Wizards vs Bucks NBA Betting Analysis & Picks

Wizards vs Bucks | NBA Betting Analysis & Picks

Potential Eastern Conference playoff ramifications are on the line Thursday when the Washington Wizards, who need a miracle to reach the play-in tournament, visit the Milwaukee Bucks, who are trying to catch Miami for the East’s top seed. The Bucks will be heavy favorites on the NBA odds, which will be determined by a few injuries.

How to Bet Washington at Milwaukee NBA Odds & TV Info

Season Series

This is the third and final meeting between the clubs and they have split. They last played Feb. 1 in Milwaukee and the Bucks prevailed 112-98. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists, Jrue Holiday scored 22 points, Bobby Portis 17, Khris Middleton 13 and Grayson Allen 10 for the Bucks. The Bucks squandered a 17-point lead before rallying in the fourth quarter. Washington trailed 20-5 with the game barely five minutes old but clawed its way back and finally took its first lead on Rui Hachimura’s tiebreaking 3-pointer with 8:35 left. Kyle Kuzma scored 25, Montrezl Harrell had 20 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 12 for the Wizards.

Why Bet on Washington?

Washington basically would have to win out for any shot at the East play-in tournament and even that might not be enough. The Wizards come off a 115-97 loss in Houston on Monday. The Rockets trailed by 23 in the first half but slowly trimmed the deficit before going on a 16-0 spurt over the last minute of the third quarter and the first four minutes of the fourth to take the lead.

New Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. was disappointed to see his team blow another big lead after squandering a 35-point advantage in a 116-115 loss to the Clippers on Jan. 25, the second-biggest comeback in NBA history.

“I thought we let our foot off the gas,” he said. “You mess with the game, the game messes with you. And sadly, we can’t seem to learn that lesson. We saw that similar game at home versus the Clippers, and apparently we have short memories.”

Kristaps Porzingis notched 22 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks, four assists and a steal in the loss. It was his third double-double and his fourth 20-point showing in eight games with Washington. Porzingis is one of only eight players in the NBA to average at least 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks since his Wizards debut on March 6. Rui Hachimura had 16 points and eight rebounds. Hachimura drew a second straight start in place of Kyle Kuzma.

Kuzma (right knee tendinitis) is doubtful to play in Thursday’s game and might be shut down for the season. Kuzma has a career-high 24 double-doubles this season, including in 16 of his last 37 appearances. He has 25 games with 10+ rebounds this season, the most in his career. Finally, Kuzma has eight games with 25+ points and 10+ rebounds, the most in a single season in his career, previously having six total over his first four seasons combined.

Corey Kispert has been a pleasant surprise this year. He ranks fifth among all NBA rookies in three-point field goal percentage (.346) and needs to make four three-pointers to surpass teammate Bradley Beal (91, 2012-13) for the most three-pointers made by a rookie in franchise history.

Why Bet on Milwaukee?

The Bucks trashed the Bulls 126-98 on Tuesday despite playing without second-leading scorer Khris Middleton. He is questionable for Thursday with a sore wrist.

Milwaukee won for the 15th time in their last 16 meetings with the Bulls, including all three matchups this season. Chicago’s lone win during that stretch came in the 2019-20 regular-season finale, when the Bucks rested their starters because they were locked into the East’s No. 3 playoff seed.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points, 17 rebounds and five assists in 30 minutes after missing one game due to a minor injury. Antetokounmpo, who is third in the league in scoring this season at 29.7 ppg, is now only 110 points away from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the Bucks all-time leader in scoring.

Jrue Holiday shot 12-of-17 from the field to finish with 27 points and seven assists. Holiday has now scored 20+ points in three of his last four games. During this four-game stretch, Holiday, who is shooting a career-high 50.5% overall and a career-high 41.4% from three this season, is averaging 22.8 points, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game while shooting 52.2% from the field.

Brook Lopez had 10 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes for Milwaukee after making his first start since the season opener. The 7-footer had come off the bench for the Bucks’ last three games after missing 67 due to a back injury that required surgery. The Bucks shot 61% from the floor and had seven players score in double figures. The Bulls shot just 42.4%.

After Tuesday’s win, the Bucks are a season-high 18 games over .500 for the second time this season and remain in the second spot of the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 45-27.

The Bucks have won nine of their last 10 games over the Wizards dating back to the 2018-19 season, including a 1-1 mark against them this season. In the Mike Budenholzer era (since 2018), Milwaukee is putting up an average of 127.1 ppg against Washington, which is its second-highest scoring average against an opponent in that span.

Expert Prediction

  • Bucks 115, Wizards 104

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