The Raptors cut their series deficit to 2-1 after a double-overtime win over the Bucks on Sunday in Toronto. Through three games, Milwaukee has the edge in point differential, outscoring Toronto by about seven points per 100 possessions. Milwaukee has been superior on the glass, grabbing 54% of missed shots. The pace of the series also has been quick by playoff standards, with each team averaging 101 possessions per 48 minutes, which represents a boost in pace for Toronto after playing just 96 possessions per 48 minutes in previous playoff games this year.
Despite tweaking his leg in Game 3, Kawhi Leonard is not on the injury report for Game 4. Download the DK Live app for up-to-the-minute news, lineups and analysis on today’s game and all fantasy-relevant news.
The Bucks (-134) are 2.5-point favorites over the Raptors (+116) on DraftKings Sportsbook in a game that has been given an over/under of 216.5 points.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
FIVE BETTING TRENDS
— The Raptors have failed to cover the spread in each of their last six home games after coming off overtime.
— Each of the Bucks’ last six road games after coming off overtime have gone OVER the total points line.
— The Bucks have won the second quarter in each of their last 10 playoff games against Atlantic Division opponents.
— Giannis Antetokounmpo has scored 19 points or less in each of his last three appearances at Scotiabank Arena.
— Marc Gasol has recorded 11+ rebounds in three of his last four outings.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
The Raptors made an adjustment in Game 3 in how they defended Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,800) by placing all-world defender Kawhi Leonard ($11,200) on Antetokounmpo for significantly more possessions. In Games 1 and 2, Leonard was Antetokounmpo’s primary defender for a total of just 19 possessions in two games, per the league’s player tracking system, with Pascal Siakam ($9,400) and Serge Ibaka ($3,800) getting the bulk of the time guarding Antetokounmpo, combining for 103 possessions guarding Antetokounmpo. In Game 3, Leonard guarded Antetokounmpo on a team-high 41 possessions, a significant boost from just 9.5 possessions per game guarding Antetokounmpo previously in the series, per the league’s player tracking system.
Leonard, who has a massive 7’3 wingspan, was effective in slowing Antetokounmpo down. Antetokounmpo shot just 2-of-12 with only one assist when guarded by Leonard in Game 3 and is shooting just 25% when guarded by Leonard in this series. In total, Antetokounmpo had his worst game of this postseason, shooting just 5-of-16 (31%) while drawing just seven free throws.
Leonard guarding Antetokounmpo more often also diminished Antetokounmpo’s facilitating and helped the Raptors give up less wide-open 3-pointers, per the league’s player tracking system, as Leonard hounding Antetokounmpo made it easier to pay attention to perimeter shooters. After creating 15.5 potential assists per game in Games 1 and 2, Antetokounmpo created 11 potential assists in Game 3 despite getting significant extra minutes due to the game going into double overtime. Milwaukee also generated 10 less wide-open 3-pointers in the game from their previous per game average in Games 1 and 2 despite playing 10 extra minutes with the two overtimes.
Despite the defensive adjustment by Toronto and subsequent subpar performance by Antetokounmpo, Antetokounmpo is still an excellent fantasy play today as his volume in the offense remains heavy, and Milwaukee will have time to scheme ways to free up Antetokounmpo heading into Game 4.
The Raptors have been content with giving Eric Bledsoe ($6,600) open shots from the perimeter in an effort to focus their defense elsewhere. The numbers indicate this might be an effective strategy, as Bledsoe shot just 33% on wide-open 3-pointers during the regular season, per the league’s player tracking system, which measures the closest defender to the shooter. Bledsoe is taking close to five wide-open 3-pointers per game in this series and is shooting an awful 8% on wide-open 3-pointers. If Bledsoe can start to hit more of these wide-open shots, it could help soften the defense on other Bucks players, and Bledsoe is a good candidate to start scoring more points provided he keeps getting similar quality looks in Game 4.
Khris Middleton ($7,400) has served as Leonard’s primary defender, guarding him on a heavy 50 possessions per game in this series, per the league’s player tracking system. The energy Middleton has to expend guarding Leonard, Toronto’s best player, might be affecting his offensive performance. Middleton is shooting just 33% from the field and 27% from 3 in this series and shot just 3-of-16 (19%) in Game 3. Middleton’s usage rate has dipped in Milwaukee’s offense, sitting at just 17% in this series, down from 22% in previous playoff games and 25% during the regular season. With Middleton tasked with a difficult defensive assignment, his fantasy value and offensive numbers appear to be taking a hit.
