Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks continue their West Coast tour when they head to Los Angeles to take on the new-look Lakers. Check out our betting predictions and picks, the current betting odds, and the projected starting lineups for both teams below.
Milwaukee Bucks Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Betting Odds
The Los Angeles Lakers are five-point home dogs against the soaring Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night. Los Angeles will be without several players, as it just executed a massive three-way trade with the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, D’Angelo Russell, and Scotty Pippen Jr are out for the Lakers, while LeBron James and Anthony Davis are listed as questionable ahead of the matchup.
Milwaukee will miss Joe Ingles, Serge Ibaka, and Bobby Portis. Giannis is probable for this bout, while Brook Lopez will likely be a game-time decision.
Milwaukee Bucks Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction
It has not been the redemption season that the Los Angeles Lakers had hoped for so far during the 2022-23 campaign; however, they have just made several pretty significant moves that could change the trajectory of this team.
Los Angeles traded Kendrick Nunn and some draft compensation to the Washington Wizards for forward Rui Hachimura. Further, the Lakers just moved Russell Westbrook and a first-round pick for Jarred Vanderbilt, D’Angelo Russell, and Malik Beasley. Suddenly, this squad may have some life.
For this matchup, Los Angeles will not have Beasley, Russell, or Vanderbilt, who are all expected to make their debut this weekend. The Lakers will be slightly shorthanded against a Milwaukee team that has been on fire recently; they might even punt the game and decide to sit LeBron James and/or Anthony Davis.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee has been incredible since returning Khris Middleton to the lineup, winning eight-straight games. Middleton hasn’t been starting for the Bucks, as they are attempting to ease him back into his usual workload; however, his return has given this team newfound confidence, especially on the offensive end of the floor.
In their past eight games, Milwaukee has a net rating of 11.8 (offensive rating of 119.4 and a defensive rating of 107.6.) In short, the Bucks have been virtually unstoppable, beating teams by an average of 12 points and holding them to 43.7% shooting from the field.
Since the Lakers won’t have any of their new players available for this game, I can see them punting it against a scalding hot Bucks squad. Grabbing this line now at five points could end up being quite valuable if the Lakers rule out AD or LeBron.
- Milwaukee is 11-12-3 ATS on the road in 2022-23
- Los Angeles is 13-13 ATS at home in 2022-23
- The combined over record of these two teams is 57-52 in 2022-23
Assuming that Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo are both available for this game, they will make up our key matchup. See whether Giannis or AD has the advantage in our breakdown below!
Anthony Davis vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo
With the possibility that Brook Lopez will miss this game and the fact that Bobby Portis and Serge Ibaka have already been ruled out, Giannis very well may start at the five for Milwaukee. If that happens, we will get an incredibly intriguing head-to-head battle between Giannis and AD, two of the best power forwards in the NBA!
Giannis appears to have new life after missing five games in mid-January, clearly due to being exhausted. Antetokounmpo had put together a number of ludicrous outings before finally succumbing to the weight of shouldering the Bucks; he had nine, 22, and seven points in his three games before getting much-needed rest.
In his past six games, Giannis has averaged 40 points, 15 rebounds, and six assists; the Bucks have won every one of those games.
Meanwhile, Anthony Davis returned to action two weeks ago and had played well against the Knicks, Pacers, and Pelicans before having a dud game against the Thunder in his last game. That was the game LeBron secured the record for all-time points, so perhaps that hyper-focus on getting LeBron across the finish line was a reason for his 13-point and eight-rebound outing.
Regardless, Giannis has been unstoppable and AD is still shaking some rust off. Expect another Antetokounmpo explosion. Advantage: Giannis.
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineups
Milwaukee Bucks Injuries: Joe Ingles (Out), Serge Ibaka (Out), Bobby Portis (Out), Giannis Antetokounmpo (P), Brook Lopez (Q)
Los Angeles Lakers Injuries: LeBron James (Q), Anthony Davis (Q), Scotty Pippen Jr (Out), Malik Beasley (Out), Jarred Vanderbilt (Out), D’Angelo Russell (Out)