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Bucks – Raptors



Bucks Raptors Game 5 handicapping

The Milwaukee Bucks will host the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night, with the series currently tied at 2-2.

The Bucks (top seed) got off to a great start in the series, surviving a Game 1 in which they had to come back from behind and then obliterating the Raptors in Game 2. They went to Toronto confident of stealing one game there, which would have put them in a position to close out the series in five games. However, they weren`t as effective on the road, Giannis wasn`t quite himself, and the Bucks failed to get a win on the road (even if they came close in Game 3).

The Raptors (2nd seed) did extremely well to survive in the two games at home, winning both of them against an arguably better team, and now putting themselves in a position to have a real chance of advancing. Toronto was particularly solid in Game 4, in which everyone contributed and in which they were in control from start to finish, winning by 18 points. But now they have to replicate the same level on the road, and it won`t be easy.

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Injury report: There is nothing new to report, both teams have the same old absentees – Gasol, DiVincenzo (Bucks) and Anunoby (Raptors). However, the Raptors have been dealing with a hobbled Kawhi Leonard over the past two games. He will play and probably won`t have any minutes restriction, but he isn`t at 100%.

While the Raptors winning both of the last two games in Toronto was impressive, it wasn`t necessarily surprising, as both teams are exceptional at home. I actually backed the Raptors with small stakes in both of those games, but wasn`t confident enough to write previews and predictions here on Betdistrict – something which I now regret a little bit.

What was surprising is that the Raptors won the previous two games without Kawhi Leonard having monster nights. He was great but not very effective in Game 3, and was below average at best in Game 4. The Raptors got great production from role players like VanVleet, Ibaka or Powell, who have struggled in this series. In Game 4 VanVleet was fantastic. These role players have been poor all playoffs for the Raptors, and it`s highly unlikely they can replicate the same level for a 2nd /3rd game in a row, or even get close to it – especially on the road.

It`s well known that role players perform much better at home in the playoffs, and that should be valid for the Bucks as well – their guys struggled in Toronto, but should get right back to draining threes in Milwaukee.

The Bucks can also expect more from Giannis, who was rather poor in the two games in Toronto.

With the series moving back to Milwaukee, you have to fancy the Bucks in this game. They are a better team overall, and only one team in the NBA had a better record than them at home.

The Raptors don`t seem to have a chance here unless Kawhi Leonard puts the team on his back, and it`s hard to expect that to happen considering he is not fully healthy right now.

My tip will be the Bucks to cover the -6,5 handicap. Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks – Toronto Raptors 114 – 98.

Pick: Bucks -6,5
Odds: 1.91 @ Pinnacle
Stake: 7
Possible profit: 6.37
Event date: 24 May

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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