Clippers vs. Bucks Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview
Pictured: Paul George. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
- Both the Clippers and Bucks have been rolling of late and will go head-to-head on Thursday night in Milwaukee.
- The Bucks will put their five-game winning streak on the line against a Milwaukee side that has won seven of its past 10.
- So, where's the betting value? Kenny Ducey digs into the odds.
Clippers vs. Bucks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Something’s got to give on Thursday night in Milwaukee as two of the hottest teams in the NBA do battle.
The Clippers have been rolling ever since Paul George returned from injury, and may be getting further reinforcements for this one. Milwaukee has been one of the best defensive teams in the league of late and has shown no sign of slowing down.
Let’s look at how to bet the Clippers vs. Bucks and make a pick.
Los Angeles Clippers
George returned to the Clippers’ lineup on January 17th after a five-game absence, and despite a good fight against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Clippers lost yet again and dropped to 23-23 on the year. It appeared that not even George’s return could right the ship for the pre-season title favorites.
Well, in the games George has played since, the Clippers have not lost. They have won six of seven and appear close to getting injured wing Marcus Morris back from a four-game absence. Morris is listed as questionable for this one — a move in the right direction — and if he plays it would mean just one member of the roster, John Wall, remains on the injury report. That’s a staggering sight for a team that has been plagued by various injuries over the past two seasons.
The difference with Morris on and off the floor is negligible (LA has actually been a few points better per 100 possessions with him on the sideline), but in a matchup as physically demanding as this one, having a deep rotation is going to come in handy.
Offense has been the name of the game for the Clippers in their past seven games. Los Angeles sits atop the NBA with a 126.7 efficiency rating in that span, despite a low 55.1% Assist Rate. That’s the result of having two excellent, ball-dominant scorers.
The Bucks are on a similar run to the Clippers, though it hasn’t coincided with any sort of change in personnel. Milwaukee has won seven of its past eight, but has only gone 5-3 against the spread in that time. On top of that, just one of the teams the Bucks have defeated is seeded higher than 10th in their conference.
So, it could be that this Bucks squad looks a little bit better than it actually is. This is still an elite basketball team, but it’s hard to celebrate a 111.6 Defensive Rating in the past eight games (against poor offenses) when the Bucks stand at 110.0 for the season. Offensively, they’ve been great, but once again we have to take their recent success with a grain of salt considering Milwaukee has recently had the pleasure of playing Detroit, Charlotte and Indiana, all of whom rank in the bottom six defensively.
As for some injury housekeeping, Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as probable with right knee soreness. He hurt his knee late in Tuesday’s win over the Hornets, but given this designation it’s nothing serious. Still, it did look like an awkward landing, and the fact that he made it to the injury report means there’s the slimmest of chances he’s either out or limited.
Los Angeles sure seems like the side to me. While the Clippers have had the benefit of playing the Spurs twice in recent games, they’ve also had some very good results against quality teams ever since George returned and have now covered in five straight with him in the lineup.
With Morris’ return a real possibility, the Clippers should once again have the chance to assert themselves as one of the deepest teams in the NBA. LA’s bench is already eighth in Net Rating and will be fully staffed (or close to it) against a team with the 13th-ranked bench in the league.
The Clippers have had better bench production all season long and in the past 10 games. Their offense is playing at such a high level that I believe it should break through against a Bucks team whose numbers may be slightly inflated thanks to an easy schedule. Play LA down to three points.
Pick: Clippers +4.5 | Play to +3
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