Knicks vs Bucks Prediction Odds, Pick Today | NBA Betting Preview (Sunday, April 7)

Knicks vs Bucks Prediction Odds, Pick Today | NBA Betting Preview (Sunday, April 7) article feature image

Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks shoots during the fourth quarter of the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images)

Knicks vs. Bucks Prediction

Sunday, April 7
7 p.m. ET
Knicks Odds
Bucks Odds
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about Knicks vs. Bucks on Sunday, April 7 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today's game.

Plenty of teams are still jockeying for playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics are the only franchise currently locked into a playoff seed at No. 1. No more than two games separate the four teams below the Celtics, but none won in their last outing.

That should change with two of those teams, the Knicks and the Bucks, set to face one another in Milwaukee on Sunday night.

The Bucks enter the game on a disappointing three-game losing streak against teams already eliminated from playoff contention. The Knicks have also been struggling, and their 108-100 loss to the Bulls on Friday was their fourth in five games.

Given these teams' recent form, bettors should be somewhat cautious about backing either. Instead, trying our luck at a play on the total might make more sense.

Find my Knicks vs. Bucks prediction and NBA betting preview below.

New York Knicks

The Knicks don't play with a ton of pace as they're currently last in the league with 98.9 possessions per game, per TeamRankings. Their home-away splits reveal a bit more as New York averages 97.7 possessions at Madison Square Garden and 100.1 on the road. Those numbers show that the Knicks often fail to dictate the game's pace while away from home.

As a result, when considering a play on the over in a Knicks' game, you'll probably have better success when they're on the road. A quick scan of New York's over-under results using its home-away splits confirms my supposition. At the Garden, the Knicks are 13-26 to the over, while on the road, the over improves to 19-19.

If you look at the Knicks' offensive efficiency, they rank 12th with 113.6 points per 100 possessions. At home, their offensive rating is 113.5 and 113.6 on the road. Thus, there isn't much difference in how the Knicks approach their offense and their ability to score the basket, whether home or away.

The key variable here is what type of tempo tonight's matchup will feature.

Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee is certainly a team that likes to play with pace as the Bucks rank sixth with 104 possessions per game. The Bucks have played a bit faster at home this season, considering they average 104.7 possessions at home vs. 103.4 on the road.

Consequently, we have an ideal scenario for over bettors with a visiting team that plays faster on the road against a host that plays faster at home.

Offensively, Milwaukee is a top-five team by efficiency, averaging 115.2 points per 100 possessions. At home, those numbers slightly improve to 116.7. However, the Bucks have struggled on defense. After finishing last season fourth in Defensive Efficiency (109.0), Milwaukee has regressed to 18th (112.2) this season.

While the decision to fire head coach Adrian Griffin and replace him with Doc Rivers resulted in a four-point improvement (112.8 vs. 116.8) in the Bucks' Defensive Rating, Milwaukee is just 15-16 under its new head coach after starting 30-13 under his predecessor.

Therefore, it's apparent that the Bucks' overall issues this season extend far beyond their defensive struggles early on.

Knicks vs. Bucks

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Bucks' most recent loss was against a Raptors team that entered on a 15-game losing streak. It's almost like the Raptors were content to run down the clock and give games away to their opponents, but even then, the Bucks still couldn't take the bait.

The Bucks are struggling with a lack of confidence at the moment, and it clearly shows in their play. In Rivers's postgame press conference, he expounded on the pressure on his team.

"You can feel it during the game," Rivers said. Even one of the officials said, 'You can feel the heaviness of your team right now.'" Rivers also took full blame for the loss when he met the media.

"This is on me; I have to figure out what we got to do to play at a higher pace," Rivers said. "I'm frustrated, and they're frustrated, but that's not gonna get you anywhere. We have to work ourselves through this."

While it's not often that a head coach gives away the game plan, Rivers may want his team to play faster to prevent them from focusing so much on each possession.

That line of reasoning would undoubtedly appeal to a play on the over, and with a total of 220 at bet365, that number feels a bit short. After running the numbers, my model projects a total closer to 224, which gives me a decent edge at the current number.

Pick: Over 220 (-110 at bet365)

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