Nets vs Bucks: Decisions that can influence your NBA betting

Nets vs Bucks: Decisions that can influence your NBA betting

The mismatch of the night in the NBA Thursday appears to be Brooklyn at Milwaukee. The Bucks would have been sizable favorites regardless but are currently -12 because the Nets are resting several of their best players because it’s the front end of a back-to-back and presumably Brooklyn would rather try and win on Friday in Minnesota instead. Probably a wise decision.


NBA News: Nets Resting Several Starters Thursday At East-Leading Bucks


When: Thursday 9th
Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee

Time: 8:00 PM EST
TV: NBA League Pass


Ben Simmons is legitimately hurt for Brooklyn and is set to miss his eighth straight game Thursday due to knee and back issues. While there is no set timetable for his return, coach Jacque Vaughn hasn’t ruled him out for the remainder of the season. However, these four players all could take the court but won’t: Nic Claxton, Spencer Dinwiddie, Cameron Johnson and Royce O’Neale.

Claxton is out due to a right thumb sprain and left Achilles tendinopathy. He leads the Nets in double-doubles this season (22) and is posting career-highs in ppg (12.3), rpg (9.1) bpg (2.6) and FG % (.708). That field-goal percentage leads the NBA. Claxton is second in the league in blocks with that career-high 2.6 per game, trailing only the Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. (3.2 bpg). Claxton also leads the league in total blocks (157). In his first three seasons combined, Claxton blocked 99 shots in 94 games (1.1 bpg). In his absence, Day’Ron Sharpe and Nerlens Noel should play more tonight.

Dinwiddie is fully healthy, Johnson is dealing with some knee soreness and O’Neal with some left knee soreness. Dinwiddie came over from Dallas last month in the Kyrie Irving trade. Across his last six games, he’s averaged 20.2 ppg (.457 FG, .852 FT), 4.0 rpg, 7.7 apg and 1.2 spg in 34.9 mpg. In 11 games since rejoining Brooklyn, Dinwiddie has averaged 17.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 6.5 apg and 1.2 spg in 33.8 mpg.


Across his last three games, Royce O’Neale has played 86 minutes and has registered a team-high plus/minus of +60. In his last game on Tuesday at Houston, O’Neale recorded his third double-double of the season with 11 points and a season-high 11 boards in 33 minutes off the bench. In his last six games, Johnson has averaged 19.7 ppg (.470 FG, .370 3FG, .821 FT), 4.8 rpg, 1.7 apg and 1.5 spg in 30.6 mpg and in 10 games as a Net is averaging 17.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.7 apg and 1.4 spg in 29.2 mpg.

Thus, the only truly good player on the court tonight for Brooklyn will be Miles Bridges. In his first 10 games as a Net, Bridges has averaged 26.5 ppg (.526 FG, .481 3FG, .922 FT), 5.3 rpg, 3.3 apg and 1.1 spg in 34.9 mpg. Since making his Nets debut on Feb. 11, Bridges is one of four players averaging 25.0+ ppg on 50/40/90 shooting splits, joining Kawhi Leonard (29.1), Zach LaVine (28.8 ppg) and Kyrie Irving (28.4 ppg). Bridges has tallied 30+ points in five of his last eight games after posting 30+ points twice in the first 367 games of his career.

Brooklyn is 3-0 this season when holding its opponent under 90 points, 10-1 when holding its opponent to 100 or fewer points and 20-3 when holding an opponent to 105 or fewer points. Since the All-Star break (last seven games), Brooklyn is playing at the fourth-fastest pace of any team in the league (102.64). Prior to the All-Star break, Brooklyn was 21st in the league in pace (98.75).

The Bucks now lead the Eastern Conference by two games, and Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo are both expected to play after sitting out the team’s last game Tuesday in Orlando. By averaging 31.2 points per game, Antetokounmpo is not only on track to put up the highest scoring season of his career, but also one of the highest in Bucks history. He’s set at over/under 31.5 tonight.

The Bucks’ 134 points on Tuesday was the third time in their last four games that they’ve reached the 130-point mark. Dating back to Jan. 16, Milwaukee has scored 130+ points in nine of its 22 games after doing so only once in its first 43 games of the season. Prior to this 22-game stretch, the Bucks were 18th in the NBA in scoring at 111.8 ppg, but are now up to ninth in the league, averaging 115.8 ppg this season.

The Bucks have won two of their three games against the Nets so far this season, and with a win on Thursday, would clinch their eighth season series win against the Nets over the past nine seasons.

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