Jordan’s NBA Picks: 83-60-1, Playoffs 29-22-1
Milwaukee (70-26 SU & 57-36 ATS) at Toronto (69-30 SU & 47-50 ATS)
Saturday, 8:30 PM EST, TNT
Free NBA Pick: Over 1Q
Recommended Sportsbook: 5Dimes
It’s do-or-die time for the Bucks and after losing the last three in a row to the Raptors, will Milwaukee bounce back and force a Game 7, or will Kawhi Leonard head to the Finals to face the Warriors?
Scoring Depletion In Game 5
It seems like Game 5’s in the NBA are always pretty hotly contested defensively. Both teams held each other under 50 points at the half and Toronto limited the Bucks to only 40 second-half points.
Toronto has successfully figured out slowing down Giannis Antetokounmpo. They have built a wall in the paint and have forced him to become more of a distributor than a scorer over the last three games. Antetokounmpo is shooting just 12-for-26 from the free throw line over the Bucks’ last three losses also, so the Raptors are also getting in his head some it seems.
However, for whatever reason in this series, the Raptors have been unable to slow down the Bucks’ first-quarter offense. It’s been very evident in the pace of play early in the game compared to late.
For instance, these two teams have a pace of 103.2 in the first quarter in this series and even over the last three games, it’s still been fast at 100.7. Over those last three wins for the Raptors, they have posted a 112 offensive rating in the first quarter, while the Bucks are close to that at 110.5.
While I am concerned with going right back to the well that made us money in Game 5, Game 6’s line is a full point lower than the number I beat in Game 5. On top of that, the Bucks’ only chance is to speed this game up and keep it that way on the road.
The Sharp Pick
For the Bucks to go back to beating the Raptors in Game 6, they will have to not only speed the game up, but they will also need to take the very active Toronto crowd out of the game early. If Milwaukee can grab momentum from the opening top by playing fast, getting turnovers and fast break dunks, it will not only go a long way towards them potentially winning the game, it also makes the first quarter over a fine wager.
First Quarter Score Prediction: Bucks 27 – Raptors 28