Bucks vs. Rockets Prediction
The Milwaukee Bucks and the host Houston Rockets will open their season on national television tonight. Is Houston going to take care of business and cover the spread as the small favorites?
Thursday, October 24, 2019
Toyota Center at 8:10PM ET
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Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers, the Rockets are a 2-point favorite to win on the spread line. The over-under sits at 231.5 points. As of Thursday morning, 77 percent of public bets are pouring in on host Houston. Check out our NBA Public Betting Page for the latest information.
Bucks look for even better season
Milwaukee blew a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals last season after earning the top seed in the regular season, then watched Toronto to go on to win the NBA championship. The Bucks have a chance for an even better season in 209-20 as they have much of the same core back with league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo still on the rise in terms of his capabilities. Also back in the fold is point guard Eric Bledsoe and wing Khris Middleton, plus center Brook Lopez. The biggest piece lost in free agency is sixth man Malcolm Brogdon, but the Bucks hope their core of guards including the incoming Wesley Matthews can help fill those shoes. Milwaukee is the favorite to win the Eastern Conference this season and for good reason.
Rockets under a microscope
If the Paul George trade to the Los Angeles Clippers didn't shock enough people, the Russell Westbrook trade certainly did the trick. With the Thunder clearly in rebuild mode, it was clear that Westbrook was available but the bigger question is who would take on his albatross of a contract. That turned out to be the Rockets, who shed the Chris Paul contract in the trade to allow for it to happen. While Houston has two of the NBA's most dynamic players on the roster now, it is unknown at this point how it will work on the floor with both James Harden and Westbrook being as ball-dominant as anyone in the NBA. The first regular season glimpse of how it will all shake out will be tonight. Both will have to give a little and Westbrook is going to have to adapt his game considerably, but the talent is there to reach a very high level if egos can be cast aside to at least an extent. Houston has a nice core around the two stars including center Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker. But everyone knows it is all about Harden and Westbrook here.
NBA Betting Trends
The Bucks are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games versus the Southwest Division. Milwaukee is 0-4 ATS in its last four games overall.
The Rockets are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 home games. Houston is 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings.
The Rockets will need to find that chemistry again, although Westbrook and Harden previously being teammates in OKC should help. But in a game like this on a national stage, I like the team that doesn't have as much to work through and that is the Bucks. Antetokounmpo can take over any game and will have plenty of help from teammates. I also don't trust the Rockets defensively with that backcourt. Milwaukee had an Eastern Conference-best record last season because of its ability to win games like this. I'm taking the Bucks on the road.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: MILWAUKEE BUCKS +2