Thunder vs. Bucks Odds, Picks & Betting Predictions: Will Giannis & Co. Dominate OKC’s Underrated Squad?
Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks handles the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder
- The update betting odds for Friday's Thunder vs. Bucks game list Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee as double-digit favorites (spread: -10) to get their 51st win with the over/under set at 226.
- Key injuries for both teams -- Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari and Bucks guard Kris Middleton are out -- have moved the spread back and forth all afternoon.
- Get our NBA crew's picks for Thunder vs. Bucks below.
NBA fans and bettors couldn’t have asked for a more interesting matchup in a game that pits a potential 70-win team against one of the best stories in the league.
The Milwaukee Bucks host the Oklahoma City Thunder who just played on Thursday and came back against the Kings after being down 17 points in the third quarter. The Thunder will almost certainly have tired legs playing in a road back-to-back on Friday night.
Will the Bucks take advantage and dominate as usual? Our experts make their picks for tonight’s primetime matchup below.
Thunder at Bucks Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions
- Spread: Bucks -11.5
- Over/Under: 229
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: ESPN
Betting Trend to Know
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been the best team against the spread in the NBA for bettors by pretty much any measure. They have the best overall ATS record (38-21), bets ATS road record (21-6) and second-best ATS record against teams above .500 (16-9).
They face a tough test tonight on the road in the second game of a back-to-back against the best team in the NBA, but have proven to be strong in these situations. They are 8-0 in the second game of a back-to-back including 6-0 in road back-to-backs, both are tops in the league this season.
Matt Moore: Do Not Sleep on OKC
We have nearly two full seasons of the Mike Budenholzer Bucks, with essentially the same roster, same system, same trends and the same dominance. So we can look at teams they’re great against and so-so-against because, well, they’re not bad against anyone.
Let’s start here: the Bucks are 11-14 ATS at home vs. Western Conference opponents under Budenholzer. It’s one of the few splits where they’re underwater. Make that a double-digit spread, and they are 5-10 the past two seasons, per our Bet Labs database.
I like this approach because the gap between the lower teams in the West and the higher ones is shorter; the bad West teams are pretty decent but can’t get wins, while in the East the bad teams are decidedly worse than the top teams. So the record disparities are similar, but the team qualities are not because the East is playing fewer games vs. good-not-great teams.
Meanwhile, the Thunder are not only the best team ATS in basketball but 13-7 ATS vs. teams with a winning percentage above 60%, and 6-2 on the road vs. East teams this year. That last one I don’t love so much because the Bucks are not just any East team.
The Thunder are the second-best team scoring out of pick-and-rolls this season. The Bucks’ entire scheme is to drop and give up those short-range jumpers, which the OKC guards have success taking. Meanwhile, the Thunder is the second-best team defending spot-up shots. OKC gives up the eighth-fewest made 3-pointers per 100 possessions. That’s crucial for slowing down the Bucks’ offense.
Giannis Antetokounmpo will likely have a huge game, as he often does — OKC ranks just 11th defending the rim — and Khris Middleton could have a big game in the mid-range. But by making this more of a rock fight inside, the Thunder can keep contact and stay in the game.
I don’t think OKC can win. But I’m grabbing double-digits every time with OKC, even against the mighty Bucks.
The PICK: Thunder +10.5 (line has since moved to +11.5)
Justin Phan: Wear and Tear Gives Bucks Value
The Bucks are 8-0 with a +17.4 efficiency differential and +4.9 spread differential with one day of rest and facing an opponent on the second leg of back-to-back.
Danilo Gallinari played 33.6 minutes against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, the most he’s played in a game in over a month, and has sat the second leg of the Thunder’s last four back-to-backs. Good chance he sits this one out and OKC will be thinner than usual to cover for his absence without Darius Bazley.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has played in eight-of-nine games this season that he’s been initially listed probable.
The PICK: Bucks -10 (line has since moved to -11.5)
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.