2018 Milwaukee Bucks Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert Picks
If you currently don't have a favorite NBA team, and you don't want to jump on a bandwagon to support one of the superstar-laden powers, you could do much worse than adopting the Milwaukee Bucks. They are well-built, ridiculously long, athletic, and they have a true superstar leading the way. And with a new coach on board this offseason they have perhaps set themselves in a position to take a big step forward - something that is certainly easier to do in their conference. Yes, the Bucks are not a boring team, and that isn't going to change now. They are a squad to watch, and they have a shiny new building to play in this year, too, so you can watch in comfort.
And beyond just watching them, they could be a team that could really be out to win the East, too. For a very long time now handicapping the East has been easy - the team with the best superstar wins the conference. Well, with LeBron now playing for the Lakers in between his "Space Jam" responsibilities, you can make a pretty good argument - with apologies to Kawhi Leonard and the guys in Boston and Philadelphia - that the best superstar in the conference is now the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo. He proved himself to be an MVP contender last year, and that isn't going to be a one-time thing by any means. The nation knows he is good, but they don't know how good he is - yet.
2018 Milwaukee Bucks Additions and Departures
The biggest change is on top. Jason Kidd was fired in January, and Joe Prunty was just a placeholder for the remainder of the season. Mike Budenholzer takes over, and that has to be seen as a step forward. Budenholzer worked for Gregg Popovich in San Antonio for 18 years, so his credentials are great. He coached Atlanta for five years, and that was a mixed bag. The first two years were great, and the team took a huge step forward to 60 wins in the second season. But then the wheels fell off. Player personnel decisions were an ongoing issue, and Budenholzer takes some blame there as he was given player personnel responsibilities after the first two years. But, ultimately, no one was going to win with what he had at the end. It was time for a change - in Atlanta and Milwaukee - and this is a positive marriage as long as the coach sticks to coaching.
The biggest departure is Jabari Parker, the former No. 2 overall pick, who has signed with the Bulls. Parker joined the Bucks with massive expectations, but he just couldn't stay healthy, and the team quit trusting him to do what they needed him to do. It was time for him to move on.
Two additions stand out. Ersan Ilyasova was drafted by the Bucks in 2005 and played seven years with the team, so he is coming home in a sense. He also played in Atlanta under Budenholzer. He is a strong rebounder and sound two-way player joining a team that hasn't been good enough on the boards. He is an excellent fit. And Brook Lopez joined the team on a very cap-friendly deal. He's no superstar, but he is a floor-spacing center who is shooting a lot of threes these days, and he can help the development of Thon Maker.
2018 Milwaukee Bucks Futures Odds and Trends
NBA title odds ( from Bovada ): +10000
Eastern Conference title odds: +1800
Giannis Antetokounmpo MVP Odds: +500 (third best)
Donte DiVincenzo ROY Odds: +5000
Season win total: 47
The team was 35-49-5 ATS, including the playoffs, last year, which made them the second-most-profitable team to bet against all season. They went "over" the total 52 times and "under" 37, which made them the most profitable team in the league on the over, too.
2018 Milwaukee Bucks Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
It's hard not to like this team. The Freak has the potential to be a top two or three player in this league. Khris Middleton is a very nice complementary player and No. 2 star, who came back well last year from a serious injury the year before. Thon Maker is very young and raw and has the potential to be a very elite big man. The talent in supporting roles runs deep, and the coaching is the best it has been in a very long time. And the division and conference could certainly be tougher. It will be very disappointing if the team winds up less than second in the division or fourth in the conference. And that Antetokounmpo MVP number could be uglier as well. If the Bucks were a stock, I would be buying them.
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