NBA Picks: Expect Slow Tempo Match Up In Bucks vs. Nets

Jason Lake

Sunday, March 13, 2016 11:47 AM GMT

It took a while, but it looks like the Milwaukee Bucks have found the winning formula. It's still going to be tough to beat the NBA odds Sunday versus the Brooklyn Nets.

Jason's 2015-16 record as of March 12: 28-33-1 ATS, 6-2-1 Total

It's not too late for the Milwaukee Bucks to salvage this season. Granted, they're six games out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference as we go to press, with just 16 games left to go. And there are three other teams waiting in line in front of them. But stranger things have happened, and the Bucks are just starting to find their form at 8-6 SU and ATS since early February.

Unfortunately for our purposes, Milwaukee has a date Sunday night (8:00 p.m. ET, YES) with one of the hottest NBA Picks there is, the Brooklyn Nets. Seriously, the Nets. They're 3-6 SU and 6-3 ATS in their last nine games. Hmmmph. Maybe we'll end up looking at that total of 208 points up on the NBA odds boards, rather than the spread of Brooklyn +1.5 at home.

 

Mourning Joe
The Nets (18-47 SU, 33-31-1 ATS) and the Bucks (28-38 SU, 33-32-1 ATS) have both been through some changes lately, so take the following kayfabe spreads with an extra grain of salt:

FiveThirtyEight (CARM-Elo): PK
Basketball-Reference (SRS): Brooklyn –0.79

That's a healthy piece of real estate. And it should make sense that Brooklyn would have some profit margin here as one of the worst basketball teams in the league, especially after Joe Johnson (10.9 PER, –1.9 BPM) had his contract bought out. As you can guess by those nerd stats, cutting Johnson loose has been a case of addition by subtraction. The good things he's doing for the Miami Heat just weren't going to happen if he'd stayed in Brooklyn.

 

Assume the Position
Here's the thing: The Bucks are a different animal, too. They've had just a ridiculous number of injuries lately, but look at who we're talking about: guards Michael Carter-Williams (14.0 PER, –0.6 BPM) and O.J. Mayo (7.7 PER, –3.3 BPM), both gone for the season, along with forward Steve Novak (14.5 PER, –6.7 BPM in 44 minutes), who only managed to get in three games with his new employers before spraining his left MCL. Again, those negative BPM numbers aren't very flattering.

With his options increasingly limited, head coach Jason Kidd has decided to insert himself into the starting lineup at point guard. What's that? I'm being told it's Giannis Antetokounmpo (17.7 PER, +1.5 BPM), and he's doing a very fine job of it. In the six games this month since Carter-Williams went down with a torn hip labrum, Antetokounmpo has posted 21.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.7 blocks per game. He's more of a point-forward, to be honest. Or maybe a guard-forward-center. Anyway, since both these teams have been beating the odds lately, we're going to recommend the UNDER this time. It's 5-2 in Brooklyn's last seven games, and 4-2 for the Bucks in their last six.

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NBA Pick: Under 206
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes