Friday NBA Odds & Picks for Bucks vs. Trail Blazers: Expect Both Teams to Score With Ease (April 2)
Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers.
- Friday night brings us a fun NBATV matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers.
- Both teams bring high-powered offenses, which is why this game has the highest total of any on the card.
- Austin Wang explains why he's looking at the over/under as his top play below.
Bucks vs. Trail Blazers Odds
|Trail Blazers Odds||+3.5|
|Moneyline||-152 / +128|
|Time||Friday, 10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings|
The Milwaukee Bucks visit Portland to play the red-hot Trail Blazers on Friday night in a cross-conference showdown between two playoff contenders in what should be an entertaining affair.
In their last match-up on Feb. 1, the Bucks beat the Trail Blazers in a 134-106 blowout. The Trail Blazers did not have C.J. McCollum available during that game and with his presence back, they should put up more points and be much more competitive this go-around.
Since returning back from All-Star break, the Bucks and Trail Blazers are first (119) and third (116.3) in points per game. With two efficient, 3-pointer-happy offenses and below-average defenses, I predict this will be a high-scoring shootout.
The Bucks were able to dispose of the Los Angeles Lakers easily Wednesday and blow the game open in the second half. Entering Friday, the Bucks rank in Pace (102.24), per NBA Advanced Stats. They keep the tempo moving fast and rarely take their foot off the pedal.
The Bucks have gone 28-19 (59.6%) to the over for the season and 8-3 (72.7%) to the over in the last 11 games, per our Bet Labs tool. The two games that went under were against the Knicks and the Lakers, two struggling offenses. The healthy Bucks should continue their high-scoring ways against a Trail Blazers defense that does not instill fear on anyone.
The Bucks missed Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo each for several games. With both of them healthy and back in the lineup with a couple of games under their belt, I expect their offense to be a well-oiled machine. With newly-acquired defensive bulldog P.J. Tucker still not expected to return from injury, I don’t see them placing much pressure on the Trail Blazers’ potent offense.
The Bucks have three players averaging at least two made 3-pointers per game:
- Khris Middleton: 2.2 3-pointers made per game at 43.6%
- Bryn Forbes: 2.1 3-pointers made per game at 45%
- Donte DiVincenzo: 2.0 3-pointers made per game at 38.6%
The Blazers’ perimeter defense is lacking and they rank 20th (37.4%) in 3-point percentage allowed. I expect all of the Milwaukee’s shooters to have a field day.
Portland Trail Blazers
McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic are both back from extended absences and newcomer Norman Powell has already made an immediate impact. With three games together under their belt, they seem to have good chemistry with one another and I expect their offense to look sharp.
Obviously, getting McCollum’s 24.2 points per game and 4.2 3-pointers per game will help, but don’t underrate Powell’s incredible efficiency — the sharpshooter is averaging 2.8 3-pointers per game at a 44.5% clip.
In addition, Nurkic’s return allows Enes Kanter to move to the bench, where he can continue his strong play against the Bucks’ small second unit. Carmelo Anthony has also been effective off the bench and these two should really keep the fireworks going while playing absolutely no defense.
The Trail Blazers rank first in Offensive Rating (121.9) in their past five games and have gone 7-4-1 to (63.6%) to the over since the all-star break. Since last season, the Trail Blazers are 16-6 (72.7%) to the over on the first game of a back-to-back, per SDQL. Perhaps they save a bit of their energy for the second game and sacrifice defense in order to do what they do best: score.
Bucks-Trail Blazers Pick
Two efficient offenses, struggling defenses and a game I expect to be up-tempo help support my recommendation on the over. I think Bucks will dictate the fast pace with their aggressive style of play and will have success with their high-volume 3-point shooting against the Trail Blazers’ lack of perimeter defense. With McCollum back healthy, I expect the Trail Blazers already-incredible offense to get an even bigger boost.
This season, totals over 235 have gone 40-17-1 (70.2%). Sit back, enjoy your Friday and watch the points come pouring in. Even though it is a lofty total, I expect these two teams to hit it with ease and I make the fair total at 239. I would also not be surprised if the Trail Blazers can pull an upset at home.
Pick: Over 236 (up to 237.5)