The Toronto Raptors will be looking to claim their first series lead in their Eastern Conference Finals clash with the Milwaukee Bucks when they hit the hardwood for Game 5 on Thursday night as 7-point underdogs on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
After falling to defeat in the first two games of the series, Toronto rebounded at home with a pair of character wins, capped by a dominating 120-102 victory in Game 4 that leaves the series tied at 2-2 going into Thursday’s Game 5 matchup at Fiserv Forum.
With Tuesday’s win as 3-point underdogs, the Raptors continued their solid play on home court, where they have now won outright in four straight, and in seven of nine during the playoffs. However, with the Bucks still holding home-court advantage in the series, Toronto must find a way to overcome their current 1-4 SU run away from Scotiabank Arena.
In addition, the Raptors are a meagre 1-3 SU and against the spread in their past four trips to Milwaukee, including a pair of losses by double-digit margins, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
And while the Raptors received a strong effort from up and down the lineup while handing the Bucks their first consecutive losses since early March, the health of Kawhi Leonard remains a concern after the former NBA Finals MVP suffered an apparent leg injury in Game 3. Leonard has been the engine driving the Raptors’ playoff run, averaging 31.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, but tallied just 19 points and seven rebounds in Tuesday’s win.
That has done little to boost the Raptors’ position on the NBA series prices and NBA championship odds. Toronto continues to lag as a +220 underdog to eventually get past the Bucks, and trails at +900 to claim the franchise’s first-ever NBA title.
After suffering their second loss by double digits, the Bucks return home perched as -270 favourites on the series prices. Milwaukee has been a force on home court during the postseason, winning SU and ATS in six of seven, including five victories by 21 or more points.
However, Milwaukee also has some history to overcome. The Bucks have fallen to defeat in each of their previous four trips to the conference finals, including a loss in seven games to the Philadelphia 76ers in 2001, a series that was also knotted at two games apiece entering Game 5.
And the Bucks’ shaky playoff history has done little to lift their position on the NBA championship odds, where they continue to trail the Golden State Warriors as a +260 wager.