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Bucks vs. Rockets: NBA Betting Tips and Free Picks

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Bucks vs. Rockets: NBA Betting Tips and Free Picks
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks. Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP

Both the Bucks and the Rockets won their opening games and will look to continue that momentum Sunday night. We’ll take a closer look at this matchup and see what the top sportsbooks have to offer in terms of NBA odds for this game.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Houston Rockets

Sunday, August 2, 2020 – 8:30 PM EST at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Orlando, FL

Bucks Will Want to Improve

The Milwaukee Bucks pulled out a win over their Eastern Conference rival the Boston Celtics in their opening game. The Bucks offense never really got going other than Giannis Antetokounmpo who had a monster game with 36 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists. Khris Middleton also chipped in with 18 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds which is great news for the Bucks. If they are going to take the next step as a franchise and get back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1971 when they won the title.

Tonight's game against Houston (8:30 p.m ET, ABC) provides the perfect opportunity for the rest of the roster to get going offensively. When I say that I'm not implying that they were terrible against Boston. What I am saying is they had to work a lot harder to score against the Celtics than they will versus the Rockets. In their lone regular-season meeting, all five of Milwaukee's starters scored in double figures with seven total players reaching that mark. The Bucks also know that although they will have an easier time scoring, their defense needs to be ready to play. They held Boston to under 41% shooting from the field but it will be a much more difficult task against a Houston team that can put up points in a hurry.

Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP

Houston Will Continue to Do What They Do

I would love to sit here and predict what adjustments the Rockets will make but the truth is, the Rockets are very consistent with their style of play. For me the question with Houston is always the same; are they going to give 48 minutes of effort? You would have to think that the Bucks will bring the best out of Houston and this game has a lot of interesting matchups to watch out for.

The Bucks will be without Eric Bledsoe who seems like the player most equipped to defend Russell Westbrook. That could be something the Rockets look to exploit in this game tonight. Wesley Matthews is not as good of a defender as he was earlier in his career but he can still get the job done. If anything, he will make Harden work harder to score than he would like. Nobody can stop Harden from scoring so making work hard is actually a win. The question for Houston is how do they stop the Bucks offense which is every bit as good as theirs.

Bucks First Half Is a Good Look Here

The NBA betting odds for today have this line at Milwaukee -4.5 with the total at 241. The Bucks usually cover that margin of victory easily but it concerns me against a team like Houston. I think that the Bucks will come out with a level of defensive intensity that will make it hard for Houston to settle into a rhythm.

From the Bucks perspective, both offenses are similar in their efficiency (Rockets are 2nd and the Bucks are 7th in offensive rating) so defense will be the difference-maker for them. I also feel like we're going to see a lot of Giannis playing the 5 spot tonight in the Bucks small ball lineup and that's going to be a massive problem for Houston. I see the Bucks setting the tempo early in this contest while the Rockets slowly find their feet.

After reviewing what's available at the top sportsbooks, I feel more comfortable with the Bucks 1st half line of -2 (-110) available at 5Dimes (Visit our 5Dimes Review).