Free NBA Picks: Inflated Spread Points to Value On Bucks vs. Suns

Darin Zank

Sunday, December 20, 2015 2:20 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015 2:20 PM UTC

The Milwaukee Bucks are 2-0 against the NBA odds when playing Golden State this season, 11-15 ATS against everybody else. Can they keep things close in Phoenix Sunday afternoon?

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NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks Against the Spread
Best Line Offered: +6 (-105) at Heritage


Bucks-Suns: The Odds
Most of Sunday's NBA odds board opened Phoenix at -6.5 for this game, with a total of right around 205. In the early betting most of the market dropped the spread to -6, and the total to 204.

Those who believe the Bucks could win this game outright could get a price of +220 on the NBA moneyline at 5Dimes.


The Match-Up
Milwaukee (10-18 SU, 13-15 ATS) has lost three games in a row, and five of its last six, after falling at Golden State Friday night 121-112. The Bucks actually hung tough for 46 minutes of that grudge match, and at one point led by 15, before letting the Warriors rally and finish the game on an 13-4 run. But they still easily covered as 19-point dogs, the largest spread we've seen in the NBA so far this season.

On the night Milwaukee shot 46 percent from the floor, while “holding” Golden State to 48 percent.

Prior to that, though, the Bucks laid a pair of eggs in losses to the Lakers and Clippers down at Staples Center, whiffing ATS both games.

Phoenix (12-16 SU, 13-15 ATS), meanwhile, just snapped a two-game losing streak with a 104-88 victory over New Orleans Friday night. The Suns led by 11 after one quarter and kept that distance from the Pelicans almost all night, easily covering as three-point favorites.

On the night Phoenix shot a hot 52 percent from the field, and held New Orleans to 37 percent.

Wednesday night the Suns got blown out by Golden State 128-103, and Monday night they lost at Dallas 104-94.


Bucks-Suns Recent History
This is the first meeting between these teams this season; last season they split their two games, each winning on the others' home court. The Bucks upset the Suns in the first meeting 96-94, while Phoenix won in Milwaukee a month later 102-96.

The Bucks outshot the Suns in those two games combined 45 percent to 43 percent.

Also, both those games played UNDER totals of 209.


Bucks-Suns Totals Trends
Milwaukee is 16-12 on the OVERS this season, as Bucks games have averaged 198 points.

Phoenix is 14-13 on the OVERS, as Suns games have averaged 210 points.


Injury Update
Milwaukee is a little shorthanded in the back-court at the moment, with both Greivis Vasquez and Jerryd Bayless out with sore ankles. Also, C Greg Monroe missed recent action with a sore knee, and while he played Friday, he might be still be limited.


Final Analysis
Milwaukee is coming off a big effort Friday night in that loss to the Warriors, but then again, so is Phoenix. So the emotional/physical factor seems to wash out. By the numbers the Bucks shoot the ball a little better than the Suns, and do a better job on the boards, but Phoenix plays a little better defense and takes a little better care of the ball. At the moment these two teams are very close in ability and talent, and that's why we think spread on this game is inflated slightly toward the home team. We like the value with Milwaukee for our free NBA pick in this spot. Also, these two teams met for a pair of UNDERS last season, and we can see Sunday's game playing out similarly.

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