Milwaukee Bucks vs Los Angeles Lakers 2/8/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Predictions

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Lakers Matchup Preview (2/8/22)

The Los Angeles Lakers will look to build on their massive overtime win against the New York Knicks on Saturday when they host the Milwaukee Bucks at Crypto.com Arena on Tuesday night. The Bucks have been red-hot ever since they dropped a disheartening loss to the Denver Nuggets by close to 40 points on January 30th. While their opponents since then have been weaker, it is still promising because they have tended to play down to their opponents this season.

Los Angeles has returned LeBron James to its lineup after soreness to his knee forced him to miss several games. As expected, the Lakers struggled without James, but they are still in the playoff picture. In his first game back, LeBron posted an impressive triple-double on their way to a hard-earned overtime win. This game is a matchup of Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James, two of the best players in the NBA, and should be a whole lot of fun. Check out my betting analysis below and which team you should pull for as well as a look at the point total.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Lakers Betting Odds

Milwaukee has finally looked like an elite basketball team in its past three games. The Bucks have won each of those games by double-digits, which is an excellent sign for a team that has struggled with consistency and often plays down to their competition. Additionally, the Bucks have dropped 137 points in their past two games, including against the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers’ defense is comparable to the Portland Trail Blazers’ defense, so if Milwaukee shoots as well as it has been, it should be able to squeak out a road win and cover the spread.

That also takes me into my next topic: the point total. I will be all on the over in this one, simply because the Bucks have been playing unreal on the offensive end, and that should continue against an atrocious Lakers defense that gave up 115 points to the New York Knicks, 111 to the Los Angeles Clippers, and 129 to the Atlanta Hawks in recent games. I expect that the point total will be close to 230, so it should be a no-brainer if it is 224 or better.

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How To Watch Milwaukee Bucks Vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Date: 2/8/22
Time: 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Crypto.com Arena – Los Angeles, CA
Channel: TNT

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Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Pat Connaughton
SF: Khris Middleton
PF: Bobby Portis
C: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks Analysis

After dropping a disappointing home loss to the Denver Nuggets by nearly 40 points, the Milwaukee Bucks have won three straight games, convincingly, by 14, 29, and 24 points. This is a huge positive for a Bucks team that has been inconsistent at times this season. Luckily, they have virtually everyone healthy, which had contributed to that inconsistency before. In its last game, Milwaukee dismantled the Los Angeles Clippers and each Bucks starter finished with double-digit points. If Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and Bobby Portis become a bit more consistent on both ends of the floor, then this is a championship-caliber squad for the second year in a row.

Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup

PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Malik Monk
SF: LeBron James
PF: Stanley Johnson
C: Anthony Davis

Los Angeles Lakers Analysis

There are a few positives for the Los Angeles Lakers to focus on right now. For one, they finally have Anthony Davis and LeBron James back on the floor at the same time again. Since returning from his injury, Davis has played exceptionally well, averaging nearly 30 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and two steals on 58% from the field in his past five games. Meanwhile, LeBron is fresh off a triple-double of 29 points, 13 rebounds, and ten assists against the New York Knicks. Additionally, Malik Monk has been a shooting force, filling a serious void that Los Angeles has had for the past year. He has shot 41% from three and 47% from the field on the season. The massive area of improvement for the Lakers is on the defensive end. If they can even deploy an adequate defense every night, they could find themselves back in the playoff picture.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Lakers Daily Fantasy Picks

Bobby Portis is a phenomenal DFS play right now: he has scored 24 points and 30 points in his past two games while averaging 7.5 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block. Portis has seen his role increase throughout the season, with Brook Lopez remaining out with a back injury. Milwaukee recognizes that Portis will play a pivotal role in its offense, and his shooting percentages on the season also point to increased volume. Currently, Portis is shooting 49% from the field and 42% from behind the arc. These are elite shooting numbers and should be rewarded with more usage. There should come a time when Portis’ salary increases a bit more in DFS. While he is still reasonably priced, give him serious consideration.

Well, LeBron James is back, and that means it’s time for another paragraph about why you should play LBJ in your DFS lineup. James is having one of his best offensive seasons in his career and will have to even ramp it up to another level if the Lakers want a shot at the playoffs this season. Right now, Los Angeles is on the outside looking in, and it’s already almost the All-Star break, so it needs to turn things around. In his first game back from injury, LeBron posted a triple-double with 29 points, 13 rebounds, and ten assists on 13-for-24 from the floor. It’s going to take these types of efforts nightly for the Lakers to get back into the playoff picture and out of the play-in spot. And LeBron will have no choice but to take over every game from here until the playoffs.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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