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Bucks vs Raptors NBA betting picks and predictions: Beasts of the East do battle

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The Bucks are short road favorites over the Raptors on Tuesday night as these contenders collide in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals.

We build the blueprint for betting this marquee matchup on the NBA basketball odds board, from our favorite bets for the side and total to some quick-paying picks and prop plays.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS AT TORONTO RAPTORS

 

QUICK HITTER

This is a tough spot for the Bucks, who have laughed in the face of danger all season with the best record in the NBA at 49-8. Milwaukee is coming off a 137-134 overtime win over the Wizards on Monday and will be traveling to Toronto overnight for this important second game
of a back-to-back.

The Raptors are rested and rolling after a 127-81 blowout win over the Pacers on Sunday. Toronto has won two straight since having their 15-game winning streak snapped in the final game before the All-Star break. The defending champs have the third-best record in the NBA, two games behind the Lakers and seven back of the Bucks.

These two teams feature the top two field goal percentage defenses in the NBA which have come to the forefront early in games this season, especially for the Bucks. The first quarter Under is 17-9-1 in Milwaukee road games this season. It’s a good bet this high-profile game will get off to a slow start.

Pick: First Quarter Under 56.5

FIRST HALF

Toronto is the deepest team in the NBA and can bring players like Serge Ibaka and Terence Davis off the bench in a relentless rotation for head coach Nick Nurse. Davis scored in double figures for the second straight game with 13 points in 24 minutes on Sunday against Indiana.

He has now logged 1,003 minutes and is just the fourth undrafted rookie to play at least 1,000 minutes in a season for Toronto (Jose Calderon, Jorge Garabajosa, Jamario Moon).

That depth is a big reason for Toronto’s success this season and it will likely come in handy on Tuesday against a weary Milwaukee team playing in the second game of a back-to-back. The Raptors are 18-12 ATS in the first half at home this season. The more rested team will get off to the faster start in this potential playoff showdown.

Pick: Raptors First-Half Moneyline (-104)

TEAM/PLAYER PROP

The Raptors solved the dilemma of stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo in last year’s East Finals by throwing waves of defenders at him, the primary one being Kawhi Leonard. Giannis is coming off a tough game having fouled out with 1:33 left in regulation against the Wizards after
collecting 22 points and 14 boards but also committing eight turnovers.

Brooke Lopez continues to nurse an ailing back and did not play against Washington. If Lopez sits Tuesday, expect more minutes in the middle for Giannis. The odds on favorite to win league MVP has recorded at least 14 boards in 10 straight games and is a good bet to exceed that total again, on Tuesday.

Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 13.5 Rebounds (-128)

TOTAL BET

Milwaukee runs their offense at the fastest pace in the NBA and has the third-best offensive rating in the league. Toronto’s defense is well equipped to keep the Bucks from running and has held two of its last three opponents to less than 100 points. The Under is 3-0 in the
last three games for the Raptors.

The total has been a streaky bet for Milwaukee this season, who has cashed four of its last five games to the Over after a stretch of three straight Unders. This total is slightly inflated because of Milwaukee’s offensive prowess. The playoff atmosphere of this game will have an effect on both offenses down the stretch.

Pick: Under 231.5

SPREAD BET

The Wizards erased a 17-point deficit against Milwaukee on Monday and even took a brief lead with 1:01 to play before eventually succumbing in overtime to the Giannis-less Bucks. Khris Middleton dropped 40 and scored the final nine points of the game to carry Milwaukee across the finish line.

The shaky second-half performance against Washington could have been the Bucks looking ahead to Tuesday’s playoff rematch in Toronto or a shot across the bow for some regression. We think the latter is possible as Milwaukee has not yet suffered a significant losing stretch this season.

Toronto has over-achieved as many expected them to fade without Kawhi Leonard in tow. In the absence of the Finals MVP, they have found second-life as one of the deepest and most disciplined teams in the league. This will be the first of three matchups between these two contenders over the final 25 games of the regular season. The Raptors are rested and the stronger bet to take game one of this best-of-three.

Pick: Raptors +1.5

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook

MLB picks and predictions for Opening Day

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It was a long and scary road, but we finally get MLB betting back on Thursday, July 23. Opening Day of the pandemic-shortened 60-game baseball schedule is headlined by a pair of matchups, with the New York Yankees visiting the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers rekindling their rivalry with the San Francisco Giants.

Like we do each MLB season (COVID-19 or not), we’ll be taking a swing at today’s baseball odds and giving our best MLB picks and predictions. Up first: Opening Day 2020.

MLB picks for today

New York Yankees vs Washington Nationals

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was supposed to miss the start of the season back in the spring, but the delay to the 2020 campaign allowed the outfielder to heal up from broken ribs and return to his longball-launching self.

Judge looked great in New York’s warmup games, albeit for a limited number of at-bats. He went 3-for-7 with all three hits leaving the ballpark. And he wasn’t alone, with the Yankees’ other power bats providing plenty of pop around him in the order. He’ll get a chance to go yard again on Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Aaron Judge home run (+210)

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

The Giants are no strangers to Clayton Kershaw, who has long dominated the Dodgers’ divisional foes. In 49 career appearances against San Francisco, The Claw is 23-12 with a 1.74 ERA and has allowed just 0.71 hits per innings pitched in those starts.

The Giants don’t pose much of an offensive threat, averaging 8.22 hits per game in 2019. San Francisco has managed 45 total hits in its last eight starts against Kershaw – an average of 0.86 hits per inning faced. Given the Dodgers’ ace looked ready for work in his tune-up efforts, we could see him go seven innings or more on Thursday, panning out to a little over six hits for San Fran.

PREDICTION: Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)

Mookie Betts has reportedly landed a whale of a contract extension with the Dodgers after joining the ballclub this offseason via a trade with the Boston Red Sox. And what better way to lock down that deal than an impressive effort on Opening Day.

Betts recorded 313 total bases in 2019 (30th) and 353 in 2018 (fourth). He’s been swinging well in training sessions this offseason: in 27 at-bats during the spring/summer schedule, he has 13 total bases, including two doubles and a home run, while hitting leadoff during Summer Camp. We like that to continue into Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)

Top MLB consensus for today

Want to know who today’s biggest MLB betting and consensus bets are right now? Check out our top MLB consensus picks.

Opening Day betting card

  • Aaron Judge home run (+210)
  • Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)
  • Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)