- The Raptors face the Bucks on Saturday night
- Milwaukee just destroyed the Warriors on Thursday, while Toronto lost the Pistons on Friday
- Read on for the odds, preview, and prediction
The Toronto Raptors continue their five-game road trip on Saturday evening as they visit the defending champion, Milwaukee Bucks. The tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 PM EST at Fiserv Forum.
Toronto fell 103-87 on Friday to the Detroit Pistons in the first game of a back-to-back, while Milwaukee demolished the slumping Golden State Warriors on Thursday behind a triple-double from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
This is the second meeting of the campaign between these two teams, with the Raps winning on January 5th at home. However, Giannis didn’t play in that contest.
Raptors vs Bucks Odds
|Toronto Raptors||+7.5 (-110)||+260||Ov 221.5 (-110)|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-7.5 (-110)||-320||Un 221.5 (-110)|
Odds as of January 14th at FanDuel.
The Bucks have gone just 17-16 this season as an ATS favorite, while the Raptors are 11-10 as an ATS underdog.
Despite a poor performance against a lowly Detroit team, Toronto is playing a lot better basketball lately. Yes, they’ve lost two in a row, but the Raps put up a legitimate fight against Devin Booker and the Suns on Tuesday, giving the NBA finalists a serious run for their money.
Boucher, after Tuesday's hard-fought loss to the 31-9 Suns: "We need to play like that against everybody, not just against the good teams."
Raptors, tonight, vs the 9-31 Pistons: pic.twitter.com/XmKcBc08aU
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) January 15, 2022
Prior to this losing streak, Nick Nurse’s group won an impressive six straight, beating the Clippers, Knicks, Bucks, and Jazz along the way. Toronto currently sits at 20-19 in the East and is in the playoff/play-in mix. But, games like Friday are ones the Raps must be winning.
Fred VanVleet continued to prove why he must be an All-Star, pouring in another 24 points and dishing out 10 assists. But, he didn’t get a lot of help on the offensive end, aside from Pascal Siakam’s 23. Toronto was ice cold from field, shooting a mere 32% and also just 29% from deep.
⭐️ 1 RT = 1 Vote ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/vGg1NGaFc0
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 15, 2022
The clear difference-maker in this contest though was the lack of aggressiveness inside. The Pistons outscored the Raps 52-34 in the paint and they struggled immensely to limit Detroit defensively. Toronto must clean it up on Saturday because the Bucks’ rotation is far more dangerous and will run away with this one if given the chance.
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Bucks Coming Off Statement Victory
In what many believed was a potential NBA finals preview against the Warriors, the reigning champs absolutely dominated Steph Curry and Co. While the Bucks only ended up winning by 19, they led by as many as 39 at one point.
All five starters finished in double-figures, led by the Greek Freak. The two-time MVP dropped 30 points while grabbing 12 boards and dishing out 11 dimes in just 29 minutes of action. Khris Middleton also poured in 23 points, draining 5 of 7 from long range.
"I'm me, and I'm ok with me."
The MVP after beating Steph and the Warriors: pic.twitter.com/lfaHGnMjp2
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 14, 2022
As a team, Milwaukee shot a whopping 44% from beyond the arc and frankly took advantage of a Dubs team who were still missing their best defender and playmaker in Draymond Green. Despite the victory, the Bucks have won just twice in their last six games but, they play a whole lot better at Fiserv Forum, going 14-7. After such a massive victory over a very good team, Mike Budenholzer’s squad will undoubtedly be feeling confident ahead of this matchup with Toronto.
Raptors vs Bucks Prediction
Milwaukee truly looked like the champions on Thursday and I don’t see them having a problem taking down the Raptors here. However, Toronto is going to have a serious gut check after this latest loss to one of the worst teams in the NBA. Expect them to bounce back and make it closer than the spread.
Pick: Raptors ATS +7.5 (-110)