Free NBA Picks Milwaukee Bucks: Season-Long Handicapping and Specialization 1/27/2023
This season, I will be breaking down every Milwaukee Bucks weekday game and giving out my best bets for each matchup. While we may not always favor the Bucks, using my knowledge on the Bucks franchise, and the league as a whole, we’ll be able to stay in the green by the season’s end.
Doc’s Sports offers NBA expert picks for every game on our NBA predictions page.
On Wednesday night, the Bucks beat the Nuggets 107-99. As expected, the Nuggets rested a few key players, including Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, allowing the Bucks to get an easy win. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a solid night, scoring 33 points and adding 14 rebounds. He went 15/22 from the free throw line, improving his season average to 65.4%.
From a betting perspective, we went 0-1-1. The Bucks pushed the 8-point spread, while Brook Lopez failed to hit his 13.5-point prop. It wasn’t for the lack of trying, as Lopez went 2/11 from the floor, well below his 50% FG rate on the season.
Tonight, the Bucks (31-17) head over to Indiana to take on the Pacers (24-26). These two teams met a little over a week ago, where fans were treated to a high scoring, back and forth game. The lowly Pacers were up 11 at halftime, before the Bucks stormed back to win 132-119, on the back of a season high 35 points from Jrue Holiday. The Bucks can ill afford to dig themselves a massive hole once again, as the Pacers won’t take their foot off the gas the second time around.
Indiana got off to a solid start to the year, and found themselves 12-8 and in 4th place through the first quarter of the season. However, the Pacers couldn’t keep up the momentum, and have won just 1 of their last 9 games, slipping down to 9th place. This is largely due to the fact that Tyrese Haliburton has been out with various ailments. The budding superstar has been critical to the Pacers’ success, and the team has struggled to string wins together in his absence. While a 4th place finish appears to be out of reach for the Pacers, a play-in appearance is well within the realm of possibilities. Buddy Hield and Myles Turner have done their best to pick up the slack over the last couple weeks, but the lack of scoring depth has hurt the team. Only 4 players are averaging double digit points. Therefore, when Haliburton was removed from the equation, a once high scoring high flying Pacers squad was cut off at the knees.
For the Bucks, it appears the team is finally starting to turn a corner once again. They’ve won 4 of their last 5 games, Khris Middleton is slowly working his way back into the starting lineup, and the supporting cast around Antetokounmpo is starting to get back into their early season form. In my eyes, much of this team's success relies on Jrue Holiday.
Holiday has been a solid defender throughout his career and has taken massive strides on the offensive end this season. In last year’s playoffs, the Bucks were poised to go on a deep run before Middleton got hurt, leaving a gaping hole in the backcourt. It appears as though Middleton may take several months to get back to full strength, and the bulk of the guard work has fallen on the shoulders of Holiday. On his night, Holiday can be a game changer, finding passing lanes like Chris Paul and pulling up like Trae Young. However, when he isn’t clicking, this Bucks team is severely hampered.
Tonight, another relatively easy matchup against the Pacers is the perfect time for Middleton to continue working his way back into the rotation. Brook Lopez and Myles Turner are 2nd and 3rd respectively in blocks per game this season, and they will participate in a fantastic battle down low. The Bucks are used to dominating the paint, and Turner will have his work cut out for him against a trio of big men. On the outside, Holiday and Hield will have a fantastic battle as both guards look to compensate for their missing stars.
I expect the Bucks to get another win, but attacking this game is difficult. A double result prop is ill advised, considering how the Pacers came out quickly last week, and a -375 Moneyline play is never fun. The spread is 8.5 points in favor of the Bucks, but I can’t justify pulling the trigger considering the circumstances it took for the Bucks to cover last time out. However, I will be taking that moneyline for 2 units, as there is no way the Bucks allow an ailing Pacers unit to come out on top. The Bucks won’t dig themselves a hole early, and will keep it close throughout, before pulling away late.
The second bet for tonight is Under 239 for 2 Units. This total feels a little high for two teams missing key offensive contributors. Additionally, the spread is set to the aforementioned 8.5 points, so this game may turn into a blowout and see reduced 4th quarter scoring. The Bucks have eclipsed this total in 3 of their last 8 games, one of which was against the Pacers, while the Pacers have hit this mark in just 4 of the last 11. Both coaches will be emphasizing defense, and Mike Budenholzer will want his once formidable defensive squad to regain that type of tenacity on the defensive end.
Finally, the third bet for the night is Myles Turner Over 2.5 blocks at +100. Turner blocked 4 shots against the Bucks last week, and the Bucks are a team that loves to get into the paint, which will give Turner plenty of opportunities to get his swats in. Getting plus money on his blocks prop is a blessing, and I have no doubt he’ll get 3+ blocks.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks Moneyline -375 2 Units
Pick: Bucks vs Pacers Under 239 2 Units
Pick: Myles Turner Over 2.5 Blocks +100 2 Units
2022-23 Season record:
ML Record: 7-8
Spread Record: 8-9
Total Record: 5-7
Player Props Record: 18-13
Up 6.4 Units ($640)
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