Bucks vs. Raptors NBA Picks and Predictions

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Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors. Cole Burston/Getty Images/AFP.

The Milwaukee Bucks have heated up and they are more resembling the team that won last season’s NBA championship. Can the Bucks stay hot north of the border?

Anyone thinking Milwaukee would get off to a flying start to this season was just drinking the green Kool-Aid because when you go 50 years between titles, the off-season party lasts a while. That was not the only reason for the Bucks 6-8 start, as injuries and virus concerns to Brook Lopez, Jrue Holiday, and Kris Middleton all played a part. Lopez has not returned yet, but the others have and Milwaukee has won eight in a row as they prepare for Toronto.

Despite higher ambitions, the Raptors are in last place in the Atlantic Division and unless Kawhi Leonard is somehow returning, which he’s not, Toronto will once again miss the playoffs with this current roster.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Grizzlies

Thursday, December 02, 2021 – 07:30 PM EST at Scotiabank Arena

The online sportsbooks like Bovada have established Milwaukee as a four-point road favorite after their wild and grueling 127-125 triumph over Charlotte last night at home.

Milwaukee Looking to Improve Daily

One of the mantras of coach Mike Budenholzer is asking his players to “get better every day”. Giannis Antetokounmpo has embraced this wholly and leads the team in this practice.

After the sluggish start, Milwaukee (14-8, 10-12 ATS) ran into a part of their schedule that had teams that were either not very good or not playing well and they have taken advantage of this and built confidence in themselves.

Specifically, the defensive intensity has returned and the Bucks have moved up to 6th in defensive field goal percentage and 8th in defensive efficiency. This has been the core of Milwaukee’s run of an elite team and Holiday was the final piece to that puzzle.

The front office understands that without Lopez, they lack another big body for rim protection which is why they are giving DeMarcus Cousins a shot to play center for up to 15 minutes a game for now, which keeps Bobby Portis fresher. We’ll start to see how this will work out.

Toronto Just Doesn’t Have the Same Talent

Nick Nurse is among the top coaches in the NBA. Nevertheless, if you don’t have the players to compete, you could be the smartest coach ever, you are not playing for titles. The lack of talent and injuries is why Toronto is 9-13 (8-14 ATS).

For starters, Pascal Siakam was a tremendous player as the sidekick to Leonard. As the top player in Toronto, though his numbers are certainly good, he’s not at an elite status and suffered various injuries.

Fred Van Vleet gives it his all each and every night and is a gritty hard-nosed individual. Yet, he seems to have a ceiling of how much he could improve without better teammates around him.

Next is the injuries and if this was not such a problem, we could be talking much different about a Toronto club. Gary Trent Jr. suffered an injured calf about a week ago and is questionable for tonight. Leading scorer OG Anunoby continues to battle a hip pointer injury and will not play this evening or center Khem Birch who is out.

This places the Raptors in a tough situation against Milwaukee.

Bucks vs. Raptors Free Pick Prediction

Because the Raptors did not play a single game at home last season because of virus restriction, one would think Toronto would have a big edge against the NBA odds this season. That is not the case as they are 2-8 and 1-9 ATS at Scotiabank Arena.

Tonight could be different, with Milwaukee pushed hard for 48 minutes last night. Toronto will be fresher and they are 9-1 ATS after failing to cover the spread in three or more consecutive games. The Bucks on the other hand might be weary and are 9-25 ATS after three straight games outrebounding their opponent by five or more.

For NBA picks, this seems like a good situation for a hungry home underdog desperate for a win against a possibly weary foe.

NBA Pick: Raptors +4 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Raptors +4 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.