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Warriors vs. Bucks Odds, Pick, Prediction: Defense Will Carry Golden State (December 13)

Warriors vs. Bucks Odds, Pick, Prediction: Defense Will Carry Golden State (December 13) article feature image
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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Steph Curry

  • The Milwaukee Bucks are short home favorites (for Tuesday night's matchup with the Golden State Warriors.
  • Milwaukee is coming off a disappointing loss to the Rockets, while Golden State most recently scored an impressive win against the East-leading Celtics.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Warriors vs. Bucks Odds

Warriors Odds +4
Bucks Odds -4
Over/Under 234
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV TNT
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Golden State Warriors will kick off a six-game road trip on Tuesday when they travel to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks.

Golden State is coming off an impressive 123-107 win in its last game over the Celtics, their 14th of the season. The Bucks enter this matchup coming off a disappointing loss to the Rockets on Sunday night.

Even though Milwaukee just lost to a Rockets team that sits in 15th in the Western Conference, the Bucks still own a record of 19-7 and now return to their home court after playing four of their last five games on the road.

Will that be enough to get the Bucks back in the win column, or will the Warriors beat a top-two team in the Eastern Conference for the second game in a row?

Let’s dive into the Warriors vs. Bucks odds with a pick and prediction below.

Warriors Winning With Improved Defense

Golden State’s win over the Celtics was impressive, especially when you consider the fact that it was just Boston’s sixth loss in 27 games this season.

The Warriors shot the basketball with tremendous efficiency, shooting 51% from the floor overall. Klay Thompson led the way with 34 points, and Steph Curry nearly matched that point total with 32 points of his own.

However, perhaps the most impressive part of that game was Golden State’s production on the defensive end of the floor, something it has struggled with this season.

The Warriors held the No. 1 offense in the NBA to just 44% from the floor overall and 30% from behind the arc. That resulted in posting a Defensive Rating of 102.9 in that matchup, a rating that is a significant improvement from their season Defensive Rating of 112.4.

Increased production on defense has been the trend for Golden State over the last week or so, as evidenced by posting a Defensive Rating of 108.2 in its last five games and allowing opponents to shoot 47% from the floor and 32% from three.

It looks like the Warriors have started to figure things out on that end of the floor, and when you combine that with their prolific offensive production the reigning champs suddenly appear to be poised to be make another run at the NBA title.

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Bucks Looking to Forget Recent Loss

Milwaukee’s most recent loss to the Rockets was easily their most disappointing performance of the season.

The Bucks shot just 37% from the floor and an abysmal 28% from three, both of which are well below their season averages of 45.6% from 37.3%, respectively. There is no doubt that level of efficiency is bound to improve, but the Bucks haven’t exactly been the most intimidating offense in the NBA this month.

Milwaukee’s Offensive Rating in the last five games sits at 107.8, down from its season rating of 111.5. That ranks 27th in the NBA in that span of time, which has resulted in the Bucks scoring 109 points or less in four of their last five games.

Luckily, the Bucks make up for their lack of offense with stellar play on the defensive end of the floor. While they may average just 107.6 points per game in their last five games, the Bucks are holding their opponents to 101.6 points per game in that time.

This one of the best defenses in the NBA, and they will need every bit of production they can get on that end of the floor in this matchup.

Warriors-Bucks Pick

The Warriors and Bucks have been in opposite positions for most of the season, with the Warriors struggling on defense and finding success on offense, and Bucks struggling with offense and finding success on defense. However, I think the Warriors’ offense is going to be what prevails in this matchup.

Even when the Warriors struggle on defense they make up for it by playing the game with a fast pace, generating the fourth-most offensive possessions per game with 102.33. Giving themselves that many chances to score puts them in a great spot every night, and when you combine that with shooting 48.1% from the floor overall and 37.6% from three, you get a recipe for a team that can hang with anyone in the NBA.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee is generating just 99.83 offensive possessions per game and ranks 24th in the NBA in field goal percentage and 17th in 3-point percentage. It’s tough for a team to score often when they are giving themselves so few chances and shooting the ball poorly.

Milwaukee has gotten away with it recently by playing three teams that rank in the bottom five of the NBA in Offensive Rating, but Golden State has proven it still has the juice to run up the score on anyone.

I like the Warriors to cover the spread on the road here, and I would play this down to 2.5.

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