Toronto at Milwaukee Game 6 NBA Playoffs Odds & Preview

Posted by Michael Hunt on Thursday,April 27, 2017 9:36, EDT in

The Cleveland Cavaliers are into the Eastern Conference Semifinals and might not care whether they play Toronto or Milwaukee as those two play a Game 6 on Thursday. I can promise you this, however: the Cavs want the Bucks to win this game so the series goes a full seven. Milwaukee is a slight NBA odds favorite.

Toronto at Milwaukee Game 6 NBA Playoffs Odds & Preview

When: Thursday, April 27, 7 PM ET
Where: Bradley Center, Milwaukee
TV: TNT
Stream: NBA.tv
Radio: Toronto / Milwaukee
NBA Odds: Bucks -1.5 (195)

Why Bet On Toronto?

This series turned with the Bucks up 2-1 in it. The Raptors were having trouble with Milwaukee’s length and athleticism in the first 3 games, so Coach Dwane Casey decided to get more athletic. He moved swingman Norman Powell to the starting lineup and center Jonas Valanciunas to a reserve role.

In Toronto’s 118-93 Game 5 win, Powell started for the second game in a row and scored a playoff career-high 25 points on 8-of- 11 shooting in 34 minutes. Despite playing a total of six minutes prior to Game 3, Powell will likely end up being the biggest X-factor in this series. He got off to a hot start with 11 points in the first quarter and never looked back, adding four rebounds, four assists, three steals, one block and four triples to go with his 25 points.

DeMar DeRozan said Powell’s aggressiveness in the first unit spaces the floor for the Raptors and Casey praised him for staying ready. Kyle Lowry said Powell changed the series. The Raptors’ lineup of Lowry, Powell, DeRozan, DeMarre Carroll and Serge Ibaka didn’t play a second together before their start in Game 4, but that combo has played outstanding defense to get them to a +19.3 net rating in 32 minutes over the last two games. Powell is averaging 18.5 points per game on an 84.2 true shooting percentage over the past two.

“Powell is a sparkplug.” Casey said. He’s the X factor. So many times you’re so concerned about DeMar and (Lowry), and rightfully so. So, that next sparkplug, that next guy, that next instigator is the guy. So, this series he’s been an X factor, the next game it might be a different story, but he’s done an excellent job playing off those two and taking what the game has given him, whether it’s a 3-point shot or attack to the basket.”

Even with his coach’s previous compliments, there was no reason to think Powell would be any sort of difference-maker in the 2016-17 postseason. The Raptors went 9-9 in the games Powell started this season. He scored 8.4 points in 18 minutes per game in the regular season. Powell has played 89 minutes in this series, and in that span, the Raptors have outscored the Bucks by 39 points.

Why Bet On Milwaukee?

Khris Middleton (illness) struggled in Game 5 vs. the Raptors with eight points on 3-of- 8 shooting. He didn’t seem like himself and wasn’t looking for his shot, but he was able to salvage his line with six assists, three rebounds, five steals and one turnover in 36 minutes. To make matters worse, he was torched on the defensive end by Powell.

“You got to know how it feels to get your [butt] kicked,” coach Jason Kidd said. “And that’s what happened.” Middleton did not practice on Wednesday, but Kidd expects him to play in Game 6.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s points weren’t enough in Game 5. He was coming off a 6-of- 19 FG performance in Game 4 and got off to a nightmare start in the first quarter by hitting 1-of- 6 shots, but he finally got things going in the second quarter when he hit all six of shots. Giannis finished the night 12-of- 19 from the field in 41 minutes with nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks, but simply didn’t have enough help — only two of his teammates scored in double digits.

Malcolm Brogdon scored a playoff career-high 19 points in Game 5. A Rookie of the Year candidate, Brogdon finally got himself going after averaging 7.3 points on 34.3 percent shooting in the first four games of this series. The Bucks have been taken out of the flow of their offense the past two games and have had 35 combined turnovers.

The Bucks were pummeled on the glass in Game 5 with the Raptors outrebounding them by 40-23. While Milwaukee won points in the paint 44-40, it felt like the Raptors’ baskets inside came much easier and were more impactful. Milwaukee is looking to avoid dropping an eighth consecutive playoff series dating to 2001.

The last two Game 6s the Bucks have played were at home and didn’t go well. In 2015 the Bucks rallied from a 3-0 deficit against the Chicago Bulls with two straight wins. But with a sellout Bucks-friendly crowd ready to roar, the Bulls put a 120-66 pounding on Milwaukee. The 54-point loss remains the worst in franchise history, regular season or playoffs.

In 2010, the Bucks had a 3-2 lead and an immediate chance to advance, but they dropped an 83-69 decision to the Atlanta Hawks. Milwaukee shot just 32.9% from the field. The Hawks went on to take an easy victory in Game 7 in Atlanta.

Toronto at Milwaukee Game 6 NBA Playoffs Pick: Toronto Raptors

Can the Bucks adjust to the Raptors’ adjustment? Milwaukee has gone from being aggressive to being timid. I don’t think so. Toronto advances.