Milwaukee Bucks vs New York Knicks (11/30 @ 7:30 PM)
Spread: Bucks -6
Money Line: Bucks -215 / Knicks +185
Overview and Betting Info
The Milwaukee Bucks (14-5) are heading to the Big Apple on Wednesday to take on the New York Knicks (10-11). The Bucks won their first matchup 119-108 in Milwaukee earlier this year and have won four straight against the Knicks.
The Bucks are 12-7 against the spread this season, including two of their last five. They have gone over the total ten times this year and have done so in their previous five games.
The Knicks are 8-11-1 against the spread and have covered once in their last five games. They also have gone over the total 10 times, including in each of their last three games.
The Bucks find themselves in second place in the Eastern Conference thanks to the continued domination of Giannis Antetokounmpo. The former MVP leads the team in points (30.9) and rebounds (11.4). He has gone over 30 points in four straight games, shooting 61% from the field during that span. While Giannis’s free throws have always been an issue, it appears he has corrected things after going three straight games (and one ladder fight) making less than 50% of his attempts. One thing to watch for Giannis will be his fouls, as he registered five in two of his last three games. He has fared well against the Knick’s in the past, and he should been in for another big night Wednesday.
The Bucks lead the NBA in rebounds thanks to one of the strongest frontcourts in the league in Giannis, Brook Lopez, and Bobby Portis. Lopez has been a pleasant surprise as he has returned strong from injury to average 15.8 points and lead the NBA in blocks per game with 2.9. He played well in their first matchup with the Knicks, going for 14 points and 11 rebounds. Portis has led the bench and Is averaging 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. This trip of big man has dominated the paint, helping give the Bucks one of the top defenses in the NBA.
While the Bucks are still without Khris Middleton, they have been getting a lot of scoring from their backcourt. Jrue Holiday leads the group with 17.5 points and 7.4 assists per game. He joins Grayson Allen (11.2 PPG) and Jevon Carter (9.4) to provide support for Giannis. Don’t let Carter’s single-digit average fool you, as he can score in bunches when needed. Carter is also an excellent defender, making him and Holiday one of the best defensive backcourts in the NBA. Keep an eye out for Allen, who is coming off a 25-point effort and always seems to step up on the road.
New York Knicks
The Knicks come into Wednesday fresh off a blowout win against the lowly Pistons, but it was only their second win in their last six games. When looking at the schedule, it is apparent that this team lives and dies with the play of star Julius Randle. The forward is averaging 21.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, but consistency has been an issue. While a win over the Pistons isn’t that impressive, we saw an incredible performance from Randle, including him taking a season-high 13 three-pointers. It’s encouraging to see Randle thrive with this kind of volume, and we’ll see if it continues tonight.
RJ Barrett (18.4 PPG) and Jalen Brunson (21.5 PPF) join Julius Randle to dominate scoring for the Knicks. Brunson has proven to be a critical addition to this team, as he provides consistent scoring that Barrett failed to do the last couple of seasons. He’s a great distributor, too, averaging 6.6 assists per game. The point guard has scored over 30 points in three of his last four games and has become the #2 option for this team. Keep an eye on guard Immanuel Quickley, as he has proven he can step up to score when needed.
Center Mitchell Robinson has been starting alongside Randle and is averaging an impressive 2.2 blocks per game. His scoring is inconsistent, but his ability to grab rebounds and defense opposing big men has been vital for the Knicks. They also have Isaiah Hartenstein, averaging 7 rebounds per game off the bench and splitting minutes with Mitchell to keep both big men fresh. Keep an eye on power forward Obi Toppin off the bench, as he is shooting over 36% from three this season. This frontcourt will be the key to the game Wednesday as they face one of the best in the league in Giannis, Lopez, and Portis.
Free Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -5.5
While last night’s win looks great, it’s the Knicks’ second in their previous six. When you look at the Knicks’ schedule, most of their wins are coming against struggling teams. Their losses of late have come against teams of Buck’s caliber, showing that they are just not to the level of the NBA’s elite. Brunson has been fantastic, but Carter and Holiday will provide a defensive challenge that will limit his looks. If the Bucks can limit Brunson, we don’t see the Knicks having enough firepower to beat this impressive Buck’s defense.
We’re giving up the points to roll with Milwaukee in this one.