Fred VanVleet has averaged nearly 28 points per game over this recent three-game stretch and considering he’s thrived against the Bucks this season, our NBA betting picks expect the scoring fun to continue tonight.
The Milwaukee Bucks have been the hottest team in the NBA over the past two months and have the inside track for the No. 1 seed in the East heading into tonight’s matchup against the Toronto Raptors in what could be a first-round playoff preview.
With injury concerns largely in the rearview mirror and the offense clicking at last, the Bucks are 21-3 since January 23, though their defense had a rare off night in a 139-123 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.
The Raptors, who are fighting to clinch a play-in spot and eyeing a jump up from the ninth spot, have won three in a row, including last night’s 122-107 victory over the depleted Timberwolves.
Find out more in our free Raptors vs. Bucks NBA picks and predictions for a closer look at tonight’s showdown.
Raptors vs Bucks best odds
Raptors vs Bucks picks and predictions
After struggling on Toronto’s three-game West Coast road trip (12-for-33 shooting), he bounced back impressively at Scotiabank Arena, including a 36-point night against the Nuggets on Tuesday and a 27-point effort last night.
When VanVleet is locked in from 3-point range – he had eight triples against Denver – the Raptors are a different team, with more room for Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes to operate. Their halfcourt offense still couldn’t be described as pretty, but it’s certainly more effective.
I expect VanVleet to stay hot tonight, despite a tough matchup with Jrue Holiday and all the long-armed Milwaukee Bucks defenders in the paint. He’s thrived against the Bucks this season and was unlucky to be on the losing side in their mid-January matchup after pouring in 39 points (15-for-28 from the field).
Of course, there are also good vibes for VanVleet at Fiserv Forum after a magical Game 5 shooting performance during Toronto’s title run in 2019, and he should have success against the Milwaukee big men if he can drag them out to the perimeter.
The visitors have an uphill battle on their hands to escape with a win tonight, but I like these NBA odds for VanVleet to step up once again.
My best bet: Fred VanVleet Over 19.5 points (-115)
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Raptors vs Bucks spread analysis
The Giannis factor combined with the Bucks’ 28-7 home record makes the hosts a big favorite tonight. A 9.5-point line feels on the high side, but keep in mind that Milwaukee has been resting since Thursday whereas Toronto was in action last night.
Though the Raptors are 12-23 overall on the road this season, they’ve looked much more connected since the Jakob Poeltl trade – and there was a lot to like about the home victories over the Nuggets and Thunder this week.
Toronto has covered the spread in its last five outings against teams with a winning percentage over .600 and Nick Nurse’s men are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings in Milwaukee.
Meanwhile, the Bucks have struggled to cover the spread lately – they’re 1-4 ATS in their last five contests at Fiserv Forum. Though Milwaukee is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games against teams with a losing record, the Raptors barely qualify for that category at 35-36.
Raptors vs Bucks Over/Under analysis
Both of these teams have been pounding the Over in recent weeks, suggesting that a high-scoring contest lies ahead, even with the visitors on the second night of a back-to-back set.
The Over is 6-1 in the Bucks’ last seven home games against teams with a road winning percentage of less than .400, and it’s also 6-1 in the visitors’ last seven games.
The Raptors topped the 120-point mark in three home wins this week, with the offense showing signs of life – likely a factor in pushing tonight’s total points line north of 230.
VanVleet and Siakam combined for 55 points against the Timberwolves, while Gary Trent Jr.’s scoring has been a much-needed spark for the Toronto second unit since he moved into a bench role.
The two meetings this season – both Milwaukee wins – have served up contrasting scorelines, with an ugly 104-101 overtime bout in early January followed by a 130-122 shootout. The numbers suggest the latter is more reflective of what we’ll see tonight.
Raptors vs Bucks betting trend to know
Milwaukee’s offense has been ruthless at home against poor road teams. The Over is 9-2 in their last 11 games at Fiserv Forum against teams with a losing road record. Find more NBA betting trends for Raptors vs. Bucks.
Raptors vs Bucks game info
|Location:||Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI|
|Date:||Sunday, March 19, 2023|
|Tip-off:||8:00 p.m. ET|
|TV:||Bally Wisconsin, Sportsnet|