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NBA Odds: Bucks-Raptors for Eastern Supremacy

by: Staff Writer - posted on: 29-Jan-2019

The Milwaukee Bucks (35-13 SU, 26-19-3 ATS) are mere percentage points ahead of the Toronto Raptors (37-15 SU, 23-29 ATS) for first place in the Eastern Conference. They'll meet this Thursday at Scotiabank Arena, tipping off at 8 PM ET on TNT.

They may be in a virtual tie in the Eastern standings, but Milwaukee has played the better basketball thus far. The Bucks have a league-best point differential of plus-9.7, well ahead of the Raptors (fifth overall) at plus-5.4. They also lead Toronto 2-1 SU and ATS in their season series, with superior stats on both offense and defense – plus a top MVP candidate in Giannis Antetokounmpo, who's putting up 26.6 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game and never seems to get injured.

The Raptors, on the other hand, have been scraping by without center Jonas Valanciunas, who's been out since mid-December with a dislocated thumb. They're 14-8 SU and 8-14 ATS since Valanciunas went on the shelf. While the Bucks are relatively healthy, Toronto will have a rest advantage in this matchup; they'll have been idle since Sunday, after playing four games in six nights, while Milwaukee will visit the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.