The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks will match up for the second straight game after giving us a classic on Sunday. It’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Nets-Bucks prediction and pick.
The Nets hold a record of 43-22 overall, but they’re only 33-32 against the spread. Brooklyn is now sitting on back-to-back losses after losing to Milwaukee on Sunday.
The Bucks stand at 40-24 overall and 30-34 against the spread. Milwaukee has now won two straight and three of its last four matchups.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the Nets-Bucks odds.
NBA Odds: Nets-Bucks Odds
Brooklyn Nets +2 (-115)
Milwaukee Bucks -2 (-105)
Over 242 Points (-115)
Under 242 Points (-105)
Why The Nets Could Cover The Spread
Despite Kevin Durant matching his season high with an explosive 42-point performance, the Nets fell to the Bucks for the second time this year on Sunday.
Brooklyn will enter this game as an underdog yet again, an area where they have thrived. The Nets are 12-6 against the spread in games where they have been tabbed as the weaker team.
Durant and company should be gunning for a bounce-back effort, and all eyes will be on Brooklyn’s two active stars.
Kyrie Irving will need to be much better this time around after being slowed by Jrue Holiday on Sunday. The Nets star shot only 8-of-21 from the field and a woeful 2-of-8 from 3-point range.
The odds that Kyrie shoots this poorly again are low. Irving has shot below 45% in back-to-back matchups only three times this entire year.
Percentages coming back down to earth should also help the Nets on the defensive end. Last game, Giannis Antetokounmpo made four 3-pointers and shot 50.0% from deep. This was a season high in 3-point makes for the reigning MVP. For reference, Giannis is shooting 31.3% from deep on the season.
If The Greek Freak is going to turn into a sharpshooter, the whole league is in trouble. But it’s doubtful we see a feat like this twice in a row from Giannis.
The key for the Nets will be making Giannis work for his points. Brooklyn has actually been solid at limiting opponents within the arc and have held them to 46.3% from the field, the 11th-best mark in the league.
Giannis is going to score; that’s inevitable. As long as the Nets force him into more jump shots than layups and dunks, Brooklyn has a great chance of coming out of Milwaukee with a split.
Why The Bucks Could Cover The Spread
On the offensive end, the Bucks were able to get whatever they wanted in their last matchup.
Milwaukee finished the game shooting 49.0% from the field and 40.5% from 3, slightly higher than their season averages in both categories. The Bucks’ offense is a nightmare matchup for a Nets team that struggles to defend the perimeter.
Milwaukee shoots the 3-pointer at the second-best rate in the NBA and attempts the eighth-most 3-point field goals. It’s easy to get buried under an avalanche of treys when Milwaukee’s offense gets clicking.
Brooklyn hasn’t been great at preventing these shots. Opponents have racked up the eighth-most 3-point attempts against the Nets and connected on 36.7% of them.
Usually, the Nets welcome this kind of game. Shootouts tend to go in Brooklyn’s favor. But against a Milwaukee team that has nearly as much offensive talent, this is a risky strategy.
On the defensive end, Milwaukee holds a rather significant advantage. The Bucks are a top-10 defense in terms of efficiency, while the Nets are down toward the bottom. Milwaukee is elite at protecting the painted area, allowing the third-fewest paint points in the NBA.
As long as the Bucks can keep the Nets’ powerful offense in check and make this a gritty, grind-it-out game, they’ll have the upper hand.
Final Nets-Bucks Prediction & Pick
This is a game that both teams should be extremely motivated to win. The Nets need the win to fight the Philadelphia 76ers for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and a Bucks win shrinks the gap between them and Brooklyn even further. This should be another slugfest, with both teams leaving it all on the floor. The last three matchups between these teams have been decided by no more than three points, and we might see a fourth straight in this one. I’m rolling with a desperate Brooklyn squad to get back on track here on Tuesday, and I’ll take the points to avoid a heartbreak via game-winner if things get really dramatic in crunch time.
FINAL NETS-BUCKS PREDICTION AND PICK: BKN 119, MIL 118 (BROOKLYN NETS +2)