The Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets finally meet again on Sunday afternoon for the first time since a mid-January clash. The teams will reconvene to finish the season series off on Tuesday night in one of these new COVID protocol-induced two-game baseball type series. Both teams have been dealing with some significant pieces missing extended periods lately, but it seems that both sides will come into Fiserv with nearly all hands on deck.
Free Picks: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets
Top Of East’s Top Teams Meet In Milwaukee On Sunday (Season Betting Record: 90-96)
The Bucks had missed the services of two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo for six games in early April, but the Greek Freak’s sore right knee thankfully seemed no worse for the wear upon his return. However, he rolled his ankle in the first minute of the team’s Thursday night loss to the Houston Rockets and did not return.
The ankle kept him out of their contest the next day, but he is reportedly probable for this matinee matchup with the Nets, who will also be welcoming back a superstar with a checkered attendance record this season thanks to various ailments.
Kevin Durant has played in just 27 of a possible 64 games this year, his first game time since missing over a year after rupturing his achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. Durant missed 26 of 27 games from February to early-April with a left hamstring strain that the team was taking no chances with. He came back for a few games, and then missed another quartet of contests with a left thigh contusion.
Most recently, he missed Brooklyn’s last game on Friday night with what the team called a hamstring problem, but considering it was the second leg of a back-to-back, he was almost certainly sitting for rest/load management reasons. You can expect the Durantula on the floor opposite the Greek Freak on Sunday afternoon, and KD’s squad has emerged victorious in nine of the 11 contests between these two titans.
The teams have met just once before this season, a game which ended as a 125-123 upset win for the Brooklyn Nets, a result we are forecasting once again as one of our top picks with the Nets sitting as 2.5 NBA point spread underdogs. You don’t want to be an underdog, but if you have to be, it would behoove you to also be from Brooklyn.
The Phoenix Suns are the only team in the NBA with a better record as the underdog than the Nets, who have gone 11-8 straight up this season in that scenario. It’s worth noting that the Suns and Nets are the only teams in basketball with straight up underdog records above .500. Along with the Suns and the Memphis Grizzlies, the Nets are also one of just three teams with an away underdog record above .500, sitting at 6-5 SU this season.
Brooklyn has also shown a tendency to often play up or down to their competition on any given night, which is why they’ve had so much success against the top teams this season, putting up a 24-9 SU record against teams above .500, whereas the Bucks are just 19-14 against those squads.
The Nets also dropped their last game, a 128-109 defeat at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, which puts Brooklyn bettors in an enviable position: Steve Nash’s squad has not lost consecutive games since February 9th, nearly three months ago. Brooklyn is 14-6 SU following a loss this season, tops in the Eastern Conference.
Durant, Kyrie Irving and company have clearly not taken well to the taste of defeat this season, and they will therefore be looking to scrub that bad taste out of their mouths with a big win over the Bucks—who sit 3.5 games back of Brooklyn for the top seed in the East—which is why it’s one of our best bets for today. Forget the spread, we’re taking the Nets to win this one straight up at lovely +113 NBA odds as one favorite NBA pick for this clash of Eastern Conference titans.
- Brooklyn is 11-8 SU when entering a game as the underdog this season
- Milwaukee has dropped 4 of their past 8 games SU
- Brooklyn is 6-5 SU this season as the away underdog
- Brooklyn is 24-9 SU against opponents above .500
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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.