Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo would have been quite a matchup to watch on Wednesday night, but unfortunately the Lakers remain without the King or his sidekick, Anthony Davis. Therefore they will be trotting out another mixture of spare parts to take on the two-time reigning NBA MVP, and we’d expect a big win for Wisconsin’s finest.
Free Picks: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis And The Bucks Look To Beat Up On Lebron-Less Lakers (Season Betting Record: 71-80)
The Lakers have won two straight games coming into Wednesday night, but considering they were tight games against two of the three worst teams in the Eastern Conference, we wouldn’t say that L.A. is exactly rolling right now. They face a much tougher test in the Bucks, even if Milwaukee is coming in having lost three games on the bounce.
The Bucks lost five straight games back in February when Jrue Holiday was out of the lineup, but they are all healthy now, and they cannot abide a fourth straight loss with the way the Brooklyn Nets have been playing over the past few weeks. The Nets are winning consistently without two of their best players, so if a full-strength Bucks team can’t take down the Lakers minus a King and a Brow, they’ve got some real issues.
Milwaukee should have no problem taking care of business against the Lakers, especially considering they just played at the Staples Center a couple of days ago against the Los Angeles Clippers, so they won’t be coming into the matchup with a bunch of air miles on them.
L.A. has also struggled mightily since LeBron went down, going 1-5 against the spread in their last seven games. They have some decent pieces, but it’s clear that they are all pieces that were brought in to complement James and Davis, and when those two are MIA, it can get ugly. Andre Drummond’s Lakers debut on Wednesday should give them a boost, but considering how long he’s been inactive, we expect him to come in a bit rusty.
Giannis and company have had a good time in this matchup of late, winning five of the last seven meetings ATS. Milwaukee needs this game just as much as the free-falling Lakers if they want to stay within striking distance of the top seed in the East, so we’ll take them to get the job done with a -7.5 NBA point spread at -125 NBA odds as one of our top picks on this tilt.
We also have a couple of player props in mind for this clash of top seeds, the first of which is on Montrezl Harrell. The defending Sixth Man of the Year continues to be a spark off the bench and one of the few consistent performers for L.A. during this tough period, averaging 21.0 points over his past six contests.
The arrival of Drummond will be rough for Harrell’s usage rate, but considering it’s the big man’s debut on Wednesday, we’d expect him be rusty, limited, or both. Harrell will remain in his spot in the second unit and continue to get his opportunities, so we like the over on Harrell’s 14.5 point prop at -125 NBA odds as another of our favorite NBA picks for this game as long as it stays below 17.
Another wager we’re high on is the over on Antetokounmpo’s 27.5 points prop at -125 NBA odds. The Greek Freak has been especially potent against the Western Conference this season, putting up 30.6 points per game against them this season.
There is a slight chance that this game gets out of hand too early for Giannis to reach this prop, but we’d expect him to get to the basket early and often against a a rusty Drummond, an over-the-hill Marc Gasol, an undersized Harrell, or whatever other misfit toy they throw at the seven foot comet that is Giannis Antetokounmpo.
- Milwaukee is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings
- Los Angeles in 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games
- Montrezl Harrell has averaged 21.0 points over his past six games
- Giannis Antetokounmpo has averaged 30.6 points against the Western Conference this season
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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.