2022-23 Milwaukee Bucks Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
The Milwaukee Bucks will have to give Wisconsin fans something to cheer for after a woeful month of September. No playoffs for the Brew Crew, the Badgers are in a flux, and there isn’t much optimism in Green Bay right now, so a lot now falls on the shoulders of the 2020-21 NBA Champions.
The Bucks had a relatively quiet offseason, resigning a handful of veteran players, while adding a few more pieces to a championship-ready team. Swingman Pat Connaughton opted into his player option after posting personal-best in minutes and scoring. On the first day of free agency, GM Jon Horst rewarded Bobby Portis with a multi-year deal after he posted career-highs as well.
Milwaukee also re-signed veterans Serge Ibaka, Jevon Carter, and Wesley Matthews on day one, and they brought versatile wing Joe Ingles into the fold as well. Marques Bolden starred in the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 tournament and was brought in to shore up the front line.
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The Milwaukee Bucks’ 2021 season was marred by an injury to Khris Middleton. And after taking the eventual Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics seven games shorthanded, they still very much remain in the title picture. They’re like the new-aged Spurs, coached by a former San Antonio man and led by an overlooked superstar who just seems to keep getting better.
Giannis Antetokounmpo put together another MVP-caliber season last year, posting a career-high in scoring while slowly evolving as a player. Three-point shooting and the free throw line have long haunted the Greek Freak. However, after closing the season on a strong note, they may not be a thorn in his side much longer. The 2x MVP will be one of the most reliable players on the books once again in 2022.
Middleton has received a load of slack over the years for his disappearance in big games, but his absence was glaring last Spring, and it ultimately decided how far Milwaukee was going. Middleton is as steady as they come, and his value shouldn’t be overlooked going forward. His return will make the lives of Jrue Holiday and Grayson Allen easier, as both were thrusted into bigger roles in the postseason and failed to deliver.
Holiday is another talented, overlooked player, who is possibly the best two-way guard in the league. His arrival in the 2020-21 season yielded immediate results, and he served as the final piece to the Bucks championship puzzle. Allen came over from Memphis last season and thrived in the role as full-time starter up until the playoffs. If these two can put last Spring behind them, the Bucks will be right back in the thick of the race.
The platoon of Brook Lopez, Portis, and Ibaka will give the Bucks plenty of size to put alongside the Greek Freak. Health will be the biggest factor for Lopez, who despite returning for the playoffs, missed 69 games last season. Lopez’ length and ability to stretch the floor make him so valuable to what the Bucks like to do, and when he’s healthy it allows Bobby Portis to bring a ton of energy off the bench. Portis thrived in a bigger role last season, but the impact off of the pine means more for a top-heavy team.
Connaughton latched onto Milwaukee back in 2018, and he’s grown into one of the best role players in the NBA. He understands the system and always finds ways to contribute, whether it’s a defensive stop or his three-point shooting. Retaining Jevon Carter and Wesley Matthews will provide decent depth, but the signing of Joe Ingles could be really interesting. Ingles fits the mold of both facilitator and shooter, and he should thrive alongside Giannis and the gang.
Most Notable Games
10/20/22 - @ Philadelphia 76ers - Opening night may mark one of the few times Milwaukee will be underdogs this season, barring injury. The Bucks and Sixers put on a show on TNT Thursday last season, and we could be in for another one. It’ll mark the first game of the season for Milwaukee, who have defeated the Sixers in five of the last six meetings.
11/30/22 - @ New York Knicks - This post-Thanksgiving contest will serve as Giannis’ 2022 trip to the Garden. Antetokounmpo posted a triple-double in last appearance at MSG. And with his career-high in the building sitting at 33, that iconic performance could be coming. A home matchup with LeBron and the Lakers and a road bout with Michael Jordan’s Hornets follow, so this could be a big three-game stretch for him.
12/23/22 - @ Brooklyn Nets - There’s no love lost between these two teams, and their 2021 playoff series is one of the best in recent memory. Kevin Durant possibly played the game of his postseason career, but it wasn’t enough, and it set the stage for every matchup going forward. Giannis asserted himself in that series, and he’ll look to torch the Barclays up again before heading to Boston for a XMas Day duel.
1/14/23 - @ Miami Heat - The Heat have served as a thorn in Milwaukee’s side over the past three seasons. While the Bucks surely won’t complain about a back-to-back in Miami during January, the back end may be a matchup to eye.
2/9/23 - @ Los Angeles Lakers - The start of Milwaukee’s two-game stint in LA will begin with a battle with the Lakers. LeBron and Giannis will always be a marquee draw, so look for the Greek Freak to flex his muscles a bit here.
3/30/23 - vs. Boston Celtics - Milwaukee will get Boston at home on TNT. And with less than a month remaining in regular season at this point, look for the Bucks to send the reigning Eastern Conference champions and the team that ended their season a strong message here at home.
Homestand- Milwaukee lacks a noticeable second half homestand, but they do spend a lot of time in Wisconsin early on. After opening the season with a golden underdog opportunity with Philadelphia, the Bucks spend eight of their next nine games at home. They’ll welcome Houston to town for the first weekend of the season, host Detroit for the first of a back-to-back on Halloween, then close with a Saturday night matchup against Oklahoma City. Look for the Bucks to jump out to an authoritative start atop the Eastern Conference.
Gauntlet - The Bucks endure their first and toughest road stretch of the season in the midst of the holiday season. A Texas two-step with Dallas and Houston is followed by a visit from the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Milwaukee then travels to Memphis, New Orleans, Cleveland, and Brooklyn, before facing Boston on Christmas Day in what should be a rowdy environment. They close the 2022 calendar year with one final trip to the Windy City to face Chicago and from Minnesota, so we can only hope the holiday season treats Bucks fan well.
Milwaukee Bucks NBA Futures Odds
The Bucks are projected to be a playoff team and a prime contender this season. According to FanDuel, they are at +650 to win the NBA Finals, giving them the 2nd best odds. The over/under for regular season wins is 52.5. They are currently sitting 2nd in the Eastern Conference projections at +320 and 1st in the Atlantic Division at -260. They sit at -3000 to make the playoffs, while Antetokounmpo is among the favorites to lead the league in scoring at +420.
Milwaukee should indeed hit their team total despite missing that number by just one game in 2021. The Bucks will be a safe bet to win the Atlantic and a popular bet to win the Eastern Conference.
2022-23 Milwaukee Bucks Predictions
Milwaukee should be right back in the title picture with Giannis and a deep core in place. Head coach Mike Budenholzer has built the most consistent team in the conference, and it will simply come down to who remains healthy. Middleton’s been one of the most durable players in the league, and a bounce back season from him feels likely.
Holiday will join those two, giving Milwaukee one of the most formidable trios in the league. The Bucks should walk into the postseason with a top four seed and potentially win the Eastern Conference for the second time in three seasons.
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