The Toronto Raptors (50-19) knocked off the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks (55-15) in the Eastern Conference Finals last year but have been unable to defeat them in 2019-20 thus far. They'll get their third and final chance on Monday as the top two teams in the East square off at the HP Field House in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Giannis Antetokounmpo (tooth) was a late scratch for Milwaukee after originally being listed as probable for this 6:30 p.m. ET tip.
That's impacted the Bucks vs. Raptors odds from William Hill. Milwaukee was a seven-point favorite, but that's down to 5.5. The over-under is set at 225.5, down from 228. Before making any Raptors vs. Bucks picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine's advanced computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned well over $4,700 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 58-32 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,300 on those picks alone. Amazingly, it hasn't missed a single top-rated pick (5-0) since the NBA's restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Raptors vs. Bucks spread: Milwaukee -5.5
- Raptors vs. Bucks over-under: 225.5 points
- Raptors vs. Bucks moneyline: Toronto +185, Milwaukee -215
- TOR: The Raptors have scored at least 100 points in 10 consecutive contests
- MIL: Is 2-6 against the spread in its last eight games
Why the Raptors can cover
Toronto followed its first loss of the restart with a solid performance against the Grizzlies as it scored 40 points in the second quarter to take a 60-54 lead at halftime and limited Memphis to 30-percent shooting in third. It was a milestone victory for the Raptors, who clinched the No. 2 seed in the East and a first-round meeting with Brooklyn while reaching 50 wins for the fifth consecutive season. Six players reached double figures in points on Sunday, with Pascal Siakam leading the way with 26.
Last season's Most Improved Player, the 26-year-old power forward from Cameroon leads the Raptors with a 23.1-point average and has hit double digits in each of his 58 games this campaign. The Raptors are also certainly getting a break thanks to the Bucks deciding to sit Antetokounmpo, which could swing the value in their favor in this matchup.
Why the Bucks can cover
The Bucks will miss Antetokounmp, but Khris Middleton has been on his game since the restart, scoring at least 18 points in four of his five contests. The 28-year-old small forward finished with 21 points and 11 assists against the Mavericks for his seventh double-double of 2019-20 and second since the NBA resumed play. It was the first double-digit assist output of the season for Middleton, who ranks third on the team with a 4.3 average.
Toronto also has some injury concerns with Serge Ibaka (knee), Fred VanVleet (knee) and Kyle Lowry (back) all listed as questionable. Like the Bucks, the Raptors are locked into their playoff spot (No. 2 in the East), so there won't be a huge motivation edge for either side.
How to make Bucks vs. Raptors picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under the total, as a total of only two players reach the 20-point plateau in the simulation. It also says one side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Bucks vs. Raptors? And which side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Raptors vs. Bucks spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $4,700 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.