Milwaukee at Toronto
Time: 6:30 PM CST (TNT)
Spread: TOR -2.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Milwaukee Bucks are 49-8 and have fared 31-4 against fellow Eastern Conference teams. Milwaukee is 23-5 on the road where it encounters the Toronto Raptors tonight at 6:30 PM (CST) on TNT. The Raptors are 2.5-point favorites with the over/under set at 230 points according to NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes.
Milwaukee has been outstanding thus far and has wholly dominated its competition with its 49-8 record thus far. Milwaukee is 31-4 against Eastern Conference opponents.
The Bucks are No. 1 NBA in scoring at 120 points per game, and it allows just 107.8 per game. The Bucks have a win differential of +12.2 points. Milwaukee is the league’s best rebounding team, too, averaging 51.8 boards per contest.
Giannis Antetokounmpo may finally win his elusive MVP award, too. The Greek forward is averaging 30 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game while posting a silly-high PER of 33.50. That does not even take his defensive talents into play, where he averages 2.3 steals/blocks per game while playing outstanding one-on-one defense.
Khris Middleton is the No. 2 scorer at 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. Eric Bledsoe is the third-option after Middleton with 15.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. George Hill has been a great sixth man for the Bucks. He is scoring 10 points and dishing three assists per game in just 21 minutes a night.
Veteran center Brook Lopez has been somewhat effective, but his 30.4 percent three-point shooting on 4.8 attempts per game certainly helps keep defenses honest and spreads the court for the Bucks. Lastly, Donte DiVicenzo has stepped into the same role he served at Villanova for the Bucks. He is providing a spark. The second-year guard is averaging 8.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in just 22.6 minutes per game. He has also started 20 games this season. The Bucks are legitimate contenders, now that the Warriors dynasty has come to its end, and also because LeBron James headed to the Western Conference.
The Toronto Raptors are 42-15 and won 127-81 over Indiana last outing. Pascal Siakam has been on fire and most recently won NBA’s Eastern Conference player of the week. Siakam has stepped into the role occupied by last year’s Final’s MVP Kawhi Leonard and allowed the Raptors to seamlessly progress as still true contenders. Siakam is averaging 23.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and posting a PER of 19.39. Over his last 10 games, he has tallied 23.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists while shooting 49 percent from the field and 36 percent from three.
The biggest step up perhaps outside of Siakam has been the improvement of Fred VanVleet. The diminutive 2-guard has proven to be a gutsy and clutch shooter the Raptors can rely on for big scoring shares. VanVleet is the No. 3 scorer behind Siakam and Kyle Lowry, averaging 17.7 points and 6.7 assists per game while shooting 43 percent from the floor and 38.9 percent from three-point range. Lowry is averaging 19.4 points and 7.7 assists. The Raptors have got strong play from Serge Ibaka, Norman Powell, and OG Anunoby, as well, in using its supreme depth to help overcome the loss of last year’s leader (Leonard). The Raptors still have the framework of a contending team and the defense to put a scare into any team in the league.