NBA Betting – Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

James Harden forced his way out of Houston by playing crappy basketball. Apparently the former MVP likes his new surroundings. Harden and the new-look Brooklyn Nets get a test on Monday when the Milwaukee Bucks and reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo pay a visit. The Beard recorded a 30-point triple-double in his debut and the Nets are now considered among the favorites to win the Eastern Conference. They will have to get by the Bucks, who posted the best record in the NBA the last two seasons and are riding a four-game winning streak that has them positioned at the top of the conference standings once again.  Bookmaker.eu offers a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1600).

Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets
Date and Time: Monday, January 18, 2021, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Opening NBA Odds: Milwaukee -2.5, O/U 238
Bucks at Nets TV Coverage: TNT

Odds Analysis

After a slow start the Bucks have picked up the pace winning four straight and seven of their last eight games to move into first overall in the East. It’s still very early in the shortened season, but this game is big now that the Nets have gone all in. Milwaukee is coming off a 112-109 win over the Mavericks on Friday where they failed to cover the 8-point spread. They are 9-4 SU and after a pair of cover losses they are 6-7 ATS. The Bucks have been favored in every game this season and they are laying 2.5-points on the current line. They are 3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS on the road. The Nets beat Orlando 122-115 in Harden’s debut with their third consecutive triumph putting them at 8-6 SU. They’ve cashed the OVER in eight straight games with the total in this one set at 238.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks are back to doing what they do, which is win basketball games. They’ve won around 75 percent of their games under Mike Budenholzer and they take a four-game winning streak into their showdown with the Nets. Offensive efficiency has been a staple of the club the last few years and they are once again among the league leaders in that category. They rank second in scoring, field goal percentage and three-point percentage with five players averaging in double figure scoring.

Antetokounmpo is obviously the biggest threat. He leads the team averaging 26.6 points and 10.0 rebounds and is one of three players averaging at least 5.0 assists per game. Their last two games were close decided by less than 10 points, and free throw shooting woes could come back to haunt them against some of the better clubs in the East. Giannis scored 31 points against the Mavs despite going just 1 of 10 from the foul line. As a team the Bucks were just 12 of 25 from the line and rank 26th in the league in free throw percentage.

While it’s not a good strategy to foul them all the time, at least it would keep the Bucks from shooting three-pointers. They average nearly 40 triples a game making 41.1 percent of those shots. They get a good portion of their offense from deep and everyone has the green light to shoot the basketball. And buckets could be easier to come by now that the Nets defense has slipped a little with Harden on the floor.

Brooklyn Nets

We’ve seen teams thrive with two superstars on the roster; the Nets will try and make it work with three. The experiment will likely have to wait since Kyrie Irving isn’t expected to play on Monday. He’s missed the last six games, though his return is imminent. The process probably gained some steam when the Harden deal was finalized. The biggest issue will be trying to keep the three alphas happy with only one basketball.

We saw a glimpse of what the future could look like in Saturday’s game. With Durant scoring 42 points and Harden adding 32 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds in his debut, the Nets beat Orlando 122-115, though they failed to cover the spread and dropped to 6-8 ATS for the season. The club could hit another gear once Irving returns, though it looks like that won’t happen on Monday.

As it stands the Nets will have to outscore opponents since the defense got worse with Harden taking over minutes. Defense was oftentimes optional for him, but as long as he makes up for it on the other end the Nets will be competitive. The Nets average 119 points while leading the NBA in field goal percentage at 49.1. They allow over 113 points per game with opponents shooting nearly 45 percent from three-point range. This game has offense written all over it.

Bet Bucks at Nets at BookMaker.eu

The balance of power may have shifted in the East with the Nets adding Harden. They gave up a lot to get him and depth is an issue. The Nets got just 19 bench points against Orlando and that will be a problem against some of the better teams. The Nets will be fun to watch, but the Bucks play better team basketball and that will prove to be the difference in their cover win.

NBA Score Prediction: Bucks 125, Nets 117

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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