Milwaukee Bucks (2-2 SU & ATS) vs Toronto Raptors (2-2 SU & ATS)
Thursday, May 23, 8:30 PM EST
NBA Free Picks: Milwaukee Bucks -7 (-105)
Recommended Sportsbook: 5Dimes
Two games ago, things looked mighty dire for the No.2 seed Toronto Raptors. To all and sundry, they looked poised for the dreaded sweep – something the Golden State Warriors accomplished in the Western Conference finals by sending the Portland Trail Blazers packing in four straight games.
Lo and behold, the Raptors are back in the series behind back-to-back victories in Toronto, capitalizing on home court advantage in the best way possible. To say it was improbable would be an unfair assessment of this matchup, but the manner in which they accomplished the feat was unexpected. Nowhere more so than in game 4 when they crushed the Bucks 120-102 to come through as the +137 home underdogs straight up and cover as the +3 home underdogs against the spread. The game also cracked the 215.5 closing total.
The Raptors victory in game 3 left many bettors with questions. Mainly, could the Raptors come back in game 4 to repeat a similar result given the fact they needed double overtime to edge the Bucks in a narrow 118-112 victory. Not least, the Raptors looked gassed and spent after the weekend’s effort. Bettors were skeptical and even the markets took a dubious stance, sending the Raptors into game 4 tipped at the disadvantage in spite of winning game 3 and having home court advantage.
Now that the series is level 2-2 it’s anybody’s game. What’s more, we are presented with more questions about the Toronto Raptors and, even, the Milwaukee Bucks. Which teams will show up in game 5?
According to the markets the Bucks have the decided edge. The matchup hangs on a 7-point spread with the hosts tipped to the good. In straight up betting, Milwaukee looks to be runaway favorites at almost -300 to win straight up and the totals are hovering around 214.5 to 215, depending on your choice sportsbook.
It’s worth noting, the straight up odds have moved only marginally from an opening -310 for the Bucks to a low of -295, currently available with JUST BET; the 7-point spread has largely stayed on point; while the totals opened around 218 but dropped significantly on the heels of early betting.
All in all, most markets reveal evenly split consensus betting numbers for this matchup, which only reiterates the questions we (and everybody else) have about the Raptors and Bucks. If the four games already in the books showed anything, it’s the strength of home court advantage. That coupled with the unpredictability of both sides.
If home court advantage is the deciding factor in this series one must give a nod to the Milwaukee Bucks in game 5 for their NBA picks. At the very least to win straight up, if not cover the hefty spread as well. (The Bucks must also be grateful for having top seed honors because they will have home-court advantage in game 7, should the series go that far).
In any event, the Bucks have to regroup and regain their focus for the purpose at hand. The first two games of the series show what the Bucks are capable of at home when things go their way, and if we look at the NBA odds for those games they had no trouble covering the 6-point spreads trading with plenty to spare.