2017-18 Milwaukee Bucks Predictions and NBA Futures Odds Picks
The Milwaukee Bucks are a team on the rise. Or at least they hope that this is the case. The "Greek Freak" is one of the most exciting players in the league - the epitome of a point forward with seemingly limitless upside. They have a nice complement of players around him. They play in a division that lost Paul George, Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving, so things aren't quite as tough as they have been. And they gained some good experience in the playoffs last year, giving Toronto a fight before losing in the first round. Things aren't all perfect - Jason Kidd is their coach, for example. But there are a lot of teams out there that would much rather be where Milwaukee is than where they are. So, what will it all turn into this year?
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2017 Milwaukee Bucks Betting Storylines
Giannis Antetokounmpo (can we all accept that I have proven I can spell his last name so I don't have to do it again?) is a special player. He's not one of those guys who gets a max deal because he's the best player on the team and the team knows they can't attract anyone better (why would you assume I'm talking about you Demar Derozan and Andre Drummond?). He's one of those guys with a combination of skills that you would assume is impossible until you watch him play. This is the year that he will start to be a perennial MVP candidate - and it says here he'll win one or two before he's done. He's a serious weapon for this team, and as long as he stays healthy people who don't know it yet aren't going to be able to avoid it this season.
The Freak is the only superstar on this team - which is about two short of where it seems you need to be in this league these days. The best hope of a second one emerging is Jabari Parker. The snake-bitten 2014 draft pick is coming back from his second ACL injury. When he has been able to play he has not only performed at a high level but has proven to be a very nice compliment to his Greek teammate. If Parker could stay healthy then he will have a big impact when he arrives back with the team, which is expected to be in about February. He could be like a massive trade deadline acquisition that doesn't cost you anything. But first he has to get healthy, and then he has to be able to stay that way for a significant amount of time. It's tough to have faith in that.
Parker isn't the only guy for home health is a topic of concern. Khris Middleton missed more than 50 games last year with a hamstring injury. John Henson didn't have one major injury but rather a collection of small ones that cost him 25 games. Big man Thon Maker, who grabbed the starting center role as a rookie last year and has already proven to be a defensive force, is dealing with an ankle injury right now. It's not a significant injury at this point, but when a vehicle his size has suspension woes it can throw everything off. This team has a collection of talent that can do some damage this year, but they can't afford to lose core pieces if they want to reach their potential. Antetokounmpo (I'm fearless, so I wrote it again) and point guard Malcolm Brogdon would be very tough to lose, and Middleton and Maker add elements that the team really needs. Injuries have disproportionately been an issue for this team compared to other squads in recent years. They need better luck - or better management - on this front or there will be problems.
2017 Milwaukee Bucks Additions and Departures
The team is comfortable with where they are at, so they largely stuck with what they had at the end of last season. There is only one significant change. And significant is a relative word in this case. Michael Beasley is gone, and in his place has been added D.J. Wilson, their draft pick from Michigan. I've watched pretty much every game the long forward played in college. His progression from basically incompetent in his shortened freshman year and his sophomore season to a true force as a junior was remarkable - one of the biggest changes in a player I have ever seen. He needs to add bulk, and it will take time, but he can score inside and this team needs that, so he could move himself into playing more than a couple of minutes later in the season.
2017 Milwaukee Bucks Futures Odds and Trends
Milwaukee Bucks Futures Odds
NBA title odds (from BetOnline) : +6600
Eastern Conference title odds : +1800
Giannis Antetokounmpo MVP Odds (from Bovada ) : +1000
Season win total (from BetOnline ): 46.5
There was money to be made from the Bucks last year, but only from betting against them - they were 36-46 ATS. They went "over" the total 41 times and "under" 39.
2017 Milwaukee Bucks Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
I am on board the hype train here. They have very good talent starting, nice depth, and the luxury of Parker arriving somewhere down the road. They aren't going to beat Cleveland, but they should establish themselves as the second-best team in the division, and the year would be a serious disappointment if they didn't make the playoffs. Heck, I'd be at least a little disappointed if they didn't host their first-round playoff series. I like the over on the season win total with a small bet, and I would throw a buck or two on the Greek Freak for MVP at that price, too.
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