Early in the season, the Toronto Raptors traveled to the midwest to take on the Milwaukee Bucks in a battle of unbeatens, but the matchup turned out to be a bit of a dud. Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo were both out, and the Bucks cruised to a 15-point victory.
The two sides are no longer undefeated of course, but they'll once again meet in Milwaukee in a battle of the Eastern Conference's top two teams. And this time, Leonard and Giannis with both be on the court.
Using a 9-1 surge over their last 10 games, the Bucks have overtaken the Raptors for the top spot in the East. But just barely, as they're up half a game. Of course, it's still early January, but this game is quite important in this race for the No. 1 seed. With a win, the Bucks could clinch the tiebreaker between the two teams.
How to watch Raptors at Bucks
- Date: Saturday, Jan. 5
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Fiserv Forum -- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- TV: NBA TV
- Streaming: fuboTV (free trial - NBA TV add-on available)
- Live stats: GameTracker
- Odds: Bucks -5
Odds and analysis
Check Sportsline's NBA pick sheet for all your daily odds.
Raptors: After a brilliant start to the season, the Raptors have stumbled a bit lately. They've haven't been bad, per se, but they're only playing about .500 basketball over the past month. Injuries to Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas have played a large part in that stretch, as they've fallen out of first place in the East. Both should be back relatively soon, but until then the Raptors will continue to rely on Kawhi Leonard to lead the way, and need some of their role players to step up.
Bucks: Taking advantage of a soft part of their schedule, the Bucks have gone on a roll lately, winning nine of their last 10 games to take over the top spot in the East. Now, on Saturday night, they'll face their toughest test in a few weeks when the Raptors come to town. The Bucks will want to win this game for multiple reasons. For one, they can extend their lead atop the conference, but perhaps more importantly, they can clinch the tiebreaker with the Raptors.
Game prediction, pick
This should be a fun game, but ultimately the Raptors' injuries and the Bucks' homecourt advantage will be the difference. The Bucks are a remarkable 18-3 at home this season, and we'll take them to keep that up by covering in this game.