Raptors underdogs on NBA odds for Game 1 at Bucks

Toronto Raptors centre Serge Ibaka (9). (Frank Gunn/CP)

The Toronto Raptors will be making their first appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals since 2016 when they visit the Milwaukee Bucks for Game 1 on Wednesday as six-point underdogs on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Toronto is coming off a tough second-round clash with the Philadelphia 76ers, eking out the series win on the strength of Kawhi Leonard's buzzer-beater in Game 7 that now sets the stage for Wednesday night's Raptors vs. Bucks betting matchup at Fiserv Forum.

The Raptors travel to Milwaukee after struggling on the road during their second-round series with the Sixers. The team averaged just 99 points per game while falling to defeat in two of three games in Philadelphia, but has posted straight-up wins in four of their past seven games away from Scotiabank Arena.

The team has also faced issues with consistency when playing on the road as underdogs of five or more points, going 4-4 SU in eight contests since the beginning of the 2017/18 NBA season, but covering the spread in six of those outings.

That run includes a 123-116 win in Milwaukee as 5.5-point underdogs on Jan. 5, but the Raptors have otherwise struggled in recent meetings with the Bucks, going 1-4 SU and ATS in their past five overall. However, Toronto came away victorious in its only previous playoff matchup with the Bucks, claiming an opening-round series win in six games two years ago on the strength of a pair of victories in Milwaukee.

The Raptors can expect to face a vastly improved Bucks team this time around. Milwaukee closed out the regular season atop the NBA standings with a 60-22 record, and carried that dominating play into the postseason with a first-round sweep of the Detroit Pistons. The Bucks followed up by disposing of the Boston Celtics in five games after opening that second-round matchup as heavy -300 favourites at online sports betting sites.

The Bucks sit perched pegged as -260 chalk on the NBA series prices entering Game 1, ahead of the Raptors who lag at +215 on those futures. The Bucks still have work to do to overcome a 2-9 SU mark in playoff series openers since their last trip to the Eastern Finals back in 2001, but also enjoy strong odds to win their first NBA championship in 48 years, sitting second to the Golden State Warriors at +230, while the Raptors are listed third at +750.

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