This could once again lead to a fast first half for both teams. If the Bucks are struggling to stop the Raptors on the road and the Raptors can’t match pace with the Bucks, we could see a team get close to, or even exceed 60 first half points.
As it has been in the entire series, the defense will increase and the scoring will go down in the second half, but seeing this total in the first half still at 106 points is a value for the over.
The Sharp Pick
So far in this series, these two teams are playing at a pace of 100 possessions per 48 minutes in the first half and for the playoffs the Bucks’ pace is well over 102 in their first halves. If that continues and the Raptors can’t slow down the Bucks’ fast-break offense, watch out for the scoring.
So far, we have seen two games with first half combined scores of 109 and 110 and I’d be surprised if this Game 4 first half was much lower than that. Considering the Bucks have a 110.7 offensive rating in the first halves in this series, I doubt Toronto can hold them to less than 50, or even much less than 55 first half points. If Toronto can hold their nice offensive boost they got via home court in Game 3, I think 107 or 108 first half points are very feasible.
First Half Score Prediction: Bucks 55 – Raptors 56