Bucks vs. Nets Odds, Pick & Preview: How to Bet This Lofty Over/Under (March 31)
Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets.
- The Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets meet in a crucial late-season matchup in the East.
- With the over/under as high as 243.5 across the market, it would equal the highest total of the NBA season.
- Joe Dellera explains how he's approaching this primetime matchup.
Bucks vs. Nets Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Bucks are coming off one of their best wins of the season and have a shot at the top spot in the East, while the Nets are battling for positioning in the play-in. Can the Nets defend home court, or should we just expect a flurry of points.
Let’s break down this star-studded matchup.
Bucks Dominant But Slipping Defensively
The Bucks have listed Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) as probable for this matchup. While it’d be stunning to see him sit, keep an eye on his status because that would dramatically change the spread of this game.
The Bucks have had an interesting season so far, there have been times they looked downright dominant, then others appear completely disinterested in the game at hand.
They’ve truly fought back from their early-season injuries and now that Brook Lopez is back this team has a new level of depth and can deploy their defense effectively. They are more versatile defensively and can play a wider range of schemes. However, defense takes time to gel and there is a bit of a learning curve.
An issue for the Bucks over the past two weeks has been their defense; they are allowing 116.7 points per 100 possessions which is a sharp uptick from their full-season number of 111.3, per Cleaning the Glass.
They are still scoring though, so it’s masked this defensive deficiency a bit. The Bucks are scoring 116.5 points per 100 possessions over this stretch and they’ve managed a 3-2 record with the most recent being an impressive victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Nets Offense Is Blazing Down the Stretch
The Nets are mostly whole at this point; while they are without Ben Simmons (back) he has yet to suit up for any team thus far this season. Now that the Nets have Kyrie Irving available for home games, we are seeing them for what they are – an offensive juggernaut.
The Nets’ full-season offensive numbers are impressive, they have scored 114.5 points per 100 possessions, but their defense has been abysmal, allowing 113.9 points per 100 possessions for a net point differential of just +0.6, per Cleaning the Glass.
What is stunning is over the last two weeks, we’ve seen all of these numbers increase. They have a +4.8 point differential, despite allowing more points (117.8) because their offense has been destroying teams — they are scoring 122.6 points per 100 possessions.
That offensive mark is fourth over the last two weeks, but would be the top mark in the NBA based on full-season numbers.
Brooklyn cannot stop anyone defensively though, while they are excellent in transition on the offensive end, their opponents add the fourth-most points per 100 possessions through transition play (3.4).
Considering Milwaukee’s propensity to push the pace and get out in transition this could be a breaking point for Brooklyn’s defense.
This is an exciting showdown between two of the East’s best teams and maybe it will be a preview for a playoff series. The one thing that is different here is during the regular season you have to wonder whether or not these teams will pull out all of the tricks and show their hand for a playoff strategy.
I generally lean the Bucks in this matchup because the Nets simply have no answer for Giannis Antetokounmpo and he’s averaged 31.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 4.7 assists in his last 10 games vs the Nets, plus the Bucks’ transition defense is the best in the league. However, this has simply slowed the Nets very slightly and if anything, I may look for a spot to live bet them at over a possession.
This should be a barnburner. We already know about the Nets’ defensive struggles and their strategy has simply been to score more (which admittedly has worked with both Durant and Irving on the floor), but the Bucks who have had a formidable defense in the past have slipped a bit this season.
Additionally, both of these teams play at blistering paces — the Bucks are fourth-fastest while Brooklyn is 12th. Considering both teams prefer to play in transition, I think we will see plenty of offense and possessions in this game.
I’ll take the over.
Pick: Over 243