Bucks vs. Thunder Pick
Can the Oklahoma City Thunder inch closer to the 5th seed in the West when they host the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at 8PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Thunder are favored at home today, as they are getting odds of -5.5 points against the Bucks. The over/under total for the game is listed at 211 points. Milwaukee won the first meeting with OKC this season, picking up a 98-94 win at home on Jan. 2.
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The Thunder have lost two straight, both at home, to fall to 43-33 on the season. OKC is in the sixth spot in the West right now, 1.5 games against of the Grizzlies while 3 games behind the Clippers. The Thunder are 41-34-1 against the spread on the season after going just 1-4 ATS in their last five games. OKC averages 106.8 points per game on offense while allowing 106.1 on defense. When at home, the Thunder average 109.6 on offense and allow 104 on defense. Russell Westbrook is leading the team with 31.9 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game.
The Bucks are 40-37 on the season and sit in the fifth spot in the East right now. They won’t get any higher than fifth, but are only 1 game ahead of the Hawks and just 3 games ahead of the ninth-placed Pacers. The Bucks are coming off a 109-105 loss at home to the Mavericks on Sunday night to snap a three-game winning streak. They are just 34-43 against the spread on the season. Milwaukee averages 104.6 points per game on offense this season while giving up 104.2 on defense. On the road, the Bucks give up 104.3 per game and score just 102.6 per contest. Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t in the MVP discussion, but he has been tremendously valuable for the Bucks. He averages 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. He has really stepped up since Jabari Parker suffered a season-ending injury. He has scored at least 20 points in eight straight games.
This game features a great battle of two clear team leaders. Giannis is the driving force for the Bucks while Westbrook does it all for OKC. The key in this game is the Thunder are at home. While they are coming off losses at home, the Thunder are typically a much stronger team in OKC. Knowing they are slipping closer to the seventh spot, I expect the Thunder to have a motivated effort at home and pick up a sizable win over the Bucks, who don’t have much to offer outside the Greek Freak.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER -5.5