A top-flight matchup between two of the NBA's best teams takes place on Thursday night when the Milwaukee Bucks pay a visit to the Toronto Raptors.

The best record in the East is on the line as the Raptors enter this home matchup just half a game behind the Bucks for the top seed in the conference. More importantly, the Bucks will clinch the season series -- which could mean home-court advantage over Toronto in the playoffs -- if they win this game.

This game will also play a role in who represents the East squad as the head coach at the All-Star Game in February. 

The Raptors need to win Thursday and then Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers for a chance to overtake Milwaukee in the standings and give Nick Nurse the coaching spot in the All-Star Game. The Bucks also would have to lose to the Washington Wizards on Saturday for the Raptors to have the better winning percentage.

Provided that doesn't happen, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer would be the coach in the 2019 All-Star Game.

Here's everything you need to know about tonight's big East matchup.

How to watch: Bucks at Raptors

  • Date: Thursday, Jan. 31
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Location: Scotiabank Arena -- Toronto, Ontario
  • Streaming: TNT -- fuboTV (free trial - NBA League Pass add-on available)
  • Live stats: Gametracker
  • Odds: Raptors -2.5 

Odds and analysis

Check Sportsline's NBA pick sheet for all your daily odds.   


Bucks: The Bucks are looking to win the season series -- and thus, the tiebreaker -- over the Raptors. They won the first two games of the season against them before Toronto won the latest meeting, 123-116, on Jan. 5. Entering this matchup, the Bucks hold a half-game lead over the Raptors for the best record in the East. The last time Milwaukee won the season series over Toronto was in 2012-13.

Raptors: The Raptors are looking to overtake the Bucks for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. More importantly, they're looking to hold off the Bucks from clinching the season series -- which would mean home-court advantage for the postseason. Toronto has won 10 consecutive home games, with their last loss coming on Dec. 9 against none other than the Bucks.

Game prediction, pick

The Raptors are at home and there's a reason why they have the second-best home record (21-4, just behind the Bucks' 22-4 home mark) in the league. Considering Toronto's dominance at home and the fact that it's had three full days off, you have to pick the Raptors over the Bucks in this one.