Mavericks vs. Bucks Odds & Picks: Back Milwaukee to Continue Hot Streak
Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo (left) and Luka Doncic.
- Kristaps Porzingis’ second game of the season will be against one of the NBA’s best: the Milwaukee Bucks.
- Milwaukee has won five of its last six games, while Dallas has won four straight and has played just once since last Saturday.
- Phillip Kall explains why he’s backing the Bucks as the team to continue their hot streak in this one.
Mavericks vs. Bucks Odds
|Mavericks Odds||+6.5 [BET NOW]|
|Bucks Odds||-6.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+195/-250 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||227.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds as of Thursday night and via BetMGM. Get an INSTANT $500 deposit match at BetMGM today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.|
After a slow start to the season, the Mavericks’ four-game win streak shows they found their formula for success. COVID took away several role players at the start of this run, adding to the impressiveness.
Now, they sit at 6-4 and return star forward Kristaps Porzingis. Riding their hot streak with the stars on the floor, this Mavericks team should not be underestimated.
The Bucks suffered from similar early season struggles but would find their rhythm, winning six of their past seven games. As it has each of the past two seasons, Milwaukee currently sits at the top of the league in net rating, per Basketball Reference.
However, as we have seen in the playoffs, the Bucks struggle to beat tougher competition. With a record of 2-3 against teams that made the playoffs last season, this year has been no different.
Dallas looking to continue its run and Milwaukee always fielding a great regular season team makes this a game you don’t want to miss. Let’s see if we can find an angle with value.
The key to the Mavericks’ success comes on the defensive side of the ball. Ranking second in Defensive Rating with a 105.0, Dallas imposed its will on opponents despite missing Porzingis. He immediately had an impact in his first game back, recording two blocks in just 21 minutes.
Dallas will hope Porzingis continues to be a defensive force inside against the Bucks. If not, Giannis Antetokoumpo could make it a very long night for the Mavericks.
While Porzingis might be the difference between a first- and second-ranked defense, his real value comes on the offensive end. Ranked 15th in Offensive Efficiency with a mark of 110.0, Dallas missed having a big man who can score while not sacrificing any defense. Porzingis will fill that need as well as provide a secondary scoring option to take some pressure off Luka Doncic.
Recently, the Mavericks’ 3-point shooting and 3-point defense led to their four-game win streak. Shooting 40.6% from 3-point range in their last four far outpaces their 30.7% average to start the season. The same improvement took place on the defensive end, as their opponents’ 3-point percentage dropped from 33.5% down to 27.5%.
The improved defense is needed against the Bucks, who rank second in the NBA in 3-point percentage. Fortunately, Dallas’ improved shooting presents a problem for Milwaukee, as one of the Bucks’ few flaws is their 17th-ranked 3-point percentage allowed (37.0%).
Another regular season, another dominant performance for the Milwaukee Bucks, ranking first in Offensive Rating and sixth in Defensive Rating.
While Giannis continues to lead this dominance, his play still sits below where it did the past two seasons.
Three players who upgraded the team’s play from last season are Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Bobby Portis. Middleton puts up a similar amount of points but in a much more efficient fashion, with a 54.4% field goal percentage so far.
Holiday and Portis are new to the team thanks to moves this summer, but they have wasted no time making their mark. Holiday brings a ferocious intensity to the defensive side, leading to his career-high mark of 2.2 steals per game — much better than his predecessor Eric Bledsoe’s 0.9 steals per game.
Portis brings a relief big man that can shoot and rebound at high levels. Portis’ 17.1% Total Rebound Percentage ranks 16th in the league and is nearly the same as The Greek Freak’s, per Basketball Reference.
Against the Mavericks, Milwaukee will continue to look to play with Pace, as their 102.2 mark ranks sixth in the NBA. Their speed and aggression could make Dallas uncomfortable, as the Mavs’ 98.4 Pace is the seventh-slowest.
Dallas enters this matchup riding a hot streak thanks to excellent shooting and defending the 3. Shooting well creates space for Doncic to operate and he has taken advantage. During the Mavs’ four-game winning streak, Doncic averages 31.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 10.8 assists.
While Luka has been dominant waiting for his teammates to clear protocol and Porzingis to ease back after injury, no team had the talent to stop him.
The Bucks’ have Holiday to make life hard for Luka on ball and Giannis and Brook Lopez waiting inside as backup. This should force the ball into the hands of Dallas’ secondary options. With so many players out, this could spell trouble.
Milwaukee also turns small leads into big ones quickly thanks to their fast pace and top-ranked offense. This led to all eight of their wins coming by double digits.
Back Milwaukee to continue its hot streak and put an end to the Mavericks’.
Pick: Bucks -6 to -7.5