Bucks vs. Lakers Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview

Bucks vs. Lakers Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview article feature image

Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo. (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)

  • The Lakers host the Bucks in their first game since making multiple trade-deadline deals.
  • Meanwhile, Milwaukee is rolling of late and enters this contest on an eight-game winning streak.
  • Continue reading for Jacob McKenna's best bet and analysis.

Bucks vs. Lakers Odds

Bucks Odds-8.5
Lakers Odds+8.5
Over/Under236 (-110/-110)
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Editor's note: LeBron James has been ruled out of tonight's game between the Bucks and Lakers.

The Milwaukee Bucks will play the second-game of a three-game road trip on Thursday when they face the Los Angeles Lakers.

Milwaukee has been one of the hotter teams in the NBA lately, winning eight straight games. That win streak has propelled the Bucks up the standings, and they enter this matchup with a 37-17 record.

On the other hand, the Lakers are struggling to find much consistency. They've lost two straight games and are 5-5 in their past 10.

This matchup has plenty of headlines attached to it, but in the end, we have Milwaukee trending upward while Los Angeles continues to slide in the Western Conference standings. Here are the odds and a betting prediction for the matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks are on an eight-game win streak and have been playing tremendous basketball.

In those eight games, the Bucks have dominated the offensive end of the floor, shooting 50.3% from the floor and 37.8% from behind the arc. Those numbers are up from Milwaukee's season averages of 46.3% and 35.9%, respectively, so it is no surprise to see that the Bucks have posted a 118.1 Offensive Rating in those eight games.

It's hard to say what the main contributor to Milwaukee's recent offensive surge is, but Khris Middleton's return to the lineup has certainly played a role.

Middleton has missed a majority of the season with a knee injury, but his return to the lineup on January 23rd marked the first win of Milwaukee's streak. He is only averaging 17 minutes per game since his return, but Middleton has been great off the bench and is making the most of those minutes by averaging 14.4 points per game on 47.7% shooting.

The return of Middleton, albeit in a limited role, has clearly given this team an extra boost on the offensive end. That makes Milwaukee one of the more dangerous teams in the NBA on any given night.

Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in career points on Tuesday night, but the Lakers ultimately fell short of the victory. That has often been the case during the 2022-23 season.

Los Angeles has been a good offense all season long. At the time of this writing, TeamRankings has the Lakers ranked seventh in the NBA in points per game at 117.3. That average increases to 118.3 on their home court.

On Tuesday night against Oklahoma City, we saw the Lakers offense shine on their way to 130 points. The Lakers shot 58% from the field and 45% from behind the arc. However, Los Angeles allowed Oklahoma City to score 133 points in that matchup, which is just one more example of this defense being the cause of many losses.

The Lakers own the 20th best Defensive Rating this season at 114.3. That rating has risen to 117.5 in LA's past five games, so it becomes clear why the Lakers have surrendered an average of 123.8 points per game in that five-game stretch.

More often than not the offense comes to play, but the Lakers' consistent disappointment on the defensive end is holding them back.

Bucks-Lakers Pick

Both Milwaukee and Los Angeles have great scoring attacks, and even though the Bucks have a much stronger defensive unit, I believe we are due for a high-scoring contest between the Bucks and Lakers.

We've already seen these teams face off one time this season, a game in which the Lakers won 133-129. Both LA and Milwaukee shot above 50% from the floor and 40% from 3 in that matchup, showing that each offense is more than capable of handling the opposing defense.

Additionally, according to TeamRankings, the over has is 14-10 this season in games where the Lakers play an Eastern Conference opponent. The over is also 11-9 when the Bucks face a team from the West.

I think this game is set up well for that trend to continue. I'd play the total to 241.

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Nick Sterling
Jun 22, 2024 UTC