It’s a potential first-round Eastern Conference playoff preview – or it could be a conference finals preview depending on how the bracket fills out – on Thursday night as the Milwaukee Bucks visit the Brooklyn Nets in a star-studded matchup. The Nets are short home favorites on the NBA odds.
How to Bet Milwaukee at Brooklyn NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 7:30 PM ET
- Where: Barclays Center
- TV: TNT
- Stream: TNT app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- NBA Odds: Nets -1.5 (total 238)
This will be the last matchup of the season unless they do meet in the playoffs. Milwaukee leads 2-1 but lost the most recent game 126-123 at home on Feb. 26. Kyrie Irving had 38 points and Bruce Brown sank a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:38 left. It marked Irving’s first game in Milwaukee since spraining his right ankle in Game 4 of last season’s Eastern Conference semifinals, an injury that helped the Bucks rally from a 2-0 deficit to win that series in seven games. Kevin Durant was out for the Nets. Bobby Portis had 30 points and 12 rebounds and made a career-high eight 3-pointers for the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Khris Middleton added 25 points.
Why Bet on Milwaukee?
The Bucks won a spectacular game and potential playoff preview Tuesday, 118-116 in Philadelphia. Milwaukee was clinging to a two-point lead when Giannis Antetokounmpo swatted away Joel Embiid’s put-back attempt with 1.6 seconds left. It was one of the blocks of the year – originally called goaltending but overruled on review. Moreover, Tuesday’s game was also the season tiebreaker for the teams, as the Bucks won in Philadelphia on Nov. 9 and the 76ers at Fiserv Forum on Feb. 17.
Antetokounpo’s block somewhat deflated Embiid’s MVP bid in the final weeks of the regular season by boosting his own burgeoning case. In all, Antetokounmpo tallied 40 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. It was the seventh straight road game that he scored 30-plus while shooting over 50 percent from the field — a mark that is tied for the second longest such streak in NBA history. Only Wilt Chamberlain had a longer streak, all the way back in 1961.
A two-time MVP, Antetokounmpo has now scored 30 points or more in seven of his last eight games and 32 times this season to boost his scoring average to 29.89 points per game, which ties Embiid for second in the NBA behind LeBron James (30.13 points per game). Antetokounmpo (14,172) is now only 40 points away from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (14,211) as the Bucks’ all-time leader in scoring.
“There’s gonna be times that you can take over the game. There’s gonna be times that you’ve just got to play, feel the game,” Antetokounmpo said. “No matter what happens, I have to stay aggressive because I know that’s what I want, that’s when I enjoy basketball the most. [There’s] not [a] moment throughout the game that I say, ‘I’ve got to take over the game right now.’ I just trust my instincts.”
Khris Middleton had a near triple-double with 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and took over offensively early in the fourth quarter to bring the Bucks back from a big deficit. Jrue Holiday had 18 points and 10 assists and played tremendous closing defense – as well as scoring five late points to keep the Bucks ahead. The Bucks improved to 33-9 when the three play together.
Brook Lopez has now reached double figures in scoring in each of his five games as a starter after putting up a season-high 17 points in Tuesday’s win over the 76ers. Over his last five games, Lopez is averaging 13.0 ppg and shooting 47.2% from the field.
Winners of 11 of 15 games since the All-Star break, the Milwaukee Bucks are a season-high 19 games over .500 for the second time this season. The Bucks own a 9-3 regular season record against the Nets in the Mike Budenholzer era (since 2018).
Why Bet on Brooklyn?
The Nets rallied from a 130-123 win over Detroit on Tuesday. The Pistons went ahead 55-43 following Frank Johnson’s short jumper with 5:54 left in the second quarter. Kevin Durant followed with a four-point play and the Nets pulled within 64-58 at halftime. Brooklyn opened the second half on a 22-8 run and took an 80-72 lead on Andre Drummond’s put-back with 5:54 remaining in the third quarter. The game was tied at 108 when Durant’s pull-up jumper followed by two free throws and Seth Curry’s 3-pointer gave Brooklyn the lead for good.
Durant finished with 41 points and 11 rebounds. He was 14-for-23 from the field and has shot 50 percent or better from the field in four of his last six. Kyrie Irving shot 7-of-18 from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line to finish with 24 points. Irving’s second home game of the season went better than his first, as he shot 6-of-22 from the field in Sunday’s loss to the Hornets.
Drummond accounted for 14 points and 13 rebounds. Drummond extended his double-double streak to three and he also made his former team pay for intentionally fouling him during the fourth quarter. On two separate occasions Pistons coach Dwane Casey had his team intentionally foul Drummond, who responded by making all four of his free throws. Drummond ranks first in the league in rebound % (.230), first in defensive rebound % (.310) and second in offensive rebound % (.152), trailing only Steven Adams (.161).
Brooklyn is 32-17 in games Durant plays this season with a plus-4.2-point differential and 8-19 when he doesn’t with a minus-6.7-point differential. Measured across a full season, the point differential when KD plays would be sixth in the league and second in the East, trailing only Boston (+6.9). It would rank 25th in games he doesn’t play this season.
Since KD returned from a 21-game absence, Brooklyn leads the league in FG % (.517), ranks second in offensive rating (121.7), fifth in ppg (120.1) and apg (27.7), sixth in point diff. (+6.5) and net rating (6.7), seventh in 3FG % (.384) and 16th in defensive rating (115.0).
The Nets are 26-3 this season when holding their opponent under 110 points. They are 16-3 when scoring 120+ points and 18-4 when shooting .500+ FG %.
Ben Simmons (back) is yet to progress to any on-court work. Coach Steve Nash said that Simmons is yet to participate in any practices, and he noted that he has not had a follow-up MRI since his last scan a few weeks ago. With less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, it’s highly unlikely that Simmons makes his Nets debut before the playoffs.
- Bucks are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games.
- Bucks are 9-21 ATS in their last 30 games as an underdog.
- Bucks are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games as a road underdog.
- Nets are 9-24 ATS in their last 33 games as a favorite.
- Nets are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Nets are 5-23-1 ATS in their last 29 home games.
- Bucks are 18-7-1 ATS in the last 26 meetings in Brooklyn.
- Bucks 116, Nets 114