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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors Predictions, Picks and Preview – 2017 NBA Playoffs – Eastern Conference First Round Game One

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors Predictions, Picks and Preview – 2017 NBA Playoffs – Eastern Conference First Round Game One


Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors Game 1 Preview

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

When: Saturday, April 15, 2017, 5:30 PM ET

Line: Milwaukee Bucks (+7) at Toronto Raptors (-7); total: 201.5 – view all NBA lines

TV Broadcast: ESPN

NBA News & Predictions

Betting on the Milwaukee Bucks

Point Spread: +7

As one of the East’s biggest surprises this season, the Milwaukee Bucks should really give the Toronto Raptors the worries in their opening-round series.

The Bucks went 14-4 in March (11-7 ATS) – the most wins amongst all NBA teams in that month – to pretty much seal their ticket into the postseason. One of those 14 victories happens to be against the Raptors; a 101-94 win on March 4 wherein Khris Middleton a then-season-high 24 points.

Much of Milwaukee’s success came after the return of Middleton, who played his first game of the season on February 8 coming off a lengthy torn hamstring injury. The team went 17-6 with the fifth-year guard back in the lineup and has outscored opponents by 5.7 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor.

Then there’s the breakout campaign from Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has been the team’s undoubted Swiss Army knife of a leader. This season, The Greek Freak became the only player in NBA history to finish in the league’s top 20 in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, showing that he’s the total package that can give Toronto all sorts of fits all over again.

For the Bucks to take the opening playoff contest, they’ll need to exert their imposing presense down low constantly. They took the most shots from the paint in the regular season at 53 percent, with Antetokounmpo himself ranking third at 13.1 points-in-the-paint per game this regular season.

Betting on the Toronto Raptors

Point Spread: -7

What a blessing having Kyle Lowry back is for the Toronto Raptors.

Lowry, the team’s floor general who only made his presence recently felt during the last four contests of the regular season, missed 21 games after the All-Star break with a wrist injury that needed surgery. He’s Toronto’s top threat from beyong the arc with a team-best 192 three-pointers made this season and will serve as a perfect counter to Milwaukee’s inside game.

But when Lowry was out and even with the mid-season acquisitions of Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker, the Raptors were still carried tremendously by DeMar DeRozan. The three-time All-Star averaged career-bests of 27.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this season, and his leadership will be called upon once more here in the playoffs.

The Raptors certainly need DeRozan to get it going, as they’re a perfect 10-0 after the All-Star break when their go-to scorer hits the 30-point mark in a game. Case in point: in March 4’s meeting against the Bucks, DeRozan had just 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting, which eventually led to a loss.

Still, Toronto knows how to stage combacks better than anyone else, as the team led the NBA with 21 wins after being down by 10 or more points in a given contest. And prior to the loss to Milwaukee that we just brought up, they actually took three of the other games against the Bucks this season (also 3-1 ATS), with their two wins at home by a combined 38 points.

Writer’s Prediction

The Bucks (+7) escape with a close win on the road, 95-91, to steal home-court advantage from the Raptors.

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Written by Mark

Sports Betting Tips, News, and Analysis