Thursday Night NBA Betting Lines & Expert Preview: Nuggets at Bucks

Thursday Night NBA Betting Lines & Expert Preview: Nuggets at Bucks

Written by on February 15, 2018

Just two games on the NBA schedule Thursday night as the league gave the vast majority of the clubs an extra day off before the All-Star break officially begins. Denver and Milwaukee weren’t so lucky as the two rising young teams face off for the first time this season. The Bucks are solid NBA betting lines favorites against the Nuggets.

Thursday Night NBA Betting Lines & Expert Preview: Nuggets at Bucks

When: Thursday, 8 PM ET Where: Bradley Center, Milwaukee TV: NBA League Pass, Alt, FSWI Stream: Radio: AM 950 (Denver) / AM 620 (Milwaukee) NBA Betting Lines: Bucks -3 (213)

Last Season

First of two meetings, with the Nuggets hosting the Bucks on April 1. Denver won both last year. It was 121-117 in Denver in the first meeting. Nikola Jokic had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in the first triple-double of his career. Wilson Chandler scored 23 points and Kenneth Faried had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets. The game was tied at 44 midway through the second quarter when Denver took control. Jokic had nine points in the final 6:38 of the period. Jabari Parker had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 23 for the Bucks. In Milwaukee, the Nuggets won 110-98. Jokic had another triple-double with 13 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for Denver, which led by as many as 31. Khris Middleton finished with 21 points to go with five rebounds and five assists for Milwaukee. The Bucks also got 15 points and nine rebounds from Antetokounmpo.

Why Bet on Denver?

The Nuggets (31-26) won their second straight and fifth in six games Tuesday, 117-109 over San Antonio. The Spurs had won 15 of 16 against Denver, including the first two meetings this season. Denver outscored the Spurs 30-19 in the fourth quarter to rally from seven down late in the third. Nikola Jokic hit 8-of-15 shots and two 3-pointers for 23 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists and a block. Jokic racked up his fourth triple-double of the season. He’s averaging 18.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.6 3-pointers on 50 percent shooting over his last five. Jamal Murray played through chest soreness and came through with 17 points, five rebounds, one assist, two steals and three 3-pointers on 6-of-9 shooting.  Afterward, Murray said that he was in “constant pain,” but that “pain’s nothing to me… I’ve played through broken fingers.” Murray is expected to play Thursday vs. Milwaukee, as he told reporters that he is playing in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday “no matter what.” Wilson Chandler hit 8-of-19 shots for 17 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks in 34 minutes vs. the Spurs. He has really perked up the past couple of games. Over the past 10 games, the Nugs are averaging 112.9 points per game while shooting an impressive 48.4% from the field, 38.4% from beyond the arc (while making 11.7 per game) and 82.3% from the charity stripe. Since stepping into a larger role when forward Paul Millsap was sidelined, third-year forward Trey Lyles has been one of the best reserves in the entire NBA. Over his last 35 games, Lyles is posting averages of 13.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 51% from the field and 40% from three-point range.

Why Bet on Milwaukee?

The Bucks (32-24) have also won two straight and five of six. They beat the Hawks 97-92 on Tuesday. Giannis Antetokounmpo overcame a slow start from the field to hit two key buckets in the final three-plus minutes, and Khris Middleton led a balanced attack with 21 points as Milwaukee improved to 9-2 under interim coach Joe Prunty. They’ve held opponents to less than 100 points eight times during Prunty’s 11-game tenure. Antetokounmpo hit 7-of-16 shots for 15 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks. Tyler Zeller hit 7-of-9 shots for 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes. Thon Maker continues to start with John Henson sidelined by a hamstring injury, but Zeller was the best big man for the Bucks vs. Atlanta. Henson is expected to miss a third straight game here. Are the bucks a safe bet in the NBA betting lines? Antetokounmpo has 27 double-doubles on the season. He has had at least 20 points in 24 of his double-doubles this season, has scored 30 points or more in nine of those games, and scored 40 points in one of his double-doubles. Antetokounmpo is one of only five players in the NBA averaging at least 20.0 points with 10.0 rebounds per game this season. Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 27.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game, is close to the pace needed to join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in Bucks history to average at least 28.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for a season.  Middleton is in the midst of having his best season of his career in 2017-18. He is averaging career highs in points (20.0), rebounds (5.3) and assists (4.2) per game while shooting 46.4 percent from the field (second-highest of his career). Milwaukee remains without last year’s Rookie of the Year, Malcolm Brogdon. He’s likely not going to return until April due to injury.

Latest NBA Betting Lines Trends

  • Denver is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
  • Denver is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 7 of Denver’s last 8 games
  • Milwaukee is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games at home
  • Milwaukee is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Milwaukee’s last 11 games

Expert NBA Pick & Prediction

Take Milwaukee at home as the Nuggets probably aren’t thrilled to be traveling right before the break.