Raptors vs. Bucks Game 6 Betting Preview: Will Toronto Close Things Out at Home?

Raptors vs. Bucks Game 6 Betting Preview: Will Toronto Close Things Out at Home? article feature image
Credit:

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2, center Marc Gasol (33).

Game 6: Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors Betting Odds

  • Spread: Raptors -2.5
  • Over/Under: 212.5
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT
  • Series Score: Bucks Lead 3-2

>> All odds as of Friday evening. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.


This series has experienced wild swings, with the Bucks winning the first two and the Raptors taking three straight now.

Will Toronto sweep the final four or can Milwaukee force a Game 7? Our experts weigh in.

Betting Trends to Know

The Bucks have lost three games in a row for the first time this season. Since 2005, teams who have lost three or more games in a row before a playoff game have gone 72-90-6 (44%) against the spread. Teams listed as underdogs after such a streak, like the Bucks, have gone 42-63-3 (40%) ATS. — John Ewing

Since 2005, No. 1 seeds that lost at least three straight games entering a playoff game are just 4-10 ATS. It’s a small sample size, but those 14 teams failed to cover the spread by 5.8 points per game. When those teams were listed as underdogs, as the Bucks are in Game 6, they went 0-4 straight up and ATS, failing to cover by 17.4 points per game. — Evan Abrams

The Bucks closed as 7.5-point favorites in Game 5 at home against the Raptors and ended up losing just their second home game of the playoffs. Since 2005, teams on a three-game losing streak entering a playoff game who were listed as a five-point favorite in their previous game are 13-3 straight up and 11-5 ATS, winning by 7.7 points per game and covering the spread by 3.8 points per game. — Abrams

As a series progresses, teams become more familiar with each other. Defensive adjustments are made and player fatigue becomes an issue, all of which contributes to lower-scoring outcomes. As a result, it has been profitable to bet the under in Games 6 and 7 of a playoff series. — Ewing

The Bucks are the top seed in the Eastern Conference for a reason, and that may come into play when they need it most. Since 2005, No. 1 seeds have been the most-profitable seed when playing on the road after losing at home.

  • No. 1 seeds: 19-13 ATS (59.4%)
  • No. 2 seeds: 12-14 ATS (46.2%)
  • No. 3 seeds: 9-15-1 ATS (37.5%)
  • No. 4 seeds: 12-10 ATS (54.5%) — Abrams


Locky: How I’m Betting Game 6


I think we have reached the point in the series where I cannot trust what my eyes are telling me. There have been few games in the playoffs I was more wrong about than Game 5 and few players I have been more wrong about than Kawhi Leonard.

OK, I guess he is a robot. You win, machines. I was wrong. Even on one leg he’s better than all the other players on the court. It’s really quite remarkable.

There are a few NBA analysts I trust more than most, and one of the themes that has permeated their social media is the idea of familiarity and Milwaukee. Essentially the theme is that the Bucks are the Rockets of the Eastern Conference.

When you play them once or twice, their style and system are so jarring, that they throw you off balance. But as long as you are equally talented or close, you minimize what they want to accomplish over time and you can make things difficult on offense — especially for Giannis. That seems to be what’s happening here.

There are some things we know to be true about Game 6:

  • The crowd will be loud and Drake will be obnoxious.
  • The Raptors will squeeze their perimeter guys in to block Giannis and prevent easy baskets
  • Kawhi will have a productive offensive game and Toronto’s bench players play better at home

The question mark will be the Bucks’ supporting cast, and considering they haven’t been in a situation like this really ever, I think you go with the home team here at such a small number. I like Toronto. — Ken Barkley


Mears: My Thoughts on Game 6

This has been such a weird series, and while I don’t have a strong take on either the side or total, I’ll give my thoughts nonetheless.

The easy bet is the Raptors. After all, they’ve won three straight and now have a closeout game in Toronto. They’ve closed down the stretch, they’ve consistently been better in the crucial fourth quarters and now they’re only 2.5-point favorites (after opening at -1).

Let me at least try to make a case for the Bucks. First, they still have a positive point differential at +0.2 in non-blowout time. That doesn’t mean a whole lot down 2-3, but the point is that this series has been closer than what the current narrative suggests. There’s some recency bias because of how the series has gone, which is that the Raps have won three straight.

In terms of shot profile, these teams are also about dead even. They’re getting about the same number of open and wide-open shots. Toronto has hit a couple percentage points more, and that can be enough in such a dead-even series.

That was the case in Game 5. The Bucks actually did their thing and dominated in transition, adding 10.3 points per 100 possessions. A ton of that (+8.2) was pushing off live rebounds, and that obviously has a compounding effect. A few more misses for the Raptors means a few more incredibly high-efficient looks for the Bucks. It came down to the final minute.

Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34), Raptors guards Norman Powell (24) and Fred VanVleet (23).

The Bucks went 10-of-31 from 3-point range (32.3%), whereas the Raptors went 18-of-42 (42.9%). Again, in a game that comes down to the final possessions, that discrepancy matters. Fred VanVleet, who had struggled all playoffs, shot 7-of-8 from 3-point range. That can happen again, but if he goes even 50% — still way above his expectation — this is a different game.

So you could make the argument that both teams held court at home in Games 1-4, and then the Raptors got a hot VanVleet game and one thanks to a few bounces that went their way. It’s not like they blew out the Bucks at home.

And if Milwaukee had squeaked out that game, this spread would be drastically different. I get life doesn’t work that way, but when you boil things down to just a few VanVleet 3s, the adjustment seems drastic.

Right now at Westgate, the Raptors are -240 for the series and -140 for Game 6. The Bucks are +190 for the series and +120 for Game 6. The data says this series is incredibly close if you take a bird’s-eye view. The Bucks could absolutely win this game and then the line odds change drastically again for Game 7 on Monday.

Again, I don’t have a strong lean on either side. But if you believe that this series really is indeed that close and potentially more like a coin flip than the Raptors as significant favorites, you’re getting decent odds at the moment. — Bryan Mears


Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.