Bucks (59-20 SU, 47-28-4 ATS) vs Nets (39-40 SU, 42-37-0 ATS)
Saturday 5 p.m. ET, ESPN
Free NBA Pick: Bucks -6 (-109)
Best Line Offered: Bookmaker
The last time we weighed in on this matchup it was early in the week, the Brooklyn Nets were hanging in the playoff race with a 39-38-0 SU mark. As their win-loss record indicates they’ve gone on to lose back-to-back games and slip to a 3-7 SU mark in their last ten.
Such form doesn’t bode well, particularly for a second straight meeting in as many weeks with the formidable Bucks, who are enjoying contrasting fortunes going to win their last two and improving to a 7-3 SU record in their last ten games. The Bucks remain the top team in the NBA – three wins ahead of the Raptors and four wins better than their inter-state top rivals Golden State Warriors.
Monday’s date with the Nets saw the Bucks mercilessly crush the hosts 131-121 and cover as the nominal road faves (NBA odds closed at +1.5 or thereabouts depending on your choice online sportsbook) with plenty to spare.
Today’s showdown has this matchup nestled on a rather one-sided NBA line with the hosts (Milwaukee this time) well favoured at -6 with most top-rated sportsbooks. It’s worth noting, the Bucks did open as the significant home faves around 8 to 9-points to the good, but – this is the very interesting bit for NBA bettors to mull over – consensus betting has bet down the Bucks quite significantly.
Clearly, the public was heavy on the road dogs in early betting markets. More than 60% of early bets coming down the wire went to the Nets. The question is does the public have it right?
Put it this way, while there is little to suggest the Nets will mastermind the upset on the road, the public is putting their stock in the Nets on account of a positive ATS record this season. Now, the Nets are merely 17-22 SU on the road but they’re also 23-16 ATS on the road with a -3.3 losing margin on average. This would suggest that the Nets have been a good bet against the spread despite their losing ways on the road.
That isn”t the full picture though. If we were to whittle down these numbers or, better yet, be more specific we discover the Nets are 18-15 ATS with a -5.6 losing margin on average when they are the road underdogs. The key stat may be the fact that the Nets are merely 4-10-0 ATS after no rest with a -7.6 losing margin on average.
Last night the Nets lost 105-115 to Toronto Raptors at home, which has them down to a 1-4 SU in their last five games. Their last two games against top of the table teams featured losing margins of ten points, in turn failing to cover the nominal spreads on offer.
With the market shrinking on the NBA odds board and the Bucks now trading as the 6-point home faves, the Bucks emerge as the smart bet. It’s likely sharp bettors will pounce on the Bucks in the late stages of the day and grab the value.
Look, the Nets were hammered in their last two games by the Bucks and Raptors. The NBA schedulers have done them no favours this week with what is a brutal stretch facing top-of-the-table teams three times. This could get ugly.