The shorthanded Brooklyn Nets will try to defend their home floor against the Bucks on Wednesday night. See our Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets predictions, matchup preview, betting picks, and updated odds below!
Milwaukee Bucks Vs. Brooklyn Nets Prediction
Brooklyn seems to be approaching this matchup as if it is a “punt game.” The Nets are without Ben Simmons and Lonnie Walker due to pre-existing injuries; however, they are also resting Spencer Dinwiddie and Nic Claxton for load management purposes. Dorian Finney-Smith is also questionable ahead of the game.
Unfortunately, that could leave Brooklyn without three starters (including Simmons) and its sixth man off the bench. The Nets will need to rely heavily on Mikal Bridges and Cam Thomas, who are more than capable of shooting the lights out; however, they will miss Claxton, their elite rim protector and vitally important leading rebounder. How can they fare with such an undersized frontcourt?
Thomas and Bridges should put up some big numbers against Lillard and Beasley, one of the league’s worst perimeter-defending backcourt units; their point-of-attack defense is pretty horrible. Still, the Nets’ frontcourt is in shambles, with DFS, Royce O’Neale, and Day’Ron Sharpe being tasked with stopping Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo (if he plays), Bobby Portis, and Brook Lopez.
Assuming Giannis plays, the Bucks at -7.5 is our best bet for this matchup. Rebounding and a lack of interior defense will plague the Nets in this one. The Nets have played in nine games without Nic Claxton this season and have averaged merely 44.6 rebounds per game, which would rank dead-last in the NBA.
While the Bucks aren’t the quality of rebounding team that they have been in the past (they still rank eighth in total rebounds per game), they will just obliterate this Nets team on the glass. Sure, 7.5 points is a lot to lay, especially for a road team, but the Bucks are fresh off a frustrating Christmas Day loss to New York and have an opportunity to bounce back in a big way.
Brooklyn is missing half of its key rotation players and will need miraculous performances from Cam Thomas and Mikal Bridges just to keep this game within striking distance. It’s challenging to see that happening against this Bucks team that has been playing at a high level over the past eight games; they have won seven of them and hold the fifth-best net rating in that span.
Milwaukee Bucks Vs. Brooklyn Nets Prediction: Bucks -7.5 (-110)
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Milwaukee Bucks Vs. Brooklyn Nets Best Odds
The Milwaukee Bucks are 7.5-point road favorites when they head to Barclays Center for a matchup with the Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn has long Moneyline odds of +240 to win outright, while Milwaukee is a -300 favorite to pull out a road victory. The point total for this bout rests at 240 points, which indicates a high-scoring, fast-paced matchup.
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup
Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup
Milwaukee Bucks Vs. Brooklyn Nets Injuries
Milwaukee will be without Jae Crowder (adductor tear) for this game and at least a few more weeks; he has been out since early November. Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as day-to-day due to “right calf management.” His availability will be vital to this Bucks squad, so keep an eye on the injury report leading up to the game.
Unfortunately, the Nets have a laundry list of injuries, starting with Ben Simmons (back), who has missed most of the 2023-24 campaign. Additionally, Brooklyn will be without Lonnie Walker IV (hamstring), Spencer Dinwiddie (rest), Nic Claxton (left ankle management), and Cameron Johnson (right knee management.) Dorian Finney-Smith is day-to-day with left knee soreness.