The New York Knicks (12-7) meet the Milwaukee Bucks (14-6) this Tuesday (12/5/23). Get Knicks vs. Bucks moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.
New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Prediction
The Knicks have reached 113 points in four straight games now, and they possess an excellent chance to continue the streak against a Bucks team that ranks 21st in Defensive Rating.
Damian Lillard and Malik Beasley form one of the worst point-of-attack defensive duos in the NBA. Milwaukee has faced pick-and-roll ball screens at the fourth highest rate per ShotQuality because opponents can find success running their small guards through screens. Brook Lopez’s backpedaling drop defense is reducing shots at the rim, but it allows opponents to kill them via pull-up mid-range jumpers. Enter Jalen Brunson, who thrives in this department and scorched them for 45 points during their previous matchup this season. Whether it’s via the pick-and-roll or in isolation, Brunson should have a monster game against this putrid Bucks perimeter defense.
Lopez’s unwillingness to hard hedge the high pick-and-roll combined with their guards routinely dying on screens has also led to opponents producing the eighth largest off-the-dribble three-point frequency. Brunson and Immanuel Quickley are both north of 40% on pull-up three-pointers this season, so they can punish Milwaukee’s defensive scheme.
Meanwhile, because opponents can penetrate the paint with ease, Milwaukee has often been forced to collapse inside, thus leading to drive-and-kicks for open threes. As a result, the Bucks rank 21st defending the three-point line based on average opponent shot quality. The Knicks are starting to heat up too; they own a 39 3PT% on catch and shoot threes over their last ten games.
Finally, New York’s rebounding is a major threat. They are second in offensive rebound rate, third in put-back frequency, and first in offensive box out rate due to Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson’s dominance. The Bucks are by no means a weak rebounding team, but New York is nearly an unstoppable force in terms of grabbing contested rebounds and applying pressure on the glass.
Overall, the Knicks sit in an excellent position to rack up points against Milwaukee’s vulnerable defense.
New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Prediction: Knicks Over 112.5 Points
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New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Best Odds
The Bucks are favored by 5.5 points in this matchup and own an ugly -205 moneyline. New York needs to win this game roughly 36.8 percent of the time for their +172 moneyline to have a positive expected value. Otherwise, the bet is not profitable in the long run.
New York Knicks Starting Lineup
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup
New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Injuries
Jae Crowder and Pat Connaughton are out for Milwaukee, while rookie Andre Jackson Jr is questionable. The Knicks, on the other hand, will have their full rotation at their disposal.
New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Key Matchups
Julius Randle’s 3PT Shooting
Giannis Antetokounmpo loves to roam and operate as a weak-side helper, but it can leave him vulnerable to power forwards with spot up shooting chops. Unfortunately for New York, Julius Randle is an extremely streaky shooter – especially from deep – who owns a 30.2 3PT% over his past ten games. If Randle can produce league average efficiency from three, then New York’s over chances are significantly boosted.
Immanuel Quickley’s Offensive Production
The Sixth Man of the Year candidate is averaging 15.4 points and 2.8 assists on 43/36/88 shooting splits. His speed will be an issue for Milwaukee’s guards, especially in transition. If Quickley can hit his pull-up jumpers and collect a few assists while orchestrating the bench unit, then the Knicks’ offense is in great shape here.