Bucks-Warriors Betting Guide: Debating the High Over/Under

Bucks-Warriors Betting Guide: Debating the High Over/Under article feature image

Photo credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry

Betting odds: Milwaukee Bucks at Golden State Warriors

  • Spread: Warriors -5.5
  • Over/Under: 240
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: TNT

>> All odds as of 1:30 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets

In one of the best matchups of the early season, the 8-2 Milwaukee Bucks travel to Oakland to take on the 10-1 Golden State Warriors.

Defensive juggernaut Draymond Green is out for the defending champs, so does that mean the over is in play? Our analysts discuss.

Injury Watch: Draymond Green (out)

Green missed the second half of Monday’s win with what was originally diagnosed as a foot injury. The injury has since been clarified as a sprained right toe, and Green will miss Thursday’s nationally televised game against the Bucks.

Coach Steve Kerr added: “It’s just day to day. No concern long term. So we’ll just monitor it each day, and we’re so early in the season, obviously we’ll be cautious. We’ll see how it plays out.” JJ Calle

For analysis on the betting and DFS impact of Green’s injury, check out our daily NBA Injury Report.

Locky: How to Bet the High Total

This is the smallest Warriors spread in about three weeks, so is it possible we’ll really see a competitive game with them? Very few recent opponents have mustered any real resistance.

However, I think Milwaukee can be different. First, the Bucks are way more talented than most of the teams the Warriors have played so far (since that early-season Nuggets/Jazz combo).

But while the Bucks can be more competitive, the total is the most interesting aspect of this game, and that analysis starts with Green’s injury.

Green’s splits are really interesting at each end. Per Cleaning the Glass, Green is still a very positive contributor defensively in his on-court/off-court splits — he’s near the top of the NBA in turnovers forced when he’s on the floor is and very strong in defensive efficiency. But the Warriors are 8.1 points per 100 possessions worse on offense when he’s on the floor and turn it over on 3.2% more of their possessions.

Some of this is explainable: Green takes almost two-thirds of his shots from 3 and is shooting terribly this season (26.1%). But considering he’s frequently on the court with three of the best shooters in the history of the league, it’s interesting that they don’t play offense as well with him as the fourth or fifth guy on the court.

Most of the explanation can be found in transition, where the Warriors run much less with Green on the court (fewer possessions in transition; much worse offensive efficiency in those possessions).

Considering the Warriors appear to run more, score more efficiently and defend worse with Green out of the game, is it reasonable to assume those things will occur again on Thursday? Things are tricky because the Warriors will use lineup combos they haven’t used a lot this season, but I think it’s safe to assume that there will be some carryover from these numbers regardless.

It’s also interesting that while the Bucks have been phenomenal at almost everything on each end, their defensive numbers could work to the Warriors’ advantage.

The Bucks are second in the NBA defending at the rim and have allowed the fewest shots there, but they’ve allowed the most 3-point shots in the entire league. Milwaukee also really struggles against mid-range jumpers (26th) and specifically long mid-range jumper (25th). Well, guess who loves to take a ton of 3s and shoots insane percentages from mid-range? Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant! All of them!

I think the recipe is here for an incredible offensive game between the philosophies of each team, shot selection and the effect of Green’s absence. The total is very high anyway, but this is a tough total to set because of the variables we’ve discussed.

We haven’t really seen this combination of factors in a game between these two types of teams. I still think there’s value in the over here. Ken Barkley

Betting Trends to Know

This will be the 19th game Green has missed since the beginning of the 2016 season. And, as expected, Golden State really hasn’t missed a beat.

The Warriors are 15-3 straight-up without Green, winning by more than 10 points per game. They’re 10-7-1 against the spread without Green, with their average point spread being -7.2.

Where the biggest advantage might lie is in the total.

The under is 11-4-3 (73.3%) without Draymond, with those 18 games going under the total by 5.6 points per game, including 6-0-2 in the Warriors’ last eight home games without Draymond.

Since starting 7-0, the Bucks have dropped two of their past three games. They’ve still been one of the best stories in the first month of the season, but the one thing the Warriors have always done better than anyone else is beat the best.

Under Kerr, the Warriors are 32-15-1 ATS (68.1%) when facing teams that have won at least two-thirds of their games (66%) in November or later. Kerr is the most profitable coach in the NBA at 5.0 units better than the second-most profitable coach in that spot (Brett Brown). Evan Abrams

The Warriors are in an enviable position, as they’re set to play their fourth straight home game and have had three days between games. However, in the past five years, teams in this situation have gone 46-57-3 (45%) ATS.

Of course, Golden State is the exception and has gone 2-0 SU and ATS in this scenario.John Ewing

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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