Betting on Thursday night's Raptors Bucks Game 3 in Milwaukee comes down to which Toronto team shows up. The Game 1 Raptors looked completely guilty of overlooking this Bucks squad, losing 83-97 at the Air Canada Centre. In Game 2 Toronto rebounded however to even the series up after a 106-100 home win.
So how do you gauge / predict how the Raptors will fare as they head on the road to Milwaukee? Toronto is a pretty decent road team at 23-18 on the season, but Bucks fans should incite a nice home court advantage seeing it's only the 3rd playoff series the local fans will be witnessing in the past 7 years. Bucks bettors will hope that leads to an improvement over the rather pedestrian 23-18 home record Milwaukee had over the regular season.
Toronto was the better regular season team by 9 games (53-32 compared to 43-41) but the bookmakers are taking credence in the fact that the Bucks might be for real, listing Milwaukee as -1.5 favorites.
The Bucks were quite dominant in the opening game of the series. In that 97-83 win Giannis Antetokounmpo proved to be nearly unstoppable scoring 28 points on 13 of 18 shooting. That game was an especially devastating loss for Toronto, not only because it cost them home court but because they held a 33 to 15 advantage in free throw attempts.
Game 2 wasn't necessarily pretty, but it got the job done for Toronto in a 106-100 win. The “Greek Freak” was nearly just as amazing for Milwaukee with 24 points but the difference was the Raptors second half play where they held a 51-48 advantage compared to 32-51 in Game 1.
One thing that should be taken into consideration about the Raptors game 1 loss was the fact that it pushed them to 0-9 in the opening game of a first round playoff series. Say what you want, they just don't play well in series openers. Of course Milwaukee was still able to cover as +8 underdogs in Game 2 but at least the Raptors showed signs of life.
The last time the two teams played in Milwaukee the Bucks were able to capture a 101-94 win on March 4th. So who has the advantage in Game 3?
Antetokounmpo has been great for the Bucks, but Toronto has quite a 2-headed monster of their own in DeMar Derozan and Kyle Lowry. A good Raptors road team in a spot where they desperately need to recapture home court advantage – and as underdogs, makes Toronto the safest play in this heated playoff matchup.
Raptors are the Pick