Raptors (+6) @ Bucks (217.5)
Pick: Bucks -6
Usually I’d hesitate to lay two possessions with a team having not played in a week. That’s the situation the Bucks are in here, but Milwaukee has earned my trust after how convincing it dispatched of Boston in the second round. The Bucks made a statement in the conference semifinals that they were a notch above the rest of the Eastern Conference and oddsmakers have responded installing the Bucks as close to a three-dollar favorite on the series money line in this one. Milwaukee has covered an astonishing eight out of nine games in the postseason and we really have no reason to assume the Bucks train is slowing down primarily because the Raptors aren’t good enough to pose a serious threat. Despite advancing to the conference finals, Toronto looked more like Boston in the last round than Milwaukee. There were stretches of dominance from the Raptors against the Sixers followed by stretches of below average basketball. Granted, there weren’t enough stretches of below average basketball from the Raptors to lose the series, though they were down 2-1 and were let off the hook in Game 4 in Philadelphia. In other words, the Raptors really haven’t looked like a championship caliber team for most of the playoffs while the Bucks have looked like that kind of team for the entire postseason so far. Fading teams off of emotional wins is usually smart and the Raptors just experienced arguably their biggest win in franchise history. The Bucks looked like a team with bigger fish to fry in the first two rounds and there’s no reason to think that changes now. Milwaukee wins by double digits tonight and takes the series in five.