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NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Hawks vs. Bucks Betting Preview (Thursday, April 15)

NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Hawks vs. Bucks Betting Preview (Thursday, April 15) article feature image

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Trae Young.

  • The Bucks are favored over the Hawks in Thursday Night NBA action (7:30 p.m. ET, TNT).
  • Milwaukee is wrapping up a three-game road trip, while Atlanta has been playing well over the last few weeks at 7-1 against the spread in its previous eight games.
  • Get our Bucks vs. Hawks pick and full betting preview below.

Editor’s note: Trae Young has been cleared to play for the Hawks; Giannis Antetokounmpo will return for the Bucks. For more news on injuries and lineups check out Thursday’s injury report here.

Bucks vs. Hawks Odds

Bucks Odds -6
Hawks Odds +6
Moneyline -235 / +188
Time Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Wednesday and via DraftKings

The Milwaukee Bucks, fresh off two dominating wins against bottom-feeders Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic, now travel to face the Atlanta Hawks in the last game of a three-game road trip.

The fourth-place Hawks have been soaring as of late, winning and covering seven of their last eight games. Three of those wins came without their star, Trae Young.  Nate McMillan has this young squad playing excellent basketball and I see them coming to play to gain some traction on the third-place Bucks.

The Bucks won their first matchup back on Jan. 24 with a final score of 129-115, but the Hawks were without Young. Both teams’ best player, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Young, are both listed as questionable for Thursday’s game. If Young is declared in, I find value on the underdog Hawks carrying their momentum into this marquee game.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks are on the second half of a back-to-back game after blowing out the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday afternoon. Giannis Antetokounmpo did not suit up, but the Bucks did not need the former MVP as Khris Middleton led six players in double-figures to easily get the win.

The Bucks haven’t been at their best as of late, only going 7-11 against the spread since the all-star break. Their players should be somewhat well-rested as the Bucks elected to rest half their team for last Friday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets.

Even worse, the Bucks are only 11-17 ATS (39.2%) in away games this season, per the Sports Data Query Language database. To dig even further, they are 2-9 ATS (18.2%) on a road trip in their third consecutive away game this season. They do not perform up to expectations on the road, especially on a long road trip.

Antetokounmpo has missed five-straight games and is currently listed as questionable,  so make sure you keep an eye out for his status using our Bet Labs Insider tool.

One matchup I believe the Bucks could have an interesting advantage to exploit is Brook Lopez against the talented Hawks center Clint Capela. While Capela is a great interior defender and rebounder, Lopez loves to camp outside the 3-point line on offense, and it will be interesting to see how the Hawks combat that strategy. Fortunately, the Hawks do pretty well at defending against the 3-pointer as they are fourth in the league in opponent’s 3-point percentage.

The Bucks are sixth in the league in fast break points since the All-Star break, per NBA Advanced Stats. Their run-and-gun style and up-tempo play creates a lot of fast break opportunities, but the Hawks are seventh at opponent’s fast break points. The Hawks do not turn the ball over much and play at a slower place, which allows less fast break opportunities and limits one of the Bucks’ strengths.

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Atlanta Hawks

Young and Danilo Gallinari will be questionable for the game, and John Collins has already been declared out. They have been battling injuries to some of their key players, yet they have still won and covered seven of their last eight.

Since the All-Star Break, the Hawks are fifth in Offensive Rating (116.6) and seventh in Net Rating (5.1), per NBA Advanced Stats. They are incredibly efficient at offense, ranking fourth in Effective Field Goal Percentage (56.6%) and fourth in Assist-to-Turnover Ratio (2.06). They should continue to keep the momentum going against a Bucks’ defense that is only ranked 17th in Defensive Rating in the last five games.

Capela has been a beast this season, averaging 15.4 PPG, 14.2 RPG and 2.2 BPG. He leads the team in Win Shares (6.4), per Basketball Reference, and has proven himself to be the most valuable and irreplaceable players on the team.

Thanks to his dominance on the boards, the Hawks are ranked ninth in second-chance points since the All-Star Break, while the Bucks are 25th in opponent’s second-chance points in the same timeframe. I expect the talented tandem of Capela and Young should keep this game within arm’s reach.

The Hawks have been performing incredibly well at home, as they’ve covered eight of their last nine games at home, dating back to Feb. 21, 2021. I see them continuing their home dominance against the road-weary Bucks.

Bucks-Hawks Pick

I don’t think the talent gap between these two teams is as wide as the current line indicates. While there are still question marks on Young and Gallinari’s availability, I would make sure you have notifications turned on to @FantasyLabsNBA on Twitter to make sure you are up-to-date with their statuses. If they are in, a six-point spread is way too many points to be giving the talented Hawks.

With all other situational factors considered such as the Bucks’ second game of back-to-back, long road trip and their struggles on the road, I make this game Hawks +1.5. Therefore, I see immense value on Hawks +6 (down to +3) and would most definitely recommend sprinkling a bit on the moneyline.

Pick: Hawks +6 (down to +3)

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