The fact that the betting odds favor the Warriors is no doubt related to the status of Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who might be out of the starting lineup for the third consecutive game with an illness and a hand injury. If he misses the game, that will certainly impact the betting prediction and best bet picks for this marquee matchup. It also needs to be considered when betting on the over/under.
Read on for in-depth analysis of tonight’s Bucks vs. Warriors matchup.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Golden State Warriors Betting Odds
The Warriors actually opened as a 1-point home underdog, but the line has flipped to Warriors -1 likely as a result of the uncertainty surrounding Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Expect the line to flip back to the Bucks if Antetokounmpo is confirmed as playing. If he’s officially ruled out, it could move further in the Warriors’ direction. Either way, it’s unlikely to move more than 1-2 points in either direction.
Both teams are getting -110 odds on the moneyline, which shows just how close this matchup is. Here again, the line will be influenced by any updates on Antetokounmpo. You could get the Warriors at +100 if he’s active.
Public money is leaning towards the Bucks, who are getting over 60% of the handle and over 60% of the bets against the spread at DraftKings, per VSiN. Those numbers are coming down though as more bets are coming in on the Warriors. Those numbers are very similar for the moneyline bets as well.
The over/under for this game opened as low as 231.5 at PointsBet and 236.5 everywhere else. It has since been juiced up to 240.5 across the board. The public is hammering the over, which is getting over 80% of the handle on less than 60% of the bets at DraftKings.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Warriors winning 120.75-119.75.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Golden State Warriors Prediction
My pick: Warriors -1, Under 240.5
It’s hard to pick against the Bucks right now. They own the league’s best record and have won 19 of their last 20 games. They have won their last two games without Giannis, albeit against much weaker competition (the Magic and the Nets) than the Warriors represent.
The Warriors have lost their last three games since Stephen Curry returned from an 11-game absence due to a leg injury. All three of those losses have come on the road, however, and the Warriors are a significantly better team at the Chase Center this season. They are 27-7 at home and just 7-26 on the road.
This will be one of the toughest games the Bucks have played over their spectacular 20-game stretch, and I am betting they slip up even if Giannis returns. The Warriors are battling to avoid the play-in tournament and will get up for a marquee matchup at home against a Bucks team at less than full strength.
That said, in such a tight matchup I would not blame you if you avoided betting the spread or the moneyline in this game and instead focused on the over/under.
I really like the under in this game. The Warriors are much better defensively at home, with a staggering home/road split in defensive rating. They have a 108.1 defensive rating at home (3rd best in the league) and a 119.3 defensive rating on the road (3rd worst). The Bucks own the league’s best defensive rating on the road (109.7).
With those numbers, it’s not surprising that the under is 20-13-1 in the Warriors’ 34 home games this season, which is 3rd best in the league. When you consider that the under is a league-best 23-9 in the Bucks’ 32 road games this season, it almost seems too obvious to pick the under. That is actually the biggest thing that scares me about picking the under, but I can’t ignore the numbers.
- The Bucks are 9-0 ATS in their last nine road games.
- The Under is 5-0 in the Warriors’ last five home games.
- The Under is 5-1 in the Bucks’ last six games playing on one days’ rest.
If the Bucks want to pull off the road win, they are going to need to do it with defense and by hitting their three-pointers.
Bucks’ perimeter defense
It will be so much fun to watch the Warriors go to work offensively against one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. This is the matchup to focus on in this game.
It’s no secret that the Warriors are a perimeter-oriented, three-point shooting squad. They shoot the third-lowest percentage of their shots at the rim and the second-highest percentage of their shots from beyond the arc, according to basketball analytics website dunksandthrees.com.
The Warriors take and make the most three-point shots in the league, and make them at the fourth-highest rate (38.2%). The Bucks’ defense allows the second-lowest three point shooting percentage in the league (34.3%).
Overall, the Warriors have the fourth-best effective field goal percentage in the league (56.7%) while the Bucks have the best opponent eFG% (51.3%).
If the Warriors want to defend their home court against a team like the Bucks, they need their motion offense to create space against the Bucks’ staunch defense and help them score efficiently.
Bucks’ three-point shooting
This game will feature plenty of three-point shooting, as the Bucks are not far behind the Warriors in their reliance on the three ball. The Bucks take and make the fourth-most three-pointers per 100 possessions and the deep ball represents 44.7% of their field goal attempts (fourth highest in the league).
However, the Bucks don’t score as efficiently from long range as the Warriors. They shoot 36.5% from three, good for 11th in the league.
The Bucks like to spread the ball around at the three-point line, with 11 different players averaging at least one made three per game. They will be even more reliant on the three if Giannis misses the game. They attempted a whopping 50 three-pointers in their last game against Brooklyn.
The Bucks might need to get close to that number again in this game. If they can shoot better than the 38% mark they put up against the Nets, they have a very good chance of pulling off the win.
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineups
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineups
Milwaukee Bucks Injuries: PF Giannis Antetokounmpo (Q – illness, hand), PG Goran Dragic (P – knee), SG Wesley Matthews (O – calf)
Golden State Warriors Injuries: PF Jonathan Kuminga (P – ankle), SF Andre Iguodala (P – hip), C Kevon Looney (P – back), PG Gary Payton II (O – abdomen), SF Andrew Wiggins (O – personal), SG Ryan Rollins (O – foot)