A couple of old Central Division foes square off as the NBA makes its post-break return. The Detroit Pistons are set to host the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night as part of a full slate of NBA games. The Pistons sit 28.5 games behind the Bucks, who own the best record in the league at 46-8. Tip-off is set for 7 pm ET. Read on for our betting preview of this contest.

The Bucks are 8-2 over their last 10 games, which is basically the same scorching pace they’ve maintained all season. Stay healthy, and they can do damage down the stretch. The Pistons, on the other hand, aren’t in contention for much of anything.

With Blake Griffin and Luke Kennard both being mainstays on the injury report, they just haven’t had enough gas in the tank to keep up with even the bottom of the East’s playoff picture. They’re six games behind the eighth-place Magic, who are 22.5 behind the Bucks.

Bucking Around

How much better can Giannis Antetokounmpo get? Well, it seems every year he plays, he will improve something. He has become an absolute terror on both ends, the past two seasons. He leads the Bucks in points, rebounds, and assists. And he isn’t far behind in blocks and steals.

At this rate, Giannis may spend the next few years collecting MVP’s, and maybe some other trophies as well.

Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe have been the perfect complements to Giannis’ game this season, as they both help out in all categories. Middleton is shooting nearly 44% from three-point range this season, and he attempts 5.5 per game. Bledsoe is shooting 48% from the field and averages 5.3 assists per game.

Cold in the D(etroit)

Another season, another Derrick Rose resurgence. Unfortunately for the Pistons, his resurgence isn’t enough to counteract the injuries of Griffin and Kennard. Rose leads the team in scoring and assists with averages of 18.2 and 5.8. He’s shooting just under 50% from the field on the season.

Things won’t get much easier for Rose anytime soon as the Pistons also just traded away Andre Drummond to Cleveland. Drummond led the team in blocks, rebounds, and steals. He was also less than half a point behind Rose’s scoring average. Large shoes to fill for a shallow roster of youngsters.

Points and Pointers

Heading into Thursday’s matchup, the Bucks are favored by 12.5 points. Vegas doesn’t care if the best team in the NBA is on the road. Milwaukee is 15-10 against the spread on the road this season. The Pistons are 11-18 against the spread at home.

Overall, Milwaukee has only lost five games on the road this season, tied with the Lakers for NBA best. The over/under is set at 224.5. The Bucks can put up points in droves at times. Tune in Thursday for all the NBA excitement.

For more on this matchup, check out the matchup page. For more NBA odds and action from around the league, check out our NBA Public Consensus page.

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