Thursday night brings only three games around the Association, but we’re about to see a marquee interconference matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Lakers have just snapped a five-game win streak and will start a seven-game road trip in Milwaukee. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the reigning champs are 1-point dogs. They have a clean bill of health, as well as the Bucks who’ll tip off a three-game homestand with this clash.
LA blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead against the Warriors
The Los Angeles Lakers (11-4; 8-7 ATS) are coming off a 115-113 home loss to the Golden State Warriors this past Monday. They had a 16-point lead at halftime and a 14-point lead with 11:12 to go in the fourth quarter, but the Lakers scored just seven points in the last five minutes.
The reigning champions outrebounded the Dubs (50-32) ad scored 58 points in the paint. However, they turned the ball over 19 times while allowing the Warriors to make 50.6% of their field goals. LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for just 36 points, shooting 6-for-16 from the field each, so the Lakers choked for a few reasons.
Los Angeles still has the best defensive rating in the NBA, allowing 104.5 points per 100 possessions. The Lakers are fifth in opponent field goal percentage (44.5%) and fourth in opponent 3-point percentage (33.8%) while posting 6.5 blocks per game (2nd in the NBA). They score 114.6 points in a return (5th) on 48.8% shooting from the field (2nd) and 39.1% from downtown (5th).
Milwaukee lost a thriller in Brooklyn
The Milwaukee Bucks (9-5; 6-8 ATS) put an end to a four-game winning streak this past Monday, suffering a 125-123 defeat at the Brooklyn Nets as 4-point road favorites. They trailed for most of the second half and finished the game with just 43.4% shooting from the field and 29.7% from beyond the 3-point line.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists, while Khris Middleton added 25 points and four steals, but the Bucks’ second unit combined for a paltry 19 points on 7-for-24 shooting from the field.
The Bucks are tallying 117.9 points per 100 possessions (2nd) on 48.5% shooting from the field (5th) and 40.3% from beyond the arc (tied 2nd). They are yielding 108.2 points in a return (8th) on 45.1% shooting from the field (11th) and 37.7% from deep (21st).Trends:
- 1-5 ATS in the last six tilts against Eastern Conference
- 5-1 ATS in the last six games against the Lakers
The Winner Prediction
With both teams looking to get back on the winning track, this clash between the Lakers and Bucks will be a joy to watch. Six of their last nine encounters were decided by eight or fewer points, while the Bucks have dominated the Lakers lately, going 6-1 straight up and 5-2 ATS in their previous seven matchups.
I’m looking for Milwaukee to extend its dominance here. The Bucks have some defensive problems this term, but their offense is still lethal. They have enough depth to cope with the Lakers’ rotation, and after a terrible display against Brooklyn, the Bucks’ role players will do a much better job against the reigning champs.
Take Milwaukee -1.0 at -110
The line was set at 228.5 points in two of the last three encounters between the Lakers and Bucks, and the under is 3-0 in that stretch. The Bucks love to push the ball in transition, playing at the sixth-fastest pace in the league, so I expect the Lakers to slow down things and force Milwaukee into half-court basketball.
Both these teams execute offensively at the highest level, but they are also capable of playing terrific defense. Therefore, I will stick with the under, though a lot will depend on 3-point shooting.
Pick: Go under 228.5 points at -110