NBA Pick: San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks ‘under’ 203½

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

The Spurs have topped 100 points on five straight games, but the Bucks rank just 18th in the NBA in scoring and both teams are playing good defense lately, so go ‘under’ Wednesday.

Expect a lower scoring game than the high total would indicate Wednesday night when the San Antonio Spurs (25-8, 12-6 away) pay a visit to the Milwaukee Bucks (16-13, 9-6 home) at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI at 8:05 ET.

The posted total at Bookmaker Sportsbook is 203½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.

The Spurs are currently on a six-game winning streak, and while five of the six wins have come at home, they also snapped an uncharacteristic four-game road losing streak 111-86 at the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. At 25-8, San Antonio currently leads the Southwest Division by 3½ games over the Memphis Grizzlies, although that lead in only one game in the loss column.

The Spurs have also scored at least 100 points in the last five games, and yet the ‘under’ is 3-2 over those games and 4-2 over the entire winning streak, which should give you an idea of just how well the San Antonio defense has clamped down lately. You may recall that the Spurs changed there personality practically overnight last season, going from a tough, defensive minded club to playing a much more wide open offensive style.

Well, San Antonio is much more balanced this season. Sure, the Spurs are still third in the league in scoring at 105.5 points per game, but they are also now up to 11th in points against, eighth in field goal percentage allowed and second in three-point defense! They have improved those defensive categories as of late by holding five of their last six opponents to 94 points or less and they held the Brooklyn Nets to 37.8 percent shooting in a 104-73 romp on Monday.

These teams did go ‘over’ when the Spurs won 110-99 back home in San Antonio in the first meeting this season on December 5th, but the Spurs were not playing with the same defensive intensity early on as they are now.

The Bucks are known for playing at a fast pace, in fact ranking seventh in the NBA with a pace rating of 96.0 possessions per game. Unfortunately, they rank just 26th in field goal percentage at 43.1 percent and 27th in three-point defense at 33.5 percent, so that quick tempo has only netted them an average of 95.8 points, which ranks 18th in the league.

Like the Spurs though, the Bucks have been playing some stifling defense lately. Milwaukee is coming off of a 96-94 road loss to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, but that game marked the 11th time in the last 12 games that the Bucks have held their opponents below 100 points, and the lone exception was vs. a Los Angeles Clippers team that was in the midst of a 17-game winning streak.

That recent streak included holding the NBA Champion Miami Heat to their second lowest point output of the season in a 104-85 Milwaukee win on Saturday, and the Bucks have held eight of their last nine home opponents to 94 points or less.

With this total posted safely over the 200-mark, go ‘under’ in Milwaukee on Wednesday.

[gameodds]5/133545/93-238-19-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Spurs, Bucks ‘under’ 203½ (-110)

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