Can The Raptors Catch The Deer


Milwaukee Bucks (2-1 SU & ATS) vs Toronto Raptors (1-2 SU & ATS)

Tuesday, 2019 8:30 PM EST

NBA Free Picks: Milwaukee Bucks -3 (-105)

Recommended Sportsbook: Pinnacle

Toronto Raptors Made Relevant

The Raptors finally became relevant in the Eastern Conference finals by winning game 3 in double overtime. However, with the series still firmly in Milwaukee’s camp behind a 2-1 edge, the Raptors have a lot of work to do, and if the NBA odds were any indication it looks to be an arduous uphill climb.

Indeed, the NBA odds are stacked against the Raptors across the NBA odds board, which is a marked departure from game 2 when the Raptors were dubbed the favorites to all intents and purposes. Currently, the Raptors are anywhere from +133 to +140 to win straight up while the totals for the game are hovering around 217.5, down from an opening 218 on the NBA odds board.

Against the spread, the Raptors are similarly disadvantaged. Bookies opened with the Raptors priced at +2.5, but, since open doors, betting has pushed the line markedly. Currently, Raptors are trading as the +3 home underdogs with most top-rated sportsbooks – Bovada has gone as far as to install the Raptors at +3.5.

At first glance, the market outlook appears to stand in stark contrast with the outcome of game 3, which the Raptors won 118-112 in double overtime to come through as the nominal -2.5 (closing odds) home favorites. They also cashed for bettors that backed them to win straight up at -135 (or thereabouts) and the total cracked the closing 221.5 mark. Surely, the hosts following a win and with home court advantage at the Scotiabank Arena warrant positive consideration.

In many cases, that would be true. What the outcome of game 3 belies is the manner in which the Raptors had to come up with the win and that does take the shine off of them. The Raptors needed double overtime and Giannis Antetokounmpo to have a bad day in the office.

Those that watched the game will also have noted how the Raptors were forced to throw the kitchen sink at the Milwaukee Bucks. And, to be fair, even by doing so they only just managed the win. All this begs the question, can the Raptors sustain such a level?

Never mind through the course of the best-of-seven series, but can they come back with the same intensity and grit in this upcoming, ever so crucial game 4? Maybe they can, but the resounding answer according to the NBA odds and public bettors is a resounding no.

Public betting is distinctly favoring Milwaukee Bucks to the tune of 60% or higher to win straight up and cover as the road favorites.

Clearly, the overriding opinion is unconvinced by the Raptors. Not to mention, they must be gassed after game 3. Leonard was absolutely brilliant and he did put together almost singlehandedly a performance to remember, but will he be able to do it again. Or rather will he be allowed to do it again?

Milwaukee Bucks have several takeaways from game 3 that will prove inspiring for a bounce-back performance in game 4. Enough to make all and sundry hedge their bets on the Bucks to do just that.

From a betting perspective, consider this is only the second loss the Bucks have suffered in the postseason – they are 10-2-0 SU with a 13.0 winning margin on average in the playoffs and a +6.2 differential against the spread. This season, they are also 22-1-0 SU after a loss this season with a 15.0 winning margin on average and a +7.2 differential against the spread, which yields a 95.7% winning ratio. As away team, they are 31-15-0 SU with a 6.2 winning margin on average and a +2.3 differential against the spread. As away favorites, they are 24-11-0 with a 6.5 winning margin on average and a + 0.6 differential against the spread.

NBA Picks: Milwaukee Bucks -3 (-105)