Malcolm Brogdon ($7,800) is building on his minutes as he makes his way back from injury, playing 37 minutes in Game 3, a 10-minute boost from his previous high of 27 minutes since his return. Brodgon was one of the most efficient players in the league during the regular season, eclipsing the 50% from the field, 40% from 3 and 90% from the free-throw line. Brogdon could play a more significant role off the bench going forward as he builds on his minutes and is a candidate to have expanded fantasy value with the increased minute load.
Other lower-cost options on the Bucks with significant roles include George Hill ($5,400), Nikola Mirotic ($4,600) and Brook Lopez ($6,000).
Kawhi Leonard ($11,200) could be facing fatigue in Game 4 for multiple reasons. For one, Leonard was forced into 52 minutes in Game 3 on Sunday due to the game going into double-overtime combined with the Raptors desperate to avoid falling down 3-0 in the series. As mentioned in the Bucks’ section, Leonard was tasked with an expanded defensive role on Antetokounmpo and served as his primary defender during the game, which causes him to expend added energy, as Antetokounmpo is a monster to deal with. Leonard also injured his leg early in Game 3, which appeared to bother him as he was limping noticeably at times, although he is not on the injury report for Game 4.
Fatigue, combined with the leg injury, could impact Leonard as the game wears on, which is something fantasy owners should consider for Game 4. Despite the risk, Leonard’s heavy volume in the Raptors’ offense makes him the most appealing fantasy play on the team provided he holds up physically. Leonard leads Toronto with a 30% usage rate in this series and is its go-to shot-maker when the team needs a bucket.
Kyle Lowry ($8,200) also is nicked up with a thumb injury, which he injured during Game 7 of Toronto’s previous series vs. the 76ers. Despite the thumb injury, Lowry’s offensive performance has not been affected, as Lowry is shooting 51% from the field and 50% from 3-point range in this series and has posted a 30-point game. Lowry had just an 11% usage rate in Game 3 and is a candidate for significantly more volume in Game 4.
The Raptors flirted with a starting lineup change prior to Game 3 but elected to go with the same starting five, with Marc Gasol ($7,000) and Pascal Siakam ($9,400) starting in the frontcourt. Gasol had a strong bounce-back performance, shooting 5-of-10 from the field with seven assists. Also of importance, Gasol began knocking down 3-pointers in Game 3, hitting 4-of-8 3-pointers in the game. Gasol shot 3-of-7 (42%) wide-open 3s in Game 3 based on the league’s player tracking system, a boost from just 22% between Games 1 and 2, which is important for Toronto’s floor spacing, as Gasol making the Bucks pay for leaving him wide open will drag a big defender out of the paint and open up more space near the basket.
With both Gasol and Siakam playing well in Game 3, Serge Ibaka ($3,800) played a series-low 14 minutes despite the game going into double-overtime, and given the Raptors won the game, it looks like they’ll start Game 4 with a similar plan in mind.
Other lower-cost options on the Raptors include Danny Green ($5,000), Norman Powell ($3,400) and Fred VanVleet ($1,600).
Despite struggling in Game 3, Giannis Antetokounmpo ($17,700 CP) remains an elite play at Captain’s Pick due to his volume in the offense, combined with the fact the Bucks will have time to scheme ways for him to free himself more often. Kawhi Leonard ($16,800 CP) is the top Captain’s Pick for the Raptors provided he holds up physically after a taxing Game 3. Other options include Pascal Siakam ($14,100 CP), Kyle Lowry ($12,300 CP), Malcolm Brogdon ($11,700 CP) and Eric Bledsoe ($9,900 CP).
Leonard being tasked with expending extra energy guarding Antetokounmpo eventually could take a toll, and the fact the Bucks are able to surround Antetokounmpo with shooters oftentimes forces defenses to pick their poison; either stay home on shooters and risk Antetokounmpo beating you, or help on Antetokounmpo and risk shooters knocking down open shots. While being at home will help Toronto, as teams generally play better in home games, the Bucks’ offense can be scary when functioning on all cylinders, and their stingy, lengthy defense helps add to their margin for error if shots aren’t falling.
Final score: Bucks 110, Raptors 100
FAVORITE PROP BETEric Bledsoe over 13.5 points (+115)
This is a regression to the mean play. Bledsoe has missed an uncharacteristically large amount of wide-open shots in this series; great looks that are due to fall. Bledsoe has made just 8% of wide-open 3-pointers he’s taken in this series, as measured by the league’s player tracking system, significantly below his regular season average of 33%. The Raptors also have been comfortable allowing Bledsoe to get wide-open looks, so Bledsoe is a candidate to continue to get quality looks from deep in Game 4. Bledsoe averaged over this number during the regular season, averaging 16 points per game.
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