Saturday 25th May
Milwaukee Bucks @ Toronto Raptors Game 6 Pick: The Golden State Warriors have already been enjoying a few days off to recover from their post-season exploits to reach the NBA Finals, but they could learn their opponent for the Championship as soon as Saturday night. The Toronto Raptors have overcome some big odds to beat the Milwaukee Bucks for a third time in a row to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals and one more win in front of their own fans will see them through to a first ever NBA Finals appearance.
It is a stunning turnaround in this Series after the Bucks won the first two games. They had only suffered back to back defeats once in the regular season and this is the first time Milwaukee have lost three in a row all year which makes the Toronto recovery all the more remarkable.
In Game 5 the Raptors rallied from big deficits on a couple of occasions to weather the Milwaukee storm and take a lead in the Series. It is making the Game 3 win in Double Overtime looking all the more key for Toronto who have earned some momentum from the manner of their win and continue to roll with it.
Milwaukee have not lost faith in their own ability, but Giannis Antetokounmpo is struggling at the Free Throw line at the wrong time as his team-mates have not stepped up to the plate. One of the big factors in the last three games is the deteriorating number of three point shots being taken by the Bucks as Milwaukee have continued to struggle to shoot the ball from downtown while their overall success from the field has been well down on their season numbers.
Energy on the Defensive side of the court has bled into the Toronto Offense too as Kawhi Leonard continues to dominate the Series. He bounced back from a tough Game 4 to score 35 points in Game 5 to lead the Raptors, but it has been the contribution of the role players that has really caught the eye and put Toronto in a position to finish the Finals.
I would be stunned if Milwaukee were to lose for a fourth game in a row, but they are not really a team I can back with any confidence after the way the last three games have gone. If they were to win Game 6 I would make the Bucks strong favourites to win the Series, but there is a lot of pressure on them and the layers have placed a spread that is impossible for me to judge.
If Milwaukee are going to win here, they need to do better from the field whether that is attacking the paint and getting to the Free Throw line or someone stepping up and getting hot from the three point line. The Raptors have shown they have players who can put the three ball together and they have scored plenty of points in this Series, but I do think Milwaukee are going to respond before it is too late.
After a lower than expected scoring Game 5 I am not surprised that so many have been quick to back the 'under' in this one. However the last eight between Toronto and Milwaukee in Canada have seen six of them finish with an 'over' and I think the Bucks are better than they have shown Offensively to think they can contribute to a high-scoring Game 6.
The 'over' is also 8-1 in the Milwaukee's last nine road games, while it is 14-3 when the Bucks are playing a team with a winning record at home. The 'over' has also been the play in Toronto games when facing a team with a winning record of at least 60% as that side of the market has improved to 4-1 in their last five at home.
The emotion is going to be high in this building on Saturday night, but I can see both teams looking to provide a heavy dose of three point shooting which can lead to Game 6 surpassing the number set.
25/05 Toronto Raptors-Milwaukee Bucks Over 212 Points @ 1.91 Bet365 (1 Unit)