Free NBA Picks Milwaukee Bucks: Season-Long Handicapping and Specialization 2/14/2023
This season, I will be breaking down every Milwaukee Bucks weekday 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 NBA as a whole, we will be able to churn a consistent profit throughout the season.
Doc’s Sports offers NBA picks for every game on our NBA predictions page.
The Bucks have had a chance to rest, as they haven’t played since Friday night, and they should be rejuvenated to get back on the court. On Friday, they stretched their win streak to 10 games, beating the Clippers on the road, 119-106. Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a game-high 35 points and has averaged a whopping 37.3 PPG during the win streak. The depth in Milwaukee has been an issue all season, but the role players have been playing solid basketball. And considering Antetokounmpo’s dominance, the sky’s the limit for this team.
From a betting standpoint, we cashed our biggest bet of the season. The Bucks and Clippers betting odds hovered around a pick ‘em for most of the day, and the Bucks closed as small favorites. I was shocked to see the line like this, as I expected Antetokounmpo and Lopez to sit if the Bucks were getting these kinds of odds. The bookies didn’t agree with me and thought a healthy Bucks lineup was equivalent to a Kawhi Leonard-less Clippers lineup and stood firm at that price. We cashed our 5-unit bet, as the Bucks easily beat up the Clippers, pushing us back over the 10 unit mark on the season. Our other bet of the night was Ivan Zubac Over 9.5 Rebounds, and he finished with 8. I assumed Antetokounmpo and/or Lopez would sit, giving the Clippers big man a glass advantage, but that was not the case.
Tonight, the Bucks (39-17) return home to welcome the Eastern Conference leaders, the Boston Celtics (41-16) to Milwaukee. With a victory, the Bucks can move within half a game of the Celtics at the summit of the conference. The Celtics are on a hot streak of their own, winning their last 4 games despite the revolving door of injuries running through their team. The Celtics are undoubtedly a top Eastern Conference team, but the streaky stretches they find themselves on can be a worrying trend heading into the postseason.
The leader of this franchise is Jayson Tatum, and the 24-year-old just keeps getting better. This is his 6th season in the NBA, and he’s beat his career high in PPG every season, including a 30.5 PPG standard set this year. He has the ball handling skills, the size, and the shooting to become a true NBA star, and he is posting career highs in Points, Rebounds, and Assists this season. The Celtics franchise is in good hands. However, tonight, the team walking onto the court will be very different from the 41-16 team we are used to seeing. Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart have both been ruled out for tonight’s marquee matchup, while Tatum is doubtful to suit up. Grant Williams and Robert Williams III are both questionable, leaving the Celtics outmatched against a solid Bucks unit. A starting lineup featuring Al Horford, Payton Pritchard, and Derrick White does not exactly create the eye-popping matchup we expected for tonight’s contest, and the Bucks will look to take advantage.
The Bucks will not be stopped tonight. It shouldn’t be a secret as to which side I’ll be taking, as a healthy Bucks team will dominate this game. Antetokounmpo’s greatness cannot be downplayed. He is leading the league with 12.3 rebounds per game and is third in the league with 32.4 PPG. The ‘Greek Freak’ has led Milwaukee to a 33-12 record in games he has featured in, and certainly has the capabilities to carry this team to a championship. Once he gets going downhill, there are few defenders who have a chance of getting in the way, and they will often elect to foul the big man rather than letting him score another easy bucket. Antetokounmpo’s importance is immense, but he still cannot do it alone. We know what we will get out of Antetokounmpo day in and day out, and make no mistake, he is the most important, and most talented player on this team. However, the Bucks title hopes will come down to the supporting cast of stars.
Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday have been playing fantastic basketball throughout the season, and it will come down to their postseason play if the Bucks are to make a deep run. Lopez and Holiday are both fantastic defenders and are contributing factors to the Bucks 3rd best defensive rating in the league. Holiday is often tasked with guarding the opposition's most lethal guard, while Lopez and Antetokounmpo patrol the paint, preventing easy buckets. Quick ball movement, coupled with several effective deep ball threats, is how teams can beat the Bucks, but the Celtics don’t have the personnel to compete tonight.
The first bet of the night will be Bucks Moneyline at -400 odds for 4 Units. Of course, it’s the NBA and anything can happen, but there is no reason the Bucks should lose on their home court to the Celtics. The Bucks are on a 10-game win streak, and have won 9/10 of those games by 8 or more points. Not only are they winning, but it’s often not even close during the waning seconds of the game. A banged-up Celtics lineup won’t be the ones to break the streak, as the Bucks stretch their win streak to 11 games tonight.
The second bet of the night is Bucks (-8.5) for 1 Unit. While I love the moneyline bet, I’ll also be dipping my toe in the water on the spread. As mentioned, the Bucks often win by double digits, and should be able to comfortably walk away with a win in front of the Milwaukee faithful.
The third bet for the night is Brook Lopez Over 1.5 Blocks for 3 Units at -130. The big man is second in the league with 2.4 blocks per game, and I’m honestly shocked the Over isn’t more heavily juiced. A Celtics lineup well short of full strength will look to drive the basketball at a higher frequency, and anything in the paint is fair game for Lopez. He’s averaged 2.5 blocks per game over the last 11 games, and there is no reason to doubt his ability to swat the ball effectively.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks ML -400 4 Units
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-8.5) 1 Unit
Pick: Brook Lopez Over 1.5 Blocks -130 3 Units
2022-23 Season Record:
ML Record: 8-9
Spread Record: 11-10
Total Record: 6-8
Player Props Record: 22-17
Up 11.1 Units ($1110)
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