Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Bucks vs. Lakers (2/9/2023) - Taking Vegas

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Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Bucks vs. Lakers (2/9/2023)

By TakingVegas Staff Writer
February 9, 2023
Photo by: Joe Murphy - Getty Images

Milwaukee Bucks vs Los Angeles Lakers (2/9 @ 10:00 PM EST)

Spread: Bucks -6
Money Line: Bucks -225 / Lakers +195
Total: 240

Overview and Betting Info

On Thursday night, the Milwaukee Bucks (37-17) will head to the City of Angels to take on the Los Angeles Lakers (25-30). These teams met in Milwaukee back in December, with the Bucks winning 133-129. The Bucks are currently second in the Eastern Conference, while the Lakers are thirteenth in the West.

The Bucks are 29-22 against the spread this season

The Lakers are 25-27 versus the spreads

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks come into Thursday riding a nine-game win streak. The run has helped Milwaukee chase down Boston, currently just one game back from the Eastern Conference leaders. They are fourteenth in scoring (114.5 PPG), first in rebounds (49.1 RPG), twenty-third in field goal percentage (46.3%), and sixteenth in three-point percentage (35.9%). Their offense has been vastly improved during their win streak, leading the league in scoring (123.9 PPG) during that span. Their defense has been stellar all season, ranking seventh in opponent scoring (111.8 PPG), second in field goal percentage (45.3%), first in defensive rebounds (37.4), ninth in blocks (5.0), and third in three-point percentage (34.6%). One concern is turnovers, where they are twenty-fifth by allowing 15.2 per game.

The Bucks are led by a trio of stars in Giannis Antetokounmpo (32.2 PPG, 12.4 RPG, 5.3 APG), Jrue Holiday (19.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 7.1 APG, 1.3 SPG), and Khris Middleton (12.9 PPG, 4.0 APG). Giannis is having another MVP season, ranking third in scoring and first in rebounds. He’s been incredible during their win streak, averaging 36.5 points and 16.0 rebounds. Giannis torched the Lakers for 40 points in December. Holiday is an All-Star this season, thanks to his play on both sides of the ball. His scoring has been great (46% FG, 36.9% 3PT), and he is eleventh in the NBA in assists. He is also one of the Buck’s top defenders, usually covering the opponent’s top scorers. Middleton is being eased back into the lineup but is limited to about 20 minutes per game. While he’s known for scoring, his passing ability has been a massive boost for this team. The Bucks have not lost a game that Middleton has played in 2023.

The Bucks have solid depth behind their stars, led by Grayson Allen (10.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG) and Brook Lopez (14.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.4 BPG). Allen is a sharpshooter making 40% of his three-point attempts. He’s been shooting well this month, those his scoring has fluctuated with Middleton back in the lineup. Lopez is second in the NBA in blocks and one of the team’s top three-point shooