Bucks vs. Clippers NBA Odds & Picks: Bet on the Road Underdog in Los Angeles (March 29)
Gary Dineen/Getty Images. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks.
- Milwaukee has lost two in a row, but still has the third-best record in the East and is getting healthy.
- The Clippers have won five in a row but will be without Patrick Beverley and Serge Ibaka tonight.
- Joe Dellera explains why he likes the Bucks to beat L.A. for the second time this season.
Bucks vs. Clippers Odds
|Moneyline||-110 / -110|
|Time||Monday, 10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via DraftKings|
The Bucks head to the Staples Center to take on the Clippers who are looking to secure their sixth-straight home win. In this battle between two of the NBA’s best, who will have the edge?
The Bucks’ injury report was essentially their entire starting roster on Saturday against the Knicks, however, that was a second game of a back-to-back, so it may have been a bit of load management. Bobby Portis and P.J. Tucker are listed as out for today’s contest. While Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday missed Saturday’s game, none of those three are listed on the injury report, per Fantasy Labs.
This season the Bucks have continued their excellence on both sides of the ball, and the returns on their Big 3 of Giannis, Middleton and Holiday have been impressive. In all lineups with those three on the floor, the Bucks are +11.4 points per 100 possessions (96th percentile) with an offense that scores 116.7 and a defense that allows just 105.3, per Cleaning the Glass. With this trio getting some extra rest over the weekend, expect them to play significant minutes against the Clippers.
The Bucks need to do a good job defending the perimeter against this Clippers team. Their allowed eFG% is 53.8%, but they’ve continued to allow 3-point shots this season, and opponents take them on 39% of their possessions. Moreover, this is a shot opponents have converted, and the Bucks have the seventh-worst allowed 3-point percentage at 38.3%.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have ruled Rajon Rondo out already, so he won’t be making his Clippers’ debut today. They also will be missing Patrick Beverley and Serge Ibaka.
The Clippers have faired well this season, and they actually post the same point differential as the Bucks (+6.5), good for third best in the league, per Cleaning the Glass. Their offense is the second best in the league, but their defense is right around league average.
One of the issues with losing Ibaka and Beverley is it shortens the Clippers’ bench, and their defense suffers. On the season, the Clippers allow 112.8 points per 100 possessions. When Ibaka and Beverley are off the floor this ticks up to 115.5, which would be the fifth-worst mark in the league, per Cleaning the Glass.
This is an interesting matchup and a Finals preview that we likely won’t ever see.
The Clippers will miss Serge Ibaka and Patrick Beverley against a fairly healthy Bucks team. While Ivica Zubac has faired well in the starting lineup, the Clippers cannot stretch the floor as effectively and will struggle to take advantage of the Bucks’ poor 3-point defense. Moreover, if the Bucks play small and force the Clippers to deal with Giannis at the Center position, they will have difficulty doing so with Zubac on the floor.
When these teams played on February 28th, the Bucks were favored by 2.5 and won by five points after a fourth-quarter comeback. The Clippers were healthy in that game, and now the line has flipped because of a change in venue? This doesn’t make sense to me.
Although the Bucks have dropped two in a row, and the Clippers have won five in a row, I’m backing the road dog. The Clippers’ lack of depth has not been an issue against other teams (Sixers without Embiid, Spurs, Hawks, Hornets), but against a healthy Bucks team their injuries are critical.
Pick: Bucks Moneyline (-102)