#2 Toronto Raptors (0-1) @ #1 Milwaukee Bucks (1-0)
NBA Basketball Playoffs: Friday May 17. 2019, 8:30PM ET (Fiserv Forum)
Lines and Odds: Milwaukee Bucks (-6.5), Over/Under: 217
Free NBA Picks Toronto Raptors vs Milwaukee Bucks
In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Toronto Raptors will attempt to reverse fortunes at Milwaukee, as they take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, who haven’t lost a playoff game since Game 1 of the Eastern Semis. Toronto, who was up early in the contest, wasn’t able to maintain the lead as they lost 108-100.
The Milwaukee Bucks have been on a tear since winning Game 2 versus the Bucks, spreading the floor as the Greek Freak took advantage of the interior. Brook Lopez was the latest beneficiary in the process, scoring a playoff career high 29 points, while Giannis led with 14 rebounds (4 offensive) and 6 assists, while adding 24 points. The number ranked defense of the Bucks in clutch, as they forced the Raptors miss their final 8 shots, while outscoring them 32-17 in the fourth. Other role players also impressed, such as Malcolm Brogdon and Nikola Mirotic, scoring 15 and 13, respectively. The only negative taken away from Wednesday night’s matchup was Khris Middleton’s inefficiency, only scoring 11 points while playing upwards of 35 minutes. This led to the Bucks only shooting 39.8 percent from the field, and only 25 percent from beyond the arc. For the Bucks to maintain control of the Eastern Conference Finals, they will likely depend once again on spreading the floor, with better hopes of attaining a better 3-point percentage.
The Toronto Raptors, coming off an up-and-down Semifinal against the Philadelphia 76ers, are facing an upward battle if unable to steal an important away win tonight at Milwaukee. Toronto did show signs of hope, leading by as much as 17 in the first half, but struggled heavily late in the second half, allowing the Bucks to take Game 1. Kawhi Leonard definitely played up to standard, scoring a game-high 31 points on 10/26 shooting while Marc Gasol, who was quiet throughout the NBA playoffs mainly because of the strength of opponent at center, led with 12 rebounds and 5 assists. What is likely to go unmentioned is the contribution of Kyle Lowry, who scored 30 points while grabbing 8 rebounds and 2 assists. Pascal Siakam, who is likely to be used heavily in Game 2, only scored 15 points on 6/20 shooting, as Ersan Illyasova and Nikola Mirotic did a stellar job defending the Cameroonian in Game 1. The Raptors will likely revert to playing the way they did in the first half, making Kawhi the primary ball-handler and scorer, while allowing Lowry and Siakam to use Marc Gasol on the pick-and-roll. Danny Green, who only scored 6 points in Game 1, is likely to improve in Game 2 also, if Coach Nurse allows Green to play 35 minutes once again.
Cover the Spread 365 Betting Trends
Toronto are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games.
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Toronto’s last 14 games.
Toronto are 14-6 SU in their last 20 games
Milwaukee are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games.
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Milwaukee’s last 6 games.
Milwaukee are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games
Free NBA Scores Milwaukee Bucks vs Toronto Raptors
Expect the game to be close throughout, with both teams improving in shooting categories statistically. Leonard will once again battle with the Greek Freak, but the X-factor will be Khris Middleton. If the first-time All-Star performs up to his standard as he did in the previous series, Bucks should pull away early in the fourth quarter and cover the spread.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-6.5)