NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -4 over Cleveland Cavaliers

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, January 25, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

The Bucks have become scoring machines while going 6-2 under interim coach Jim Boylan, and that should continue vs. a Cavaliers team ranked dead last in field goal percentage against.

The road team should be able to score at will en route to an easy victory when those Milwaukee Bucks (22-18, 11-9 away) pay a visit to the Cleveland Cavaliers (11-32, 5-12 home) at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH at 7:35 ET.

The point spread at 5 Dimes has Milwaukee as a moderate road favorite for this contest with the current line at -4 with odds of -108.

The Bucks parted ways with their former defensive-minded coach Scott Skiles on January 7th, and they have responded well while looking much more relaxed under interim coach Jim Boylan, going 6-2 while averaging 101.5 points per game.

That still leaves Milwaukee 15th in the NBA in scoring at 97.0 points per game overall, but it also gives you an idea how far the offense has come in those last three weeks as the offensive minded Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, who are both defensive liabilities because of their smallish sizes, have been able to do what comes naturally to them, which is run the floor and get off quick shots.

What is most impressive about the Bucks’ turnaround under Boylan is that Milwaukee has gone 4-1 both straight up and ATS on the road, including a nice road win in Chicago. The Bucks have topped 100 points in five of the eight games since Boylan took over, including putting up 110 points in each of the last two games.

Milwaukee shot a robust 51.9 percent from the field in a home win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, with Jennings leading the way with 25 points followed by Ellis with 18.

The Bucks now appear to be in a position to get revenge for an embarrassing 94-82 home loss to these 11-32 Cavaliers the last time these teams played on December 22nd in Milwaukee, back when Skiles was still at the helm. That loss snapped a nine-game straight up winning streak for Milwaukee in this head-to-head series.

Now the Cavaliers have not had many highlights while winning 11 games all year, but they just had one when they defeated the Boston Celtics 95-90 in their last game on Tuesday. Cleveland has had back-to-back wins just once this season, and that was when they followed up their upset of these Bucks in December with another road win over the team with the worst record in the NBA, the Washington Wizards.

A more pressing concern regarding this game is that the Cavaliers rank dead last in the NBA in field goal percentage allowed defensively at 47.1 percent, so facing a hot offense like Milwaukee is probably the last thing this defense needs right now.

It is entirely conceivable that the Bucks could reach 110 points for the third straight game under these circumstances, and we just do not see Cleveland keeping pace. Thus, even playing on the road, give the points with Milwaukee in this spot Friday.
 
[gameodds]5/134748/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Bucks -4 (-108)