NBA Christmas Odds & Picks for Warriors vs. Bucks: Back Undervalued Golden State (Dec. 25)

NBA Christmas Odds & Picks for Warriors vs. Bucks: Back Undervalued Golden State (Dec. 25) article feature image
Credit:

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks, Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors.

  • The Golden Warriors have a tall task ahead of them on Friday afternoon: A road matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks who are double-digit favorites on Christmas day.
  • Both the Warriors and Bucks are looking to bounce back after losing on opening night. But can the Warriors, with their key injuries, keep up with the two-time MVP?
  • Matt Moore previews the 2:30 p.m. ET matchup, including his favorite bet.

Warriors vs. Bucks Odds

Warriors Odds +11 [BET NOW]
Bucks Odds -11 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +450 / -625 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 231 [BET NOW]
Time 2:30 p.m. ET
TV ABC
Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

The Golden State Warriors will play the second game of a four-game road trip in a Christmas day matchup against the mighty Milwaukee Bucks. While bettors will be excited to see the stars in this matchup, the line in this game went from -7.5 at open to double-digits in a hurry.

Can the Warriors cover such a huge spread with just one player carrying the load? Let’s dig deeper into the matchup and see where the betting value lies.

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Golden State Warriors

Well, that went poorly.

The Warriors were absolutely annihilated in their first game against the Brooklyn Nets. They couldn’t shoot, nor could they defend; it could not have been a worse start to their already difficult season without Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.

Stephen Curry shot 7-for-21 overall and 2-for-10 from 3-point range in his season debut and looked mortal for the first time in a while. The Nets sent waves of defenders at him, and without premium options to capitalize off the attention, all that “gravity” everyone talks about with Curry wasn’t worth a damn.

That said, it was the Nets’ home opener, they were on fire, and the Warriors shot poorly on top of it. There is only so much we can draw from that game.


Milwaukee Bucks

There were good things from the Bucks’ opening night loss — Jrue Holiday was fantastic and Khris Middleton did his thing — but the bench was run over; Bobby Portis was a -16 in 16 minutes.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was also a -1, and missed the final game-tying free throw. This is crucial: the Bucks were outscored by the Celtics with the reigning two-time league MVP on the floor.

It might have just been one of those games (the Bucks were in several positions to win the game, after all), but if nothing else, there’s reason to believe the Bucks’ bench won’t as dominant as it has been in seasons past.

Warriors-Bucks Pick

I didn’t expect the Warriors to be that bad out of the gate, so I’m concerned I may be overrating them. I figured they would lose to the Nets, and I figured the line in this matchup would hit 10 or more. At double-digits, I feel like I have to take the Warriors.

For starters, the Bucks are still showing the same drop coverage in pick-and-roll that they do every year. Curry will have wide-open looks at the rim if that happens and he is unlikely to shoot poorly in that spot. The Bucks do not double the way the Nets showed, they play the same way every single time. Andrew Wiggins should be more comfortable in that spot as well.

The Warriors’ defense is the issue. The Bucks may simply just run over the Dubs with athleticism. At this point, I don’t believe the Warriors are as bad as they looked. The Bucks’ bench issues are enough to make me believe their invulnerable stretch of extending the starting unit’s leads will likely end this season — they just aren’t as deep.

I’m avoiding the total because there is a scenario where the Bucks clamp down on the Warriors and the under hits, or this game turns into a 3-point fest and the over sails.

My colleagues grabbed the Bucks as shorter favorites; Justin Phan is on them -8 when the news Green will not play and Raheem Palmer had -7.5 way back.

But there are 10.5’s as of this writing, and I simply want to take the double-digit dog from a team that still has NBA talent.

I’m nervous, though. Are the Warriors really that bad?

Pick: Warriors +10.5

[Bet the Warriors at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]