The top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks were stunned in Game 1 of their First Round series against the Orlando Magic. Photo from @BeORLMagic (Twitter).
- Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks will try to close out the Magic Saturday in Game 5 of their first round series
- The matchup marks the first playoff game for any team since the NBA postseason was postponed in the wake of the Jacob Blake police shooting
- Get the odds, analysis and our best bet on Game 5 between the Bucks and Magic below
When the Milwaukee Bucks chose not to play Game 5 as originally scheduled Wednesday — in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin — it set off a domino effect of social action around the sports world.
The NBA Playoffs were paused in Florida’s bubble — but that was only the start. Multiple leagues, including MLB, the NHL, MLS and the WNBA also sat out in protest. Now, games will resume Saturday that promote several initiatives important to players. Meanwhile, the No. 1-seeded Bucks will try to close out the No. 8-seeded Magic as the postseason gets underway again.
Bucks vs Magic Game 5 Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline Odds||Total at FanDuel|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-13 (-110)||-1150||O 226 (-110)|
|Orlando Magic||+13 (-110)||+730||U 226 (-110)|
Odds taken Aug. 28
The Bucks vs Magic odds clearly show sharps think this series is over. Let’s analyze and see if the heavy underdog Magic can pull off another upset — as they did in Game 1– and extend the series.
If Milwaukee’s 121-106 Game 4 win on Monday to go up 3-1 in the series seems like forever ago, it was in many ways.
“It is a great challenge to have an appreciation and a desire to want change. To want something different and better in Kenosha, Milwaukee and Wisconsin and then to go out and play a game.” pic.twitter.com/BCmHZdFf1P
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 26, 2020
Khris Middleton exploded for 18 fourth-quarter points to help take the slack off The Greek Freak, who went for 31 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists in a 15-point victory. But it was clear the focus of the team — and the NBA as a whole — has been much closer to home than their current home of Lake Buena Vista.
Kenosha is about 40 miles south of Milwaukee. And the events there starting Sunday, when Blake was shot seven times by law enforcement, have weighed heavily on this Bucks team.
Full statement from the Milwaukee Bucks: pic.twitter.com/jjGEyVcCmB
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 26, 2020
So, how will it affect the product on the court? I suspect both teams will come out a bit sluggish considering everything that has happened this week. The emotional toll cannot be understated. Ultimately though, Milwaukee is the vastly superior team and should win easily.
But By How Much?
With a newly crowned Defensive Player of the Year in Antetokounmpo and the fifth-seeded (and rested) Heat waiting in the wings after closing out the Pacers in a four-game sweep Monday, the Bucks will be extra motivated to finish off the Magic Saturday. Ever since that stunning 122-110 loss in Game 1, Budenholzer’s team has been on a mission.
Giannis Antetokounmpo euro steps then dunks on Nikola Vucevic in game 4 of Milwaukee Bucks vs Orlando Magic! Full clip: https://t.co/p6Psq2EQq4 pic.twitter.com/ztJpEv0IEh
— Chaz (@ChazClavant) August 24, 2020
The key for Milwaukee over the last three games has been its defense. While Orlando star Nikola Vucevic has averaged nearly 28 points in each outing, he hasn’t had much help. Fellow starters Evan Fournier, Markelle Fultz, Gary Clark and James Ennis III have combined to shoot just 36-for-108 (33.3%) from the field in those three losses, averaging just under 35 points per game between them.
The Magic have gone from putting up 122 in Game 1 to averaging 103 in the last three. That’s not a winning formula. Plus, forward Aaron Gordon left the NBA bubble after missing the previous four games with a hamstring injury.
Aaron Gordon is posting all of his teammates on his IG story. Of course there’s probably nothing behind it but if we never see AG in a Magic uniform again this would be pretty sad😞 pic.twitter.com/wFyPfAPGxI
— Magic On Top✨ (@MagicOnTop) August 26, 2020
Gordon reportedly felt good about the progress he was making with the injury and at one point he felt like he would be ready to play. But, it appears he departed somewhat out of haste for the way he’s been handled. When one of your most talented players leaves under those type of circumstances, it doesn’t bode well for team morale — especially a team trying to stop Milwaukee. Orlando’s chances are compromised even more. Game 5 has blowout written all over it.
Game 5 Betting Advice
With the money line far too high, I’m also fading the total. But Milwaukee at -13 (-110) is a very fair price — especially considering the Bucks’ defensive prowess from a team perspective over the last three games.
#BetterCallEversoll (2-4 PM) with @MarquesEversoll:
– #Bucks boycott Game 5
– #NBAPlayoffs on hold, but season will resume
– #Packers cancel practice
– Matt LaFleur (AUDIO)
– #Brewers Double-Header on tap
– 3:00 @BradyPoppinga
– (Stream online at https://t.co/7wteTO8TPT) pic.twitter.com/5zBkWKYn8Z
— The Fan 107.5 (@WDUZ) August 27, 2020
Milwaukee has held Orlando to a measly 28.9% shooting from 3-point range over the last three games. If Giannis continues to do what he’s done (averaging 31.3 points, 15.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists in three straight victories) and get help from the likes of Pat Connaughton, I have little doubt Milwaukee will win — and win easily.
The pick: Bucks -13 (-110)
Blair Johnson is a veteran journalist and seasoned sports content creator. He has been writing and producing content as long as he can remember, with such familiar names as CNN, NFL Media and Yahoo. Blair currently lives and works in the greater Los Angeles area.