Milwaukee gets the distinct pleasure of being favored for this home game, with them giving away 3.5 points to Brooklyn. Current spread records: the Bucks are 25-27 ATS and the Nets are 24-27-3 ATS.
The NBA odds makers are offering an O/U of 193.5, with the OVER hitting in the previous two matchups between these teams. It looks like sportsbooks are thinking this rematch will have far less offensive production.
The Nets were able to carry over momentum from right before the All-Star Break by outlasting Milwaukee 113-111 in overtime last night.
The Barclays Center was rocking throughout, especially when Joe Johnson continued his clutch showcase. Johnson hit the game-tying three to force overtime, and then buried a jumper at the buzzer to give Brooklyn the win.
In all, the Nets shot 47.3 percent overall and 52.6 percent from three. Johnson finished the night with 24 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Deron Williams recorded 19 points and nine assists. Brook Lopez's 19 points, nine boards and three blocks helped the cause too.
The Nets got a ton of help from their bench last night as well. They out-scored Milwaukee's bench 44-15.
Will Brooklyn be able to get another balanced effort offensively tonight? They've now won three straight, but it's hard to shake off the fact they've really struggled when visiting Milwaukee in recent history.
A heart-wrenching loss for the Bucks last night, as they surely felt a win was a lock when up by three with mere seconds left in regulation.
Despite the defeat, Milwaukee can take some solace in a few ways. For one, they turned the ball over just eight times, while forcing 18 Brooklyn turnovers. They also out-scored the Nets 54-44 in the paint.
Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders were all terrific. Jennings went for 34 points on 13-of-26 shooting and chipped in seven assists and six rebounds, Ellis had a 18/8/8 line, and Ilyasova buried 9-of-16 shots for 21 points to go along with nine boards.
As for Sanders, he shook off a bad back to post 14 points, eight boards and six blocks. Lopez had his hands full with the extreme length and athleticism of Sanders, and we wouldn't be surprised to see more of the same tonight.
As we noted earlier, the Bucks have to get more out of their second unit if they want to get some revenge against Brooklyn. Mike Dunleavy, Ekpe Udoh and Samuel Dalembert among others failed to provide the necessary spark last night.
The Bucks are a miserable 1-8 ATS over their last nine and haven't covered the spread in five straight at home, but we think they buck those trends tonight by returning the favor versus the Nets.
Jennings and Ellis have torched Brooklyn in every meeting this season and will aim to inflict similar damage here at home. Milwaukee's role players disappeared last night in the Barclays Center, but we forecast a better showing in front of the home fans.
Last night's loss was as bitter as they come for the Bucks, but for my free picks tonight, I like them to respond in the right manner. They've been extremely successful against the spread whenever they've faced off against Brooklyn, so let's see if they can get the job done again.NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -3.5