This is exactly what most NBA fans wanted in the Eastern Conference Finals. The two top teams with the two best players in the east meet up with a trip to the Finals on the line. Here is a full betting preview for the Milwaukee Bucks’ matchup with the Toronto Raptors.
It’s been a whole week since the NBA world has seen the Bucks take the court. Milwaukee was able to wrap their series up with the Boston Celtics so quickly that it earned them a nice break between matchups. After a rare off-night in game one, Giannis Antetokounmpo became the difference maker in the five-game dismantling of the Celtics. The PF enters the Eastern Conference Finals averaging 27.4 PPG and 11.3 RPG (more than any player remaining in the playoffs). Antetokounmpo would easily be considered the most impressive player during these playoffs if it wasn’t for the man he’ll share a court with come Wednesday. The legend of Kawhi Leonard grows more and more by the day. His unforgettable series-winning shot only capped off an incredible two rounds of basketball for the first-year Raptor. Kawhi leads all Eastern Conference players with 31.8 PPG through his 12 postseason matchups. He is playing the best basketball of his life, but there is no doubt his teammates, specifically Kyle Lowry, have to step up in round three. If Kawhi has to do everything himself, the Bucks have enough firepower on both sides of the ball to put the Raptors away. In four regular season meetings, Milwaukee won three times. In the Raptors’ only win, Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka combined for 85 points. Toronto needs to have two or three players rolling offensively at all times to take this series against Milwaukee. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the home Bucks (-270) are favored over the Raptors (+210) in game one.
Game one has a projected point total of 217 points, which is lower than the number given in the Trail Blazers-Warriors’ first contest. Both the under and over have received the same odds here (-110), so which bet is the smart play? Here are the point totals from the four regular season games between these two teams: 233, 203, 239 and 197. That means the over and under would have been hit two times each. Average the four games together, and you get a grand total of 218 PPG; just one above game one’s expected total. It’s up to sports bettors to figure out which games were more out of character for these teams, the high-scoring games or the low-scoring games. Here is a pretty good indicator of which figure to believe in: the Toronto Raptors have not had a single game hit a total of 217 points all postseason. In 12 playoff games, the highest total is only 214 points. That came in a 125-89 win over the 76ers. In that game, six different Raptors scored double-digit points. That contest was the aberration, not the standard in Toronto. Both of these teams can certainly score, but the defenses are just as good. Expect the squads to play lockdown defense before opening things up at the other end of the court.