The Milwaukee Bucks have a substantial lead for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and tonight they host a Portland Trail Blazers team that's in desperate need of a win.
Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 pm ET tonight at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The NBA odds makers at 5Dimes Sportsbook lists the Bucks as a 5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is 209. Let’s breakdown this matchup from a betting point of view and decide where the best value lies for our NBA picks.
The Blazers starters will have a lot of pressure in this one as they shoulder most of the load. This is the type of game that they need to win to get back into the playoff hunt. They trail the Lakers by 3.5 games with just 16 matchups remaining on the schedule.
Established Star, Young Star
The Blazers starting 5 are an intimidating bunch, but it's a travesty that they're currently sitting at 31-35 with a superstar like LaMarcus Aldridge in the middle and future Rookie of the Year, Damian Lillard at point guard.
Both Aldridge and Lillard are coming off of huge games in a 1 point loss to the 76'ers in which they accounted for most of the offense. The combo accounted for 59 out of Portland's 100 points and 21 out of Portland's 46 rebounds. With this 1-2 punch, Portland is also a force to be reckoned with despite their abysmal play on the road.
Portland is just 9-24 on the road and that will create any team on the outside looking in where the playoffs are concerned.
In the Groove
Milwaukee is a team with many threats in the like of Jennings, Sanders, and Illyasova. That said, Monta Ellis has been on a tear as of late. Ellis is coming off of 39 point, 6 rebound, 5 assist and, 3 steal performance in a win against Orlando.
In his last 10 games, Ellis has been unstoppable, averaging 26.5 points, 7 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game. He's playing like he did with Golden State when they were a bottom feeder. This Milwaukee team is an up and comer and a team that other teams aren't looking to play in the playoffs. Portland's porous defense won't have an answer in stopping Ellis.
An Aldridge vs. Sanders matchup looks mighty appealing. Larry Sanders has come out of nowhere to give the Bucks some much needed rebounding and hands in the face and it will be a test for him in dealing with LaMarcus Aldridge.
Portland is 8-2-2 ATS in their last 12 games overall
Portland is 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 road games against a team with a winning record
Bucks are 18-39 ATS in their last 57 home games
Bucks are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 games on 1 days rest
The Over is 14-5 in the last 19 meetings between these two teams
Taking Portland on the road is always a risky proposition for your sports picks, so I'm going to lean towards the total in this game. Both of these teams contain a lot of firepower offensively and are weak on the defensive end. Take the OVER.
Free NBA Pick - Portland/Milwaukee OVER 209For another take on this game check out our NBA Picks of the Day article.