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Bucks 2019-20 Season Win Total: Will Milwaukee Push for 60 Wins?

Bucks 2019-20 Season Win Total: Will Milwaukee Push for 60 Wins? article feature image

Photo credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez

  • Prior to the 2019-20 NBA season, Matt Moore (@HPBasketball) analyzes each team's win total odds.
  • Below, Matt provides a case for the over and under + gives his confidence rating for the Milwaukee Bucks' win total this year.

Check out this post for updated season win total odds and this post for my other 29 season win total picks.

All odds as of Friday. Check out PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

Milwaukee Bucks Win Total

The Case for the Over (56.5, DraftKings)

Best team in the East returns everyone but Malcolm Brogdon, vs. a weaker Eastern top tier, with the reigning MVP only better. Who’s stopping this team? How are they losing 28 times? The Bucks’ formula is consistent and proven.

They had one of the best Net Ratings in the last 20 years last season. They are 3-point heavy with good shooters and have no glaring injury red flags.

How about this? The Bucks have a bottom-20 schedule every month until April and the 29th-ranked strength of schedule before the All-Star break.

They’re the (prospective) best team in the East and should be able to cruise towards 60 again. By this logic, anything south of 57.5 is a bargain.

The Case for the Under (58, Westgate)

And yet! I’m on the other side.

The Bucks surrendered the most 3-point attempts per 100 possessions last year and yet were 22nd in 3-point percentage. That’s an extremely worrying sign for what was the league’s best defense; you saw the regression catch up vs. the Raptors.

The Bucks were 22-14, fourth-best in clutch situations (inside five points in the last five minutes).

The schedule’s a cake, sure, but they were also only the fourth-best team in the East vs. teams under .500. They had incredible fortune (and performance, to be fair) vs. the best teams, but had more issues with the bottom-feeders. You can catch them night-to-night on account of their shooting variance.

We’re also talking an under landing at 57 wins. That’s an incredible season for anyone. Margin for error off last year lands them at the under this season.

Don’t overlook the loss of Brogdon, who provided a steady hand to run the offense and was a capable defender and quality shooter. Brogdon is an exceptionally savvy player, and without him, the team needs more from Eric Bledsoe, who comes with both injury concerns and tends to drift for long stretches of the season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo will be better this year, but likely in little ways. His 3-point shot will likely not be radically improved, and if he tries to take more to prepare for how teams will defend him in the playoffs, that’s only going to open the door for a few more losses, even if it’s worth it in the long run.

The Bucks’ depth isn’t as good as last season, so there will be a little more issues when they try and rest players, which they’ll need to.

All of this sets a pattern.

The Verdict

  • The pick: Under 58
  • Confidence: 8 out of 10

I believe in regression, especially in Mike Budenholzer teams like the 2016 Atlanta Hawks, who fell back to Earth after a 60-win season.

I think the Bucks have more staying power and remain a legit threat in the East, but they’ll likely give up a few more 3s, make a few less, suffer a few more close losses and have a little more bad injury luck than they had last year.

The Bucks can be great and hit the under, and that’s where I like them.

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