The 36-22 Oklahoma City Thunder head to Milwaukee to square off against the best team in the NBA, the 50-8 Bucks, on Friday. The Bucks recently became the third-fastest team in history to reach 50 wins, just behind the 2016-17 Warriors and the 1995-96 Bulls. Milwaukee has won four straight since the All-Star break.
Oklahoma City sits in fifth place in the Western Conference standings, nine games behind the Lakers and just a half-game ahead of the Jazz. The Thunder are 8-2 over their last 10 games and show no signs of slowing down. Tip-off is set for 8 pm ET, so let’s do a betting preview of this contest.
As the NBA season works it’s way down the stretch, the Thunder keep getting better. They’ve gone from staying afloat, to firmly in the playoff picture over the last six weeks. Led by veteran point guard Chris Paul, the Thunder rank 4th in the NBA in field goal percentage and 7th in turnovers per game.
Paul himself is averaging 17.5 points, 6.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Paul hasn’t had to do it all himself, teammates Shai Gilgeous Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and Dennis Schroder are all averaging over 19 points per game. Steven Adams is averaging 11 and putting up nearly 10 boards per game.
Running With the Deer
The Bucks show no signs of giving any team in the East an easy run to the Finals. Their 50 wins before March shows just how special this team could be. Giannis Antetokounmpo has become a top five player in the NBA in any given night, and he just keeps improving.
Khris Middleton keeps hitting threes at a ridiculous clip. And Eric Bledsoe is able to score and distribute at a high clip.
The Bucks have been favored for much of the season, and that won’t change on Friday night. Not coming off of four straight wins, including a couple of blowouts. They’re coming off a game in which they beat the Pistons by 20, a game in which Giannis had 33 points and 16 rebounds.
The Thunder’s defense should give Giannis more of a fit, but enough to win? That remains to be seen.
Attention Bucks Bettors
If you’ve bet the Bucks hard this season, congratulations, you’ve made some money. The Bucks are 34-24 against the spread this season. It doesn’t get much better than that, right? Wrong.
The best team in the league at covering spreads this season has easily been Oklahoma City. They come in at 38-20 against the spread. They’re an astounding 21-6 against the spread on the road.
So, who are you taking? The Bucks are currently favored by 10.5 points. Both teams have made bank this season, and look to continue to do so Friday night. See you there and good luck!