NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions | Bucks vs Suns Betting Preview
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks.
- The Milwaukee Bucks face the Phoenix Suns in a rematch of their back-and-forth matchup two weeks ago.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to play on the second night of a back-to-back with the Bucks favored on the road.
- Joe Dellera details his analysis and betting prediction for Bucks vs. Suns below.
Bucks vs. Suns Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
We get an NBA Finals rematch from two seasons ago — and a rematch of an awesome game two weeks ago — when the Milwaukee Bucks head to Phoenix to take on Devin Booker and the Suns. Although it’s unlikely we will see both teams playing an NBA Finals brand of basketball, this will be a fun showdown on National TV.
The Suns are fourth in the West, 3.5 games behind the Sacramento Kings for No. 2, while the Bucks hold a 2.5-game lead over the Boston Celtics in the East. Let’s dive into the matchup and betting picks for Bucks vs. Suns.
The Bucks have not listed anyone on their injury report formally for tonight, but there are three players to keep an eye on. Giannis Antetokounmpo played last night against the Kings and scored 46 points but he returned from a three-game absence and it’s not a certainty he would play tonight on a back-to-back.
Joe Ingles (injury management) did not play yesterday so he would be expected to play tonight. Khris Middleton (injury management) has not played in both ends of a back-to-back set yet this season, so his status is up in the air, but I’d project that he does not play.
Over the last three seasons, the Bucks have won the last two regular season meetings while dropping the prior three. Milwaukee obviously won the 2021 NBA Finals but the regular season has a dramatically different intensity.
In the two most recent matchups, the Suns have held Giannis to just 18.5 points while both Jrue Holiday and Middleton have played in three games vs Phoenix and they have averaged 26.0 and 25.3 points respectively.
When these teams played on Feb. 26, Holiday led all scorers with 33 points while Brook Lopez contributed 22 points and 13 rebounds without Antetokounmpo on the floor. Lopez took eight 3s in that matchup making two of them so that’s a prop I’d keep an eye on.
The Suns did an excellent job of forcing the ball out of Antetokounmpo’s hands during these matchups. His assists prop last night was over 5.5 (+104) and he has exceeded that in his last two regular season games against the Suns. This may prove to be a bit more difficult for Phoenix without Mikal Bridges, but it’s something I will keep an eye on.
The Suns also played last night and lost to the Warriors and now travel home for this game. They continue to be without Kevin Durant (ankle) and have started a lineup of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Josh Okogie, Torrey Craig, and Deandre Ayton.
Since the trade for Durant, the Suns have primarily played without Durant. The primary beneficiary of playing without Durant has been Booker from a scoring perspective as he dropped 28.1 ppg in eight games without him since he was acquired. The other beneficiary has been Josh Okogie. He’s played meaningful minutes since Bridges was traded and has averaged 32.3 minutes and 15 ppg scoring 15+ in seven of 12 games but against the Bucks he managed just 11 points.
The Suns’ defense had actually been fine without Bridges; however, without Kevin Durant they have suffered just from a depth perspective on defense. Durant’s length and defensive ability is a bit underrated and without him they have allowed opponents to score 122.7 points per 100 possessions in three games against the Warriors, Kings, and Thunder (without SGA). The defense has been brutal without both Bridges and Durant.
When these teams faced off on Feb. 26, the Bucks won 104-101 despite being without Antetokounmpo, being held to just 28.9% shooting from 3, and being out-rebounded by 10. The Suns had neither Bridges nor Durant, but that will be their lineup today as well. Milwaukee was a 3-point favorite at home without Giannis; now, they are a 1.5-point favorite on the road.
I’d expect the Suns’ lineup to remain stable while the Bucks’ lineup remains in flux. While this in theory should give the Suns an edge, I do not think they are the better team if both play at even relatively full strength.
I think the best course of action for this game is to wait and see if Antetokounmpo is formally ruled in or if he sits. If he plays, regardless of Middleton’s status, I want to back Milwaukee at that point up to -3. If neither him nor Middleton play, I’d look to grab under 232.5 or Jrue Holiday props.
Lean: Bucks -1.5 (Wait for Antetokounmpo’s status)
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