While the 4-4 Utah Jazz are coming into this Friday night matchup in Wisconsin on a two-game losing streak, the team that will be hosting them—the Bucks—is coming into this contest on a three-game winning streak after a very worrying start to their season. Though the Jazz have put up a decent record against the spread so far this season, taking a closer look at the numbers reveals that this may just be one of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s favourite matchups of the season.
Free Picks: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Utah Jazz
Giannis Continues Dominance In The Mormon State (Season Betting Record: 9-9)
During their 2-3 start to this season, the new-look Bucks were moving like Mr. Jekyll and Dr. Hyde. It was impossible to tell whether you’d be getting the dominant team that beat the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors by an average of 43 points in their two wins, or the team that lost to the New York Knicks by 20 and those same Heat by nine a day after blowing them out. Since that suspect start, reigning NBA MVP Antetokounmpo has calmed his team down and led them to a very welcome three-game winning streak.
Antetokounmpo has actually enjoyed a pretty successful career when going up against the Jazz. Last year the Greek Freak played just two games against Utah, but in those appearances he averaged 40.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. Giannis only averaged more points against the Mavericks last season, but it’s not just a one year thing: Athens’ finest has been owning the Jazz for his whole career.
You may be surprised to know that Giannis’ top points per game split against any team in his career is just 23.6 against the Lakers in 13 total games—but just two spots back are the Jazz, against whom Antetokounpo has averaged 23.1 points per game throughout his illustrious career. Putting this matchup under more microscoping will show us that Antetokounmpo has historically shot better from deep when he’s taking on the Jazz than most other opponents, as evidenced by the fact that he has shot 33 percent from deep against the Jazz throughout his career, his highest mark against all but eight other teams.
Just last year, the Greek Freak shot 36 percent against the Jazz in a pair of matchups, which was also good for his ninth-highest mark against opponents against which he played multiple games during the 2019-2020 season. This is all to say that the Jazz have always struggled to defend Giannis, especially from beyond the arc, where they have been specifically terrible on the defensive end this season, allowing opponents to shoot 40.3 percent, second-worst in the league.
When you consider that alongside the fact that the Bucks are the best three-point shooting team in the NBA this season, you start to see a matchup that Milwaukee is built to win. That porous Utah perimeter defense will be going up against an offense that scores more three-pointers (17.6) per game at a higher rate (43.7) than any other team in the league. This league runs on three-balls, so take Giannis and the Bucks to cover their -6.5 point spread at -104 odds on 22Bet.
- Milwaukee is 4-0 ATS following a game in which they gave up 100+ points
- Utah has gone 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss
- The OVER has hit in 6 of the last 8 meetings between these teams in Milwaukee
- Utah has gone 0-4-1 in their last 5 games vs. teams with a winning percentage topping 60%
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The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.