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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

NBA Conference Finals, Game 1: Toronto Raptors @ Milwaukee Bucks

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

Toronto +6.5 @ Milwaukee

Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI

May 15, 2019, 5:30 PM PDT

Our rationale for the Blazers to cover the Western Conference Finals opener Tuesday included the observation that historically the away team has demonstrated an edge in games 1 and 2 of the Conference Finals. This same thinking compels us to back the Raptors plus the points Wednesday in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

To our chagrin, Portland let game 1 get out of hand, thanks to the combination of the Blazers' posting their worst offensive showing of the postseason and a defensive performance that allowed roughly seven points per 100 possessions more than the average playoff team this year. But we are not discouraged heading into the other game 1, as Eastern Conference Finals road teams have been notably more profitable bets in games 1 and 2 than their counterparts from the Pacific region.

Per the graphic above, betting on east coast away teams to cover early in the Conference Finals amassed a 33% return on investment (ROI) from 2005 through the end of last year's playoff proceedings.

Separately, the Bucks will enter this afternoon's contest well-rested after finishing off the Celtics a week ago. Added time to recuperate intuitively sounds like a positive for Milwaukee backers, and in three of the four rounds of the NBA Playoffs teams playing at least four days after their last out have, in fact, been good bets. However, in the Bizarro World Conference Finals, teams with ample time since their last game have been poor ATS bets out the gate in Conference Finals action.

Since 2005, betting against refreshed home teams in game 1 of the Conference Finals has been good for a 24% ROI.

Additionally, the lack of sharp support behind Toronto also bodes well for the prospect of the road cover Wednesday. While we have been keen to tail sharp bettors throughout these playoffs, history says diverge early in the third round, as home teams have covered at a downright fadable 39% clip in the first two games of the Conference Finals.

As of the time of this writing, 68% of spread wagers and 74% of dollars bet against the spread support the Bucks.

Happy betting!!

#nba #nba2018 #raptors #bucks

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