Bucks Need Reinforcements to Stop LeBron in Tuesday NBA Betting

Jason Lake

Monday, December 18, 2017 7:27 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 7:27 PM UTC

Tuesday’s game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks has the home side as just a 1-point dog on the NBA odds board. That’s a bit generous towards the Bucks in their current state.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Milwaukee BucksFree NBA Pick: Cavs -1Best Line: BetOnline

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Apparently, the Cleveland Cavaliers have figured things out. After struggling to find cohesion with their new-look roster, the Cavs have won 18 of their last 19 games, putting them within range of the Boston Celtics for the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference. Just like last year, in other words.

Remember last year? Cleveland was the No. 2 seed in the East behind Boston after going 51-31 SU and 36-43-2 ATS, the Cavs' third straight unprofitable season with LeBron James back in town. Here we are again: King James and the Cavs are 8-11 ATS during this hot streak, and 11-19-1 ATS on the season. But Cleveland might be the right choice as a 1-point favorite on the NBA odds board for Tuesday’s road game against the Milwaukee Bucks, tipping off at 8 p.m. Eastern on NBA TV.

Buck-a-Shuck

The Bucks (15-13 SU, 11-13-4 ATS) have had their ups and downs this year as they tread water while PF Jabari Parker tries to recover from that torn ACL in his left knee – he’s not expected to debut until February. Milwaukee pulled off a significant trade on Nov. 7, sending big man Greg Monroe and draft picks to the Phoenix Suns for PG Eric Bledsoe; the Bucks are 11-7 SU and 8-8-2 ATS since making the swap.

Unfortunately for Milwaukee supporters, a series of injuries has left the Bucks increasingly short-handed since the Bledsoe deal. First, it was PF Mirza Teletovic (knee), then PG Matthew Dellavedova (knee), SG Jason Terry (calf) and swingman Tony Snell (knee). Of these four, Snell is the only one who might play Tuesday, and it looks more likely after he participated in Monday’s practice.

These injuries have thrown the analytics department for a loop. FiveThirtyEight has Cleveland projected as a 1.5-point favorite, while ESPN’s Basketball Power Index sees Milwaukee winning 54.5 percent of the time, or about –2 using the basketball numbers at Wizard of Odds. Given the injury situation, we’ll recommend a small wager on Cleveland for your NBA picks; if Snell doesn’t appear in Tuesday’s shootaround, even better.

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