NBA Betting – Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

Thursday’s matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks could be a preview of the NBA Finals most expected to see last season. While the Lakers held up their end of the deal the Bucks proved once again that having the best regular season record doesn’t mean squat. Of course their feat was mitigated when teams finished the season in the bubble with home court advantage taken away. Still, the Bucks weren’t good enough. The Lakers are poised for another championship run and bring a perfect 7-0 road record into this contest that opens a seven-game road trip for the NBA’s top team.  Bookmaker.eu offers a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1600).

Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks
Date and Time: Thursday, January 21, 2021, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Opening NBA Odds: (Check Back Later) (Live Odds Here)
Lakers at Bucks TV Coverage: TNT

Odds Analysis

There have been good Lakers teams and there have been great Lakers teams, but none of the previous editions have done what this group accomplished. The Lakers moved to the top of the overall NBA standings thanks to a perfect road record to start the season, a first in the storied history of the franchise. Winning away from Staples Center is nothing new for them. The Lakers owned the best road mark in the NBA last season at 27-9 and head into a seven-game trip at 7-0 SU and 5-2 ATS. They won and covered their last three away games by an average margin of over 21 points with no game closer than 17 points. The Bucks overcame a slow start to take their place among the leaders in the Eastern Conference. They followed a 2-3 SU and ATS start by winning seven of their next eight games. They beat Dallas at home on Jan. 15 improving to 6-1 SU and 4-3 ATS at Fiserv Forum.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are all business and it shows in their results. They haven’t gotten typical offensive numbers from LeBron James, who has yet to score 30 points in a game and is averaging 24.1 points. Anthony Davis is also off his pace from a season ago averaging 21.7 points. And still, the Lakers led by as many as 25 points in each of their last three away games. They showed they have the firepower to make up ground when things go awry outscoring New Orleans 82-50 after falling behind by 15 points.

No team plays defense better than the Lakers, who lead the NBA in efficiency allowing only 104 points per 100 possessions. They rank fifth in field goal defense and fourth in three-point defense while forcing 16.8 turnovers per 100 possessions. They’ve held five opponents to fewer than 100 points this season winning their last 28 games when doing so. If defense wins championships the Lakers are well on their way to another title.

You still have to score the basketball to win, and while James and AD aren’t where they were last season in terms of scoring, it hasn’t been a problem with a much deeper roster. Six players average in double figures with two of them reserves. Montrezl Harrell, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, averages 13.8 points and 7.4 rebounds in just over 24 minutes a game. And Kyle Kuzma has embraced his role scoring 10.6 points per game while shooting 40 percent from behind the arc.

Milwaukee Bucks

No team is better offensively than the Bucks so something has to give in this matchup. Milwaukee leads the NBA in offensive efficiency in large part because of reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who averages 26.6 points. Like the Lakers, the Bucks spread the ball around the floor with four other players scoring in double figures. Khris Middleton was clutch in the win over Dallas hitting two straight three-pointers late in the fourth quarter to put the Bucks up for good.

Shooting the triple is a huge part of Milwaukee’s offense with everybody having the freedom to launch in Mike Budenholzer’s offense. They average over 16 made triples a game converting on 41.1 percent of their attempts to rank second in accuracy. The Bucks also rank second in points and field goal percentage.

The Bucks rank last in the league in the percentage of games that have been within five points in the last five minutes. It’s probably a good thing they don’t play a lot of close games because as good as they’ve been from the field they have a tough time from the free throw line. Giannis was 1 of 10 from the stripe and the team was 12 of 25 against Dallas. Thankfully it didn’t cost them, but the Bucks better improve on their 72.6 free throw percentage.

Bet Lakers at Bucks at BookMaker.eu

The Lakers aren’t going to win all their road games this season and this is the stiffest test they’ve faced yet. The Bucks want to be where the Lakers are – as defending champs – and this is a measuring stick for them. And the Bucks can play a little defense, too, so the Lakers better watch out.

NBA Score Prediction: Bucks 112, Lakers 105

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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