Bucks (48-15 SU, 37-23-3 ATS) vs. Suns (13-51 SU, 27-37-0ATS)
Monday, 9:05 pm ET, ESPN
Free NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -12.5 (-107)
Best Line Offered: Pinnacle
Milwaukee Bucks looking to bounce back
Depending on your choice online sportsbook the NBA line on this game hovers anywhere between 12.5 to 13 points, with the game firmly cornered in Milwaukee’s camp. For obvious reasons, the Bucks are well favoured in this matchup despite being on the road. They lead the league with a formidable 48-15 SU record and a 37-23-3 ATS mark that features a 9.3 average margin of victory.
The Bucks had their seven-game winning streak snapped on Saturday night with a 115-111 loss to the Utah Jazz on the road, but, one has to argue, running out of gas was only a matter of time.
Granted they did let the game slip through their fingers after leading most of the way. At 90-73 in the fourth quarter the Jazz outscored the Bucks 42-21 down the stretch to edge the visitors and take the win. Nevertheless, the Bucks remain the team to beat in the NBA.
On the stats sheet, they bring an 8-2 SU and 6-4 ATS record in their last ten games to Phoenix. Overall, they are tied for 11th in scoring with an average of 116.1 points per game. Offensively, they are second in the league with 117.5 points per game. They boast 49.1 rebounds per game, putting them second in the league in this category. They are sixth in assists as they toss up 26.2 per contest. Their defense is ninth in scoring as they allow 108.1 points per game. Giannis Antetokounmpo spearheads the Bucks with 28 points, 13.9 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game in the team’s last 10 games, all the while shooting 58.9 percent from the floor over that stretch. Khris Middleton remains an effective second choice with his contribution of 19.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists while shooting 38.4 percent from the field over the very same stretch.
Is it any wonder oddsmakers firmly hang the game in their corner with the Bucks trading as the whopping -12.5 to -13 favourites against the spread.
Phoenix Suns out of their depths
Phoenix Suns are a woeful 13-51 SU on the season and a dispiriting 2-8 SU in their last ten games. These two teams are quite literally polar opposites with one leading the league and the other propping it up on the board.
The Suns are coming off a rare win. They beat the Los Angeles Lakers at home in stellar fashion, trailing 112-109 they reeled off the final six points of the game with just a little over a minute left on the clock. They won two of their last three games since ending a horrendous 17-game losing skid.
On the stats, the Suns don’t strike an attractive pose. Sat 24th in the league in scoring with an average of 106.5 points per game; 30th on the glass by collecting 40.1 boards per game; 19th in the league in assists with 23.9 per game; 28th in the league in scoring defense by allowing 116.3 points on average; and 17th in the league in field goal percentage at 45.7 percent so far. The Suns are 27-37-0 ATS with a -9.8 losing margin on average. They are 4-6-0 ATS in their last ten games. All in all, it’s not exactly happy reading or, for that matter, encouraging in terms of betting on the Suns to mastermind the upset.
NBA Betting Verdict: The Suns are out of the playoffs. They’re playing for pride now and naught else. Perhaps, playing with a bit of abandonment is what led to their positive results in the last few games. Then again, perhaps, they were simply underestimated by the Heat and Lakers. Whatever the case may be there is no denying the Bucks are in a different league, a class above Miami and Los Angeles. Beating the Bucs is no mean feat and it would take a diehard Suns fan to bet on Phoenix to fashion the upset tonight.
For our money, we’re definitely shading the Bucks to not only win straight up but also cover the spread. Granted it’s quite a lot of points to cover, but considering their meltdown against the Jazz a few nights ago the Bucks will be looking to set the record straight. This could be a beat down.
NBA Picks: Milwaukee Bucks -12.5 (-107) Pinnacle