Basketball picksFebruary 28, 2020

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Milwaukee Bucks Betting Preview

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.

Thunder Rolling

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!

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

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Basketball picksFebruary 19, 2020

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons Betting Preview

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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Basketball picksFebruary 4, 2020

Milwaukee Bucks vs. New Orleans Pelicans Betting Preview

The Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA’s second-hottest team right now, heads to New Orleans on Tuesday night for a showdown with the Pelicans. The Bucks are red-hot right now and have been for most of the season. They come in with only seven losses on the season and are 9-1 in their last 10 games. The loss came at the hands of the Denver Nuggets on Milwaukee’s home floor last Friday.

Over their last six games, the Pelicans are 3-3, which means that with Zion Williamson in the lineup, although his minutes are being restricted, New Orleans is .500. If nothing else, you could say that at least the Pelicans have been must-see TV since he’s been in the lineup.

New Orleans is 20-30 overall this season and trails Memphis by five games for the eighth spot in the Western Conference. Here’s our betting preview for this key game for both teams.

Buck Up or Shut Up

Milwaukee has hands down been the best team in the NBA this season. Whether you’re looking at the Bucks’ overall record of 42-7 or checking their statistics on the season, it’s very apparent they’ve outplayed the rest of the league so far, including the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers trail the Bucks by five wins on the season.

George Hill and Frank Mason are the only two Bucks on the injury report for Tuesday night’s matchup. Both were ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Suns. While Mason has only played in four games this season, Hill averages 21.1 minutes, 9.7 points, three rebounds and three assists per game.

The Bucks have been led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who’s been even more of a freak of nature this season. The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player is putting up 30 points, 13.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game.

The Bucks lead the league in points per game, scoring margin, shooting and true shooting percentage, fast-break points, and a ton of other stats. It’s not hard to see why they’ve only lost seven games this season.

Headlines and Heartbreaks

Now that the New Orleans Saints season is done, and Williamson is on the floor after missing the first half of the season, the Pelicans are finally starting to get some headlines in their hometown. While Williamson hasn’t propelled the team to six straight wins in his return, the Pelicans are a completely different squad with him on the floor.

Williamson is averaging over 18 points and eight boards since his return, not to mention he already has several plays that will end up on his highlight reel. This includes 17 straight points in his debut against the Spurs.

He even seems to affect facets of the game that he doesn’t have a direct hand in. Check out the numbers with and without Williamson for the Pelicans this season.

Before his return (44 games):

  • Points per game: 114.4
  • Opponents’ points per game: 117.6
  • Field-goal percentage: .454
  • Three-point field-goal percentage: .370
  • Rebounds per game: 45.9
  • Assists per game: 25.5
  • Blocks per game: 5.2
  • Turnovers per game: 17.5

Since his return (six games):

  • Points per game: 119.8
  • Opponents’ points per game: 113.5
  • Field-goal percentage: .488
  • Three-point field-goal percentage: .400
  • Rebounds per game: 50.2
  • Assists per game: 26.8
  • Blocks per game: 6.0
  • Turnovers per game: 15.1

Small sample size or not, he makes quite the difference for this team.

Betting With Zion in Play

Using the Pelicans’ record against the spread this season may not do them justice since Williamson has been out for 44 games of it, so we’ll break it down both ways. They are 25-23-2 against the spread as a unit and are 3-3 with Williamson in the lineup.

Milwaukee isn’t as impressive against the spread as it is against actual opponents. The Bucks come in 27-22 on the season. They are 6-4 against the spread in their last 10 games. The Bucks are favored by 6.5 points in this one, with the over/under at 244.5.

For more on this matchup, check Wunderdog’s matchup page. For more action from around the league, check out Wunderdog’s NBA Public Consensus page.

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Basketball picksJanuary 8, 2020

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Golden State Warriors Betting Preview

bucks warriors

The Milwaukee Bucks, who have been red hot of late, head out west for the second game of their four-game road trip, to square off against the Golden State Warriors. These teams have been on complete opposite ends of the spectrum so far this season.

The 32-6 Bucks lead the Celtics and the Heat in the Eastern Conference by five games. The 9-29 Warriors are in last place, 21.5 games out in the Western Conference.

Golden State could rename its squad the Injured Reserves this season, as all of their weapons have been out for all or large pieces of the season. Wednesday will see the return of Draymond Green after he was tossed Saturday versus the Pistons.

Head coach Steve Kerr opted to rest Green and his ailing ankle on Monday night against the Kings after the incident.

The Bucks have remained mostly healthy for much of the season and may have the best player in the league right now. Giannis Antetokounmpo had everything in his arsenal that he needed coming into the season but still has somehow improved. The hot hand of Giannis has led the Bucks not only to the best record in the East but the entire NBA.

Check out our betting preview of this matchup of two of the league’s best and worst teams.

Slowing the Roll

The Bucks had won five straight headed into the first game of their road trip on Monday night. Gregg Popovich and the Spurs put an end to that and handed the Bucks their sixth loss of the season.

The Spurs shot 51.1 percent against a defense that leads the league in opponents’ shooting percentage (.413). The Spurs’ 126 points are the most the Bucks have allowed this season.

The Bucks trail the Rockets by only two-tenths of a point as the second-highest scoring offense in the league. The league’s second-ranked offense should have no issues scoring against the Warriors and their 20th-ranked defense.

The Bucks average 118.1 points per game on the road, also trailing the Rockets for most points per game on the road, but still second in the league, though.

More Like Bronze State

Golden State without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson just isn’t what any of us are used to. The injuries that both players suffered, holding Klay out all season and Curry until at least February, have put a dark cloud over the Warriors this season. So much of a cloud that you barely notice that Kevin Durant isn’t out there either.

Hampering their efforts even more is a recent shoulder injury to D’Angelo Russell. Russell leads the team in both scoring and assists and has been ruled out for the fifth straight game. Russell is considered day-to-day.

The return of Green should help thwart the efforts of Giannis. Expect to see Green on Giannis quite a bit, along with some switching off to Willie Cauley-Stein in the paint.

Down to Brass Tax

The Bucks have played well wherever they’ve played this season. That being said, four of their six losses have come on the road. They have yet to lose back-to-back games this season.

Overall, Milwaukee is 21-17 against the spread. Only three teams in the league cover more often than the Bucks. They’re also 10-8 against the spread when playing on the road this year.

Six of the Warriors’ nine wins have come when playing at home. They rank 19th in the league against the spread, with a record of 17-21, not as bad as one might think with only nine wins. They’re 8-10 against the spread when playing at home, also not horrible.

For more on this matchup, check out our matchup page. And for other NBA betting action from around the league, check out our NBA Public Consensus page.

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