The Brooklyn Nets make their way back to Wisconsin hoping to clinch an Eastern Conference Finals appearance and end their series against the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s time to continue our NBA Playoffs odds series and make a Nets-Bucks prediction and pick for Game 6.
The Bucks hold an overall record of 6-3 in the postseason but are only 4-5 against the spread. Milwaukee is undefeated on its home floor in the playoffs.
The Nets stand at 7-3 overall in the postseason and are 8-2 against the spread. Brooklyn is just 1-3 on the road so far in the playoffs.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the Nets-Bucks odds for Game 6.
NBA Odds: Nets-Bucks Game 6 Odds
Brooklyn Nets +5.5 (-116)
Milwaukee Bucks -5.5 (-104)
Over 220 Points (-109)
Under 220 Points (-111)
Why The Nets Could Cover The Spread
After stealing Game 5 in Brooklyn, the Nets have kept the pressure off their backs for now. They bought an extra game of rest for Kyrie Irving, who remains sidelined, and have put the spotlight and expectations firmly back on the Bucks to defend their home floor.
There were three main takeaways from Game 5 that should give Nets bettors confidence going forward.
For one, the Bucks don’t have anyone who’s stopping Kevin Durant. There might not be anyone in the world who’s stopping KD at this point. Durant is averaging 33.1 points on 52.3% shooting from the field and 42.9% from 3 this postseason.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer refuses to match up Giannis Antetokounmpo with KD, perhaps in fear of his star wasting too much energy on defense or racking up quick fouls, which Giannis has struggled with in the last two games.
Whatever the case, P.J. Tucker is not clamping Durant for 48 minutes. Durant will get his points.
Secondly, James Harden is expected to play once again. He was not good in Game 5, scoring 5 points on 1-10 shooting. The silver lining here is that Harden couldn’t possibly be worse, and the Nets still won.
The Beard looked tentative going to the rack in his first game back. Expect him to lower his head and get to the rim at least a little more with his return game under his belt.
Lastly, the Nets have been wreaking havoc defensively on the Bucks. Amazingly, the Bucks haven’t broken 107 points in the series. For perspective, the Celtics managed to average 112.2 points per game in their series, and Milwaukee averaged 120.1 points per game in the regular season, most in the league.
The Bucks have yet to develop any offensive changes to their game, and the Nets are eating them alive. The strategy of “throw the ball to Giannis and see what happens” might work in the regular season, but it’s not going to cut it here. It’d be a surprise to see the Bucks score more than 110 points in Game 6, giving the Nets a great shot to steal this game.
Why The Bucks Could Cover The Spread
With their season on the line, Milwaukee should come out motivated and ready to make a statement.
The Bucks should waste no time in running up a lead as they did in Game 5, and I expect Milwaukee to lead at half. The biggest problem for Giannis and company is holding that lead. The Nets have outscored or matched the Bucks in the second half in three out of five games so far.
This time around, Milwaukee has the advantage of a home crowd The Bucks have clearly played better ball at Fiserv Forum and have done a better job of preventing late runs. They are 1-0-1 on their second half moneyline so far in the series when at home, as opposed to 0-3 on the road.
Additionally, the Nets have to be running out of gas. Kevin Durant played all 48 minutes in his epic Game 5, and three other players played 36-plus minutes. One of those players was James Harden, who played 46. In my previous betting preview, I predicted Nash would only play a banged-up Harden 25 minutes. Clearly, Nash saw Game 5 as a must-win affair and pushed his star to the limit.
All those minutes should take a toll on Durant and Harden, who still doesn’t look quite right. Without Irving on the floor and with Harden not at 100%, the Nets rely on Durant to rack up the numbers. He did it in Game 5, but what are the odds of a repeat performance after playing 48 minutes just two days ago?
Additionally, the Nets should take their foot off the gas a little bit. They have the Bucks exactly where they want them and would be more than happy to get all of their stars back and face Milwaukee in Game 7 on their home floor.
Brooklyn won’t roll over and die in this game, but Nash won’t burn out his stars in the desperate search for a win, and he could wave the white flag early if the Bucks run up a big lead.
Final Nets-Bucks Game 6 Prediction & Pick
To be honest, this series should probably be over already. Even without Harden, the Nets have looked much better than the Bucks in their victories, and Milwaukee was just dealt dealt a crushing blow in Game 5. Coach Budenholzer has not proven capable of making late-game adjustments to slow Kevin Durant, and the Nets have never looked like they’re out of the game until the final buzzer. Perhaps Milwaukee forces a Game 7, but I expect Brooklyn to continue to make them sweat. I’ll take Brooklyn with the points here, and I’d get my Nets bets down for Game 7 immediately if Nash’s group ends up losing Game 6.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: MIL 112, BKN 110 (BROOKLYN NETS +5.5)