Washington Wizards vs Milwaukee Bucks: Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds (1/3/23)

It’s not the most ideal NBA slate, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t actionable games for our hard-earned dollars. One of them being the rematch of the Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks as they battle it out for the second time in the year 2023 already. The Wizards got the upper hand in their first game against each other but that was without four Bucks starters. Can the Bucks get their revenge? Get Wizards Vs. Bucks prediction, picks, odds, and starting lineups for 1/3/23.

Washington Wizards vs Milwaukee Bucks Betting Odds

Oddsmakers believe so as they opened the Bucks as a -8.5 favorite. This is heavily predicated on the return of Giannis, Jrue Holiday, and George Hill as they were without them in their last game against the Wizards. This was a major blow to their offensive production as they have lived and breathed through Giannis’ style of play. Jrue Holiday as well, providing a much-needed scoring effort until Middleton returns.

As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a moderate pace as oddsmakers opened the total at 226. Bettors have been neutral on the number, failing to move it in either direction as of writing. With the Wizards defense playing at an elite level and the Bucks starters returning from load management, this total brings intrigue as their earlier matchup provided no sense of resemblance of what we may see in this one.

Washington Wizards vs Milwaukee Bucks Prediction

The Pick: Wait on Bucks number

This rematch brings a lot more intrigue than their first game against each other as the Bucks return a brunt of their scoring identity. The missing pieces of Giannis, George Hill, and Jrue Holiday were unexpected and the Bucks scoring production paid dearly without them. While listed as probable, it is fully expected that they will suit up in this rematch as the Bucks look to get back on track.

With that said, I will wait to see if this number ticks down as it has already gone from -8.5 to -8. Should it tick below -6, then I will place a small wager on the Bucks with their newfound health.

It will not be easy as the Wizards defense has ramped up to an elite level over the past few games. In the midst of their win streak, their defense has ranked first in the league in Defensive Rating. The offense has still faltered, but their defense has kept them competitive by limiting opposing scoring production.

They have cut off perimeter scoring, limiting opposing three-point production to a league low. Not only the perimeter, but the interior as well which will be the key metric to watch as Giannis makes his return. The Wizards defense held up in their previous meeting, but they didn’t have the raging bull in a China shop that is Giannis commanding attention as he drives towards the basket.

Betting Trends

  • Bucks are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 home games against a team with a road losing record
  • Wizards are 3-9-2 ATS in their last 14 games coming off of one day’s rest

Key Matchups

How will the Bucks respond to the newfound Wizards defense?

Giannis vs Wizards interior defense

As previously mentioned, the Wizards defense over the past couple of games have ramped up to an all-time high level of play. This has been the main catalyst to their recent success. But now they have to prepare for the raging bull that is Giannis.

Giannis has stepped up to be a lethal force with improved ball handling in his pursuit towards the basket. This has forced opposing defenses down into the paint to form a wall in hopes of limiting his quality looks at the rim.

What gives me confidence in the Bucks is that Giannis has also improved in his vision which makes them even more dangerous with lethal shooters at the perimeter. If the defense has to crash down low, this leaves for much better looks from deep for the Bucks to pour it on them.

Verdict

Be sure to monitor the Bucks health and watch the line movement before placing a wager. This is a pass for me unless this continues to steam down with hopes of grabbing the key number of -6.

Washington Wizards Starting Lineup

PG: Monte Morris
SG: Bradley Beal
SF: Kyle Kuzma
PF: Daniel Gafford
C: Kristaps Porzingis

Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineups

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Grayson Allen
SF: Pat Connaughton
PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
C: Brook Lopez

Key Injuries

Washington Wizards Injuries: Taj Gibson (Q), Bradley Beal (Q)

Milwaukee Bucks Injuries: Khris Middleton (O), George Hill (P), Giannis Antetokounmpo (P), Jrue Holiday (P)

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

Hot NBA Stories