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Blazers-Bucks Betting Preview: Can Portland Cover on the Road Back-To-Back?

Nov 21, 2018 5:12 PM EST

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Betting odds: Portland Trail Blazers at Milwaukee Bucks

  • Spread: Bucks -7
  • Over/Under: 224.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET

>> All odds as of noon ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets


The Milwaukee Bucks are 12-4 and now own the league’s best point differential. Can they keep things rolling against a Portland Trail Blazers team playing on the second leg of a back-to-back? Our analysts dive in.

Betting Trends to Know

This is the second game of a back-to-back for Portland, which is unfortunate for the Blazers. In matchups featuring good teams with win rates of at least 60%, the squad playing the second game of a back-to-back on the road against an opponent on normal rest of at least two days has gone 134-262 (34%) straight-up and 175-214-7 (45%) against the spread since 2005.John Ewing

In this edition of The Streak Can’t Continue, the Bucks are 12-4 to the over in their 16 games and are averaging 120.1 points per game, the most in the NBA.

Since 2005, home teams seeing at least 75% of games go over the total are actually 173-201-4 (46.3%) to the over. When those teams are averaging 110 or more points per game entering that game, they are 40-59-1 (40.4%) to the over, going under the total by 4.7 points per game. Evan Abrams

Mears: Is the Over/Under Worth Betting?

If you were shocked by the line here being Bucks -7, you aren’t alone.

The Blazers are one of the best teams in the league this season, posting a stellar +6.2 point differential — fifth in the league, per Cleaning the Glass — and ranking top 10 in both offensive and defense.

One reason why the spread is so high is because Portland is playing on the second leg of a road back-to-back. On Tuesday night the Blazers played the lowly Knicks, but only won by four, failing to cover the 7.5-point spread.

CJ McCollum had to go 38 minutes in that one, and Damian Lillard went 36. They combined for 45 shots attempts, and now they face the league’s best team, per point differential, in the Bucks.

Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co. sit first by a mile in Net Rating, outscoring opponents by a ridiculous 11.2 points per 100 possessions. That puts them on pace for 66 wins this season. The Warriors are second in Net Rating with a +8.0 mark and are on pace for 60 wins. The Bucks … yeah, they’re pretty good.

So if you’re surprised at the line, don’t be. It’s about right. What I’m more interested in is the total.

The Bucks have the best offense in the league; they won’t have problems scoring against a tired Blazers squad that allowed the Knicks to put up 114 a day ago. There’s room for the Blazers to put up points, too. The Bucks (by design) allow a ton of 3-pointers, as they really pack the paint. That means it likely won’t be a Jusuf Nurkic game; rather, Dame and CJ will have to fire away from distance. And they’ve been good in that regard, ranking ninth in 3-point percentage and sixth from the corner.

The Bucks are 12-4 to the over this season, including 7-2 at home. The Blazers are 5-3 to the over on the road. The trend Evan highlighted above suggests that the betting market will adjust to these over-hitting teams, but the betting market might not have adjusted quite enough yet.

I think the total is a couple points too low given how these teams project to play. Bryan Mears


Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

Credit:

Photo credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Damian Lillard

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