Bucks vs. Warriors Odds, Picks | NBA Betting Predictions & Preview (Saturday, March 11)
Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors, Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks.
- The Milwaukee Bucks face the Golden State Warriors in the Saturday primetime showcase on ABC.
- The Warriors are favorites at home where they have been spectacular this season and the Bucks will be missing Giannis Antetokounmpo.
- Matt Moore breaks down the trends and gives his betting prediction for Bucks vs. Warriors.
Bucks vs. Warriors Odds
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
Editor’s Note: Giannis Antetokounmpo has been ruled out of Saturday’s game with right hand soreness.
There is a world where this is a NBA Finals rematch from last season. Had Khris Middleton not been injured, had Game 6 or 7 of last year’s Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics series gone differently, these very well could have been the last two teams standing in June.
It was a very likely (relatively speaking) NBA Finals matchup in the preseason. It’s even possible now, though the Golden Stare Warriors aren’t doing a great job of making it a reality.
Golden State is one of the worst road teams we’ve ever seen. They are an amazing home team, though. Can they be amazing enough at home to beat Giannis Antetokounmpo and the best team in the NBA?
Let’s bet Bucks vs. Warriors.
Antetokounmpo popped up as questionable with right hand soreness, the same hand he injured before All-Star break. Wesley Matthews is out with a stress reaction in his leg. It’s unlikely that Antetokounmpo misses this game for various reasons, but you’ll want to be sure he’s in or out before betting.
Milwaukee is the best team in the league since the calendar flipped to 2023 at 25-6. Their defense blots out the sun; they have the best Defensive Rating since Jan. 1 (110.1) and are tied for the best Defensive Rating this season with the Cleveland Cavaliers (109.6).
Their offense, curiously, continues to be good but not elite. They rank 12th in Offensive Rating even since Jan. 1. They’re seventh in eFG% this season and are fourth to last in points in the paint per 100 possessions, which is surprising for an Antetokounmpo-led team.
But they have the ability to contest on the perimeter and protect the paint. The Bucks had issues last year with giving up 3-pointers, but they’ve balanced that this season. Milwaukee allows the 12th-fewest 3’s per 100 possessions and the second-lowest percentage.
The Warriors don’t go to their small-ball units as often, but especially without Jonathan Kuminga, their big options are also limited. The Bucks, meanwhile, have one of the best bigs in the league in Brook Lopez alongside Antetokounmpo.
Milwaukee is 11-5-1 against the spread as a road favorite, including 5-1-1 as a road favorite against Western Conference opponents. Equally notable, the under is 15-5 (75%) when the Bucks are favored on the road.
Golden State Warriors
Andrew Wiggins remains out for personal reasons, Gary Payton II has been out since being traded from the Portland Trail Blazers and Jonathan Kuminga is out with an ankle sprain. Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala are probable.
Golden State is the worst team in the last 20 years on the road covering just 28% of their games. Luckily for them, they’re not on the road Saturday. The Warriors are also the fifth-best team in the last 20 years at home at 65% ATS. It doesn’t really make any sense, but they’re nearly unbeatable at home and completely helpless on the road.
The matchup with Antetokounmpo is always tough; the Warriors really don’t have an adequate matchup. Draymond Green is a Defensive Player of the Year caliber player, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can force enough turnovers and offensive fouls from Antetokounmpo to blunt his impact.
If the Warriors win, it’s likely because one or both of the Splash Brothers had an especially prolific game. The Warriors rank 28th in shots-at-rim frequency, but the Bucks are the third-best defensive team at the rim. The Warriors will need to beat the Bucks from the perimeter, given the Bucks’ size and strength advantage.
The issue with the Warriors on the road is their defense. But they have the third-best defense in the league among home teams, and the under is 20-13-1 (60.6%). Their ability to slow down the Bucks’ relative weakness offensively is key.
So we’ve got the unstoppable force (the Bucks on the road as favorites where the over hits) vs. the unmovable object (the Warriors at home where the under hits).
I make this game Warriors -4 with their home-court advantage. The Bucks have outperformed their metrics all season, and it’s entirely possible they do so again. But Golden State gets up for these games as they did with Boston.
I’ll also fade the trend of unders at home for Golden State. Both teams should get up a high volume of 3s. That, plus points off turnovers and transition attacks to avoid the other’s half court defense is enough to lean over.
(Note: the total opened at 227.5 and has been steamed as high as 240.5. In light of the move, the under is likely in play at the current total.)
Pick: Warriors ML — Play the Spread to -3.5
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