NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Nets vs. Bucks Betting Preview (Sunday, May 2)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets.
- Two Eastern Conference giants square off on Sunday when the Bucks host the Nets.
- With two of the league's best offenses in action, there's reason to believe this will be a high-scoring affair.
- Joe Dellera breaks down where he sees betting value in this matchup.
Nets vs. Bucks Odds
Two of the Eastern Conference’s premier teams are set to battle on national TV as they jockey for playoff positioning. These teams play on Sunday and again on Tuesday to begin a two-game series, so it will be interesting to see how they manage their players or if they deploy different strategies and schemes in each game.
These teams played once before this season and the Nets took that game 125-123. James Harden and Kevin Durant played, but Kyrie Irving did not. Here, we should see a different set of stars for the Nets.
Let’s break it down.
The Nets hold a half-game lead over the 76ers for the No. 1 seed in the East, and the two teams are tied in the loss column. Brooklyn should be incentivized to get the top seed and avoid a potential second-round matchup with either the Sixers or Bucks.
While the Nets have not released a final injury report, it’s critical to keep tabs on the status of Irving and Durant using our Fantasy Labs Insiders Tool because of the way they’ve been managed this season.
It’s nothing new to say just how dominant the Nets’ offense has been, even though they’ve struggled to keep their three stars active at the same time.
Still, though when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving play together without Harden, this team remains excellent. In all minutes with those two on the floor, the Nets are +10.6 points per 100 possessions. One of the critical aspects of this is they are able to at least stagger their minutes so at least one is on the floor. Both Durant and Irving are able to score efficiently from everywhere on the court and have elite shooting percentages from every spot.
Additionally, Brooklyn excels against the best competition. The Nets are 12-5 against teams in the top 10 in point differential, per Cleaning the Glass. They have the best offensive mark against those teams but do struggle defensively, giving up 117.2 points per 100. Brooklyn gets eviscerated from 3-point range, with opponents shooting 39.5% from deep.
The Bucks have missed a few of their key players over the past week. Most importantly for this game, Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle) is now listed as probable for this matchup. Antetokounmpo is having another dominant season, and the Bucks will need him for this matchup. Luckily, Donte DiVincenzo has been removed from the injury report after missing Friday’s game.
The Bucks are having another strong season with a +5.9 point differential per 100 possessions, 5th best in the league, per Cleaning the Glass. They have both a top 10 offense and defense and are efficient on both sides of the ball.
Some strengths for the Bucks’ offense are they are elite at the rim and from 3-point range. They shoot 39.1% from 3-point range (fifth in the NBA), and they clean the glass so well that their 67.6% shooting percentage from the rim is maximized, per Cleaning the Glass.
Milwaukee is able to do this because it is so effective at rebounding the basketball. The Bucks have the fourth best rebounding percentage in the league, 51.9%, and this allows them to maximize their second-chance opportunities and limit their opponents’ opportunities.
This is going to be an exciting and high-scoring affair with both teams being excellent offensively and able to score efficiently. One issue for Milwaukee is they give up the 3-point shot at the fifth-highest rate in the league. A very high 39.1% of their opponents’ shots are from 3-point range. This is a shot the Nets hit 39.7% of the time, second best in the league.
Given the shot profile for these offenses, and even though Milwaukee has a strong defense, the shot the Bucks allow the Nets can capitalize on. Additionally, even though this total is sky high, these teams both play at a relatively fast Pace – the Bucks are third fastest in the league, and the Nets are eleventh, per NBA Advanced Stats.
These are two excellent over teams. They’re 38-28-0 to the over this season and have returned bettors an 11.6% ROI when betting on the over.
I’m betting on points.
Pick: Over 242.5