Thursday NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bucks vs. Suns Betting Preview (February 10)

Thursday NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bucks vs. Suns Betting Preview (February 10) article feature image

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo (left) and Devin Booker.

  • The Suns are favored in the first NBA Finals rematch of the season against the Bucks.
  • Milwaukee presents a potential matchup problem for Phoenix, which has thrived in close games of late.
  • Joe Dellera breaks down the game and delivers his betting picks below.

Bucks vs. Suns Odds

Bucks Odds+3.5
Suns Odds-3.5
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Bucks head to the Valley to take on the Phoenix Suns in their first rematch since the NBA Finals.

The Suns have been impossibly hot, but can the Bucks stomp out the Suns? Let's break down this excellent matchup.

Milwaukee's Big Three Dominate

The Bucks have listed Grayson Allen (hip) as probable for this matchup, and George Hill (neck) has already been ruled out.

Despite this, the Bucks have been relatively healthy of late and their offense has flourished. Over the last two weeks, Milwaukee is scoring 122.9 points per 100 possessions, second best in the NBA in that timeframe.

A key for the Bucks has been having their starting lineup intact. On the season, they are +5.0 points per 100 possessions, but when Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton share the floor (only about 17% of their possessions), they dominate.

The Bucks hold a point differential of +15.9 with their "Big 3" on the floor, scoring 120.9 points per 100 possessions with an eFG% of 59.7% that shatters the league average of 52.9%. This lineup also wreaks havoc on the defensive side of the ball, as they hold opponents to just 105.0 points per 100 possessions.

While Milwaukee can slack off a bit during the regular season and the output doesn't necessarily match the talent, I think the Bucks will get up for this game against the Suns on national TV.

Can Phoenix Keep Winning Every Close Game?

The Suns are dealing with a few injuries including Landry Shamet (ankle) and Cameron Payne (wrist) who will both miss this game. While this leaves the starting lineup intact, Phoenix will miss the depth in this matchup.

The Suns have been exceptional this season and have lost just two games since the start of 2022. They've steamrolled teams with excellent offense and stifling defense.

However, Phoenix's defense has regressed a touch over the last two weeks,  allowing opponents to score 111.7 points per 100 possessions in that span, which is still above average but five points more than their season-long number, per Cleaning the Glass. Part of the issue for the Suns is they allow non-corner 3s at a relatively high rate, and opponents are hitting them at a 351.% clip (19th).

Additionally, it just feels like as good as the Suns have been buoyed by their clutch performances. They are 22-3 in clutch games with an absurd 45.0 Net Rating, per NBA Advanced Stats. This is even better since the start of 2022. They are 10-0 with a 63.5 Net Rating. This is insane.

What this does signify is that in the 19 games Phoenix has played this calendar year, 10 of them have been "in the clutch." Clutch is defined as the last five minutes with a point differential of five points or fewer.

Sure, it's great that the Suns are elite in these spots and they pull out wins, but it also means they are playing down to their competition a bit considering their record.

As a result, I think the Suns are a bit overvalued in this spot, especially considering they've won 1.7 more games than expected since Jan. 1, per Cleaning the Glass.

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Bucks-Suns Pick

I love this spot for the Bucks. They're rolling offensively and I expect them to come out highly motivated to take on the Suns.

Milwaukee won and covered in four consecutive games, and it's coming off a game where they destroyed the Lakers. The Suns have handled business lately, with their sole loss coming to an Atlanta team that shot a blistering percentage from 3-point range.

However, this is an area Milwaukee can also attack the Suns. The Bucks shoot 3s at the fifth-highest frequency and have the fifth-best 3 point shooting percentage (36.8%) in the NBA.

We've seen the Bucks match up against the Suns in an extended series and while the regular season is not exactly comparable, they showed that they can defeat the Suns. Milwaukee has the size and athleticism to bother both Chris Paul and Devin Booker on the perimeter with Holiday and Middleton. Giannis is uncontainable, and Bobby Portis creates a matchup issue because of his ability to stretch the floor from the 4 or 5.

If this game is close, I like Giannis & Co. to win outright, and they're getting 3.5 points? Sign me up.

Pick: Bucks +3.5 | Bucks ML +145

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Nick Sterling
Jun 16, 2024 UTC