Go Against The Grain & Back Underdog Bucks As Your Free NBA Pick vs. Raptors

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 6:17 PM GMT

Toronto Raptors look to bounce back at the expense of the Milwaukee Bucks. Here’s a rundown of the NBA market, complete with NBA picks.

Toronto Raptors (44-21)
The Toronto Raptors are riding high in the Eastern Conference behind a 44-21 mark, second only to the Cleveland Cavaliers (47-19). Indeed, they are giving the highly fancied Cavaliers a run for their money.

Last night, the Raptors had a chance to close the gap on the Cavaliers when they hosted the Chicago Bulls, but they bottled the opportunity in a 109-107 loss that saw them fail to cover as the massive 9.5-point home chalk. It was an unexpected upset, you could say. Consider the Raptors were a solid 26-7 at home prior to that loss, riding a three-game winning streak at home and were 5-1 SU in their last six home games.

How costly the loss might be only time will tell. They are playing their second game in as many nights, but this time they’ll be in the road and bouncing back into the win column could be more challenging than the NBA odds would have it.

As it is, the Raptors are 7-3 SU in their last ten games and enter this matchup as the road chalk, with NBA lines hanging on a 2-point spread at most sports betting outlets. On the season, the Raptors are 35-30-0 ATS with a 4.4-point winning margin and a plus 0.7-point differential versus the spread. On the road, they are 17-13-0 ATS with a 2.1-point winning margin and a plus 1.2-point differential versus the spread. As away favourites, they are 9-8-0 ATS with a 5.5-point winning margin and a plus 0.5-point differential versus the spread.

 

Milwaukee Bucks (29-38)
The Milwaukee Bucks are enjoying a subpar 29-38 season, hanging out well outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture as the season hurtles towards the business end. On paper, the Raptors are certainly the better team and, as a result, enter this game as the road favourites. What the market does overlook somewhat is the Bucks rather healthy home record that stands at 20-12 SU and a recent three-game winning streak. Indeed, those two aspects could provide contrarian value on the hosts for NBA bettors on their NBA picks.

Milwaukee Bucks are coming off wins over Miami, New Orleans and Brooklyn. Over Miami, they upset the NBA odds as the 3.5-point home underdogs, while over the latter pair they won and covered as the -6.5-home favourite and 1.5-road favourite.

The back-to-back wins over Miami and New Orleans at home has the Bucks improving to 6-4 SU in their last ten home games. As well, the three-game winning streak has the Bucks improving to a 5-5 SU record in their last ten games.

Overall, the Bucks are 34-32-1 ATS on the season with a 3.5-point losing margin and a negative 0.4-point differential versus the spread. At home, they are 17-14-1 with a 0.7-point winning margin and a plus 0.9-point differential versus the spread. As home underdogs, they are 10-9-0 ATS with just a 1.1-point losing margin and a plus 2.8-point differential versus the spread.

 

NBA Betting Verdict
It’s no real surprise that the Toronto Raptors are matched as the 2-point road favourites in this game considering their solid season and their 3-0 SU record over the Bucks, having beaten them twice at home and once on the away. Indeed, consensus betting picks reveal an overwhelming lean towards the Raptors at -2 with 64% of the public pounding them on their NBA picks.

However, the Bucks have undeniable momentum going into this game which doesn’t appear to be merited enough by both the odds makers and public. They must be tired of losing to the Raptors as well. What’s more, the Raptors aren’t exactly a cert bet with no rest ahead of this game – they are just 6-6-0 ATS with a 2.7-point winning margin and a plus 0.7-point differential against the spread when playing back-to-back games. That combined with the momentum by the home underdogs has us going against the grain and considering the Bucks as the value NBA pick.

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NBA Pick: Bucks +2
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle