Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#531 Toronto Raptors 218 vs.
#532 Milwaukee Bucks -6
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 8:30pm EDT
BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee
Written by Chris Kubala



#531 Toronto
#532 Milwaukee


This article covers a past game!

View upcoming games.

The Eastern Conference Finals get underway as the top two teams in the conference lock up in Brew City. The second-seeded Toronto Raptors are on the road as they travel to face the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 Wednesday night. Toronto advanced as they knocked off third-seeded Philadelphia 92-90 at home in Game 7 Sunday night. Milwaukee is rested as they’ve been off since dropping fifth-seeded Boston 116-91 in Game 5 of their conference semifinals series last Wednesday. The Bucks lead the all-time regular season series 51-38 and took three of four meetings this season. In the postseason, Toronto won the only previous series, taking a six-game victory in the first round of the 2017 playoffs.

Toronto Raptors Shoot to Ride Momentum in Opener

Toronto went tooth and nail down to the wire in the winner take all Game 7 against Philadelphia. In the end, it was Kawhi Leonard, who carried the team in the contest, hitting the game-winning jumper over Joel Embiid at the buzzer after it caromed off the rim four times. The Raptors led by five after the opening quarter and by four at the half: they gave up a 16-0 run to trail by seven with five minutes to play in the third quarter. Toronto rallied to lead by three after the third quarter and went back and forth in the final stanza with Philadelphia tying the game with 4.8 seconds to play to set up Leonard’s heroics. The Raptors overcame shooting 38.2 percent from the field, including seven of 30 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 49-41. Leonard led Toronto with 41 points, eight rebounds and three steals in the victory despite shooting 16 of 39 from the floor.

The Raptors currently are 10th in the league during the postseason by averaging 103.6 points per game. Toronto is near the bottom of the pack in the league on the glass, ranking 13th with 41.8 boards per game. The Raptors are 9th in the league in assists with 22.3 dimes a night. Toronto is 1st in scoring defense as they give up 96 points per game. The Raptors are 5th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 45.4 percent from the field. Toronto is 9th in the league by sinking 10.7 three pointers per game.

The Raptors are 13th in the league in three-point shooting as they hit 32.7 percent from beyond the arc. Kawhi Leonard leads the team in the postseason by pouring in 31.8 points plus 8.5 rebounds per game. Pascal Siakam continues his strong play from the regular season as he puts up 20.8 points plus 7.3 boards a game. Getting more production from guys like Marc Gasol (8.6 points, 5.6 rebounds) and Serge Ibaka (nine points, 5.8 rebounds) would help immensely for the Raptors. OG Anunoby, who has missed the entire postseason after an emergency appendectomy, is out here and won’t be reevaluated until next week. His absence hampers Toronto’s efforts to contain Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Milwaukee Bucks Hope That Rest Leads to Home Success

Milwaukee rolled over Boston as they took the final four games of the series after a Game 1 defeat at home. The Bucks have had a week off before this one and the rest can only help get them healthy for this series. Milwaukee led by just three after the opening quarter but took control of the game with a 30-20 second quarter edge to take a 13-point halftime lead. The Bucks didn’t let Boston closer than nine the rest of the way as they rolled to the victory. Milwaukee shot 44.7 percent from the field, including 15 of 47 from three-point range, and controlled the glass 58-48 to overcome 16 turnovers. Giannis Antetokounmpo led seven Milwaukee players in double figures with 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the win.

The Bucks have been dominant in postseason thus far, winning by 10 or more points in seven of eight games. Against Boston, Milwaukee’s four wins came by an average of 16.3 points.

The Bucks are above average in the postseason offensively, ranking 2nd in the league with 116.9 points a game. Milwaukee is solid on the glass in the postseason as they are 1st with 52 rebounds per game. The Bucks are 2nd in assists as they dish out 25.6 per contest. Milwaukee is 3rd in scoring defense as they allow 101.6 points per game. Milwaukee is 2nd in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 46.8 percent from the floor. The Bucks are 2nd with 13.4 three-point field goals per game and stand 5th as they shoot 35.4 percent from beyond the arc.

Antetokounmpo leads the team with 27.4 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest. Eric Bledsoe contributes 16 points plus 4.3 assists a night while Khris Middleton puts up 19.1 points, six boards and 4.6 assists per contest in the postseason. Malcolm Brogdon made his playoff debut with 10 points, three rebounds and four assists in 17 minutes against the Celtics as he returned after suffering a torn plantar fascia in mid-March. That adds depth to the Bucks’ rotation as it adds another perimeter shooter to the mix. In four regular season games against Toronto, Antetokounmpo has averaged 27 points and 15.3 rebounds per game.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Milwaukee had the upper hand in the regular season series this season and the fact that Brogdon is back for them helps the team even further. George Hill was a big factor in the series against Boston, putting up an average of 14.2 points per game in those five games. Toronto has to get better production from their role players if they want to compete here. Ibaka had a big Game 7 against the 76ers but he needs to be consistent. The Raptors don’t have enough pieces to compete here and the fatigue factor of a physical seven-game set with Philadelphia catches up with them. Milwaukee gets the edge at home here.

Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks -6

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Milwaukee has been good on both ends of the floor in the postseason as they’ve rolled to an 8-1 mark. The Bucks have held the opposition to 104 points or less in seven of their nine playoff games. On the other end of the floor, Milwaukee has hung at least 113 points in eight of their games: they have won all of those. Toronto relied heavily on their defense in the first two rounds as they stifled the Magic and the 76ers. The Raptors have to stick with that to have success here: can they find a way to slow Antetokounmpo?

The under is 5-0 in the Raptors’ last 5 games playing on 2 days rest, 6-0 in their last 6 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game and 5-0 in their last 5 games following an ATS loss. Milwaukee has seen the under go 5-0 in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 7-3 in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Look for this one to fall short of the number as the Bucks clamp down defensively on the Raptors’ attack.

Prediction: 217.5

Half-Time Side Pick

Insiders Status:


Milwaukee has been a force in the postseason as the biggest deficit that they’ve faced at intermission is six points, which came against the Pistons in Game 4 on the road. The Bucks came back and outscored Detroit 71-42 in the second half en route to a sweep. Toronto has been up and down in the opening halves of games in the postseason as they alternate between stretches where they can’t miss with ones where they can’t hit water falling out of a boat. The Raptors lack the secondary options to put points on the board and that gives Milwaukee the edge at the half.

Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks -3.5

Half-Time Total Bet

Insiders Status:


Both teams are able to put up points on the offensive end of the floor, which gives the ability to run up the total on both sides. On the flip side, these teams are sharp defensively as the Raptors are second in the postseason in scoring defense while Milwaukee is third. Game 7 of the series against the 76ers was a brickfest and fell well under the total at the half en route to a solid under in that contest. Milwaukee shut down Kyrie Irving in the last series and they have the ability to stifle Leonard as well. This one falls a couple points shy of the number at the half.

Prediction: Under 107.5

Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.