NBA Eastern Conference Finals Pick: Bucks vs Raptors Game 5

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What was a best-of-seven series now stands at best-of-three. The Milwaukee Bucks won the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals at home, and the Toronto Raptors responded in-kind, evening the series at 2-2 with a pair of wins in Canada. For Game 5, play returns to Wisconsin and the Bucks are, once again, seven-point favorites.

The Bucks looked pretty solid for the first 10 minutes or so of the first quarter, like they had bounced back quickly from their Double Overtime loss in Game 3 two nights before. But the Raptors took the lead before the first quarter came to a close and expanded their lead from there. Toronto led by 10 at halftime, led by as much as 25 points in the fourth quarter, and ended up with a 120-102 win at the buzzer. Toronto taking the lead from Milwaukee late in the first quarter was the only time the lead changed hands in the entire game.

In the series, Toronto has held the lead for most of three of the four games played thus far. It was only in Game 2 where Milwaukee essentially controlled the game from start to finish.

Despite losing by a wide margin in Game 4, it’ll be the Bucks entering Game 5 as the betting favorites. The home team is 4-0 in this series, and the Bucks sit at -7 (-105) on the spread for Game 5, with the Raptors at +7 (-115). The moneyline has a wide gap between the teams with Milwaukee at -300 and Toronto at +240.

For Game 5, my pick is the Bucks to win, though I would not bet on the moneyline on Milwaukee’s side. I’ve gone back-and-forth on which side of the spread to take, with a seven-point margin of victory being a pretty lopsided request of a team that’s lost back-to-back games. That said, the winning team has covered the spread three times already this series, and the only time the spread wasn’t covered was in Game 4, when the betting underdog Raptors grabbed the win. So, I’m taking Milwaukee on the spread for this game.

Drew Goldfarb

Drew has been covering sports professionally since 2007, covering sports of all kinds in the ACC, SEC, Big 12 and Conference USA. In addition to covering college sports, he also spent two seasons working with the NHL's Florida Panthers as part of their TV broadcast team, as well as reporting and anchoring for AT&T SportsNet and FOX Sports affiliates, CBS Sports Network and ESPNU. Drew has also ...

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