Free NBA Picks Milwaukee Bucks: Season-Long Handicapping and Specialization 12/7/2022
This season, I will be breaking down every Milwaukee Bucks game and giving out my best bets for the contest. While we may not always favor the Bucks, using my knowledge of the team, and the league as a whole, we will be able to churn a consistent profit.
Doc’s Sports offers NBA expert picks for every game on our NBA predictions page.
On Monday, the Bucks took down the Orlando Magic 109-102, moving to 17-6 on the season. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the team, scoring 34 points and chipping in 13 rebounds, while the Magic had a very balanced scoring attack, as four players scored 19+ points. Beating the dead last Magic is nothing to get too excited about, but taking care of business on the road can always prove challenging. From a betting perspective, we went 1-1. The Bucks failed to cover the 9.5-point spread, despite being up 19 points in the second half. However, fortunately, Paolo Bachero soared above his 2.5 assists prop, dishing out a season high 7 dimes on Monday.
Tonight, the Bucks (17-6) head back to Milwaukee to welcome the Sacramento Kings (13-9) to Fiserv Forum. The Kings have been one of the surprise teams this season, as they were expected to be tanking for a lottery pick rather than sitting fourth place in the Western Conference. One of the reasons this team has managed to stay competitive is avoiding the injury crisis around the league. The Kings have managed to keep their starting five, and a majority of their bench, healthy. De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Kevin Huerter, Malik Monk, and Harrison Barnes have all played in at least 21 out of the 22 Kings contests. Maintaining a consistent starting unit is a luxury few teams in the league have had, and the Kings have certainly used it to their advantage.
The second bright spot for the Kings has been their offensive prowess. They are second in the league with an astonishing 119.6 PPG scored and are in the top half of the league in FG%, 3-Point %, Free Throw%, and Assists. The offense is led by Fox, who is averaging 23.1 PPG this season, on 51.6% from the floor. However, while Fox is clearly the leader of this team, all five starters and sixth man Monk are averaging at least 11 PPG. The balanced scoring has allowed the Kings to remain one of the top offensive teams in the league and has resulted in fast-paced, high-scoring games every time they step onto the court.
For the Bucks, it will be a serious clash in styles when they tip off against the Kings, as they are one of the top defensive units in the league. They are averaging a mere 107.8 PPG against, good enough for second in the league, and have arguably three of the best defensive players in the league, with Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Brook Lopez. The return of Khris Middleton will help their defense take another step forward, and they will be facing a tough test tonight.
The difference-maker on the court is two-time MVP Antetokounmpo, who has scored 30+ points in his last seven straight games, shooting above 50% in all seven contests. The Kings lack the defensive abilities to slow down Antetokounmpo, and they will be in for a very tough night on the defensive end. The Kings have been able to outscore their defensive issues against middle of the pack teams but struggle to keep pace with the league's juggernauts. Milwaukee and their tough defense certainly fit the bill and will outmatch the Kings on both ends of the court.
One player to watch tonight will be Middleton. He has shot a mere 32% since returning from his wrist injury last week, and a fast-paced, high-scoring game against the Kings may be exactly what the doctor ordered. It was nice to see the role players on the Bucks step up in Middleton’s absence, but the Bucks need him to return to his old self if they are to remain among the league's best. A soft matchup against Fox or Huerter will give the opportunity for Middleton to shine, but he will have to take his chances and drain his shots.
Despite the fact that I see the Bucks comfortably winning tonight, I am staying away from the 6.5-point spread and will instead focus on the moneyline. Laying juice on -250 odds is not always advisable, but this is one of the few instances I will. The Kings can get very streaky on the offensive end and can heat up quickly, which will always leave the backdoor cover wide open. The Bucks will not let this one slip away but may let it get close before the final buzzer sounds. The first bet for tonight will be 4 Units on Bucks Moneyline at -250 odds.
The second bet for tonight is Domantas Sabonis Under 11.5 Rebounds for 2 Units. Sabonis averages 11 rebounds per game, but it usually comes in the form of 8-10 rebounds for a few nights, followed by a 17 or 22 board outburst to bump up the average. Considering he grabbed 17 last time out, I will happily take the Under on an inflated line. Lopez, Antetokounmpo, and Bobby Portis are all more than capable of competing with Sabonis on the glass, and they should keep the big man under 12 boards.
Finally, I have to take a shot and bet Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 31.5 Points for 2 Units. Antetokounmpo has eclipsed this mark six out of his last seven games. And against the high-octane offense the Kings bring on the court, he should have plenty of opportunities to extend his hot streak.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks Moneyline -250 4 Units
Pick: Domantas Sabonis Under 11.5 Rebounds 2 Units
Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 31.5 Points 2 Units
2022 Season record:
ML Record: 3-2
Spread Record: 3-6
Total Record: 2-4
Player Props Record: 6-8
Down 4.5 Units ($450)
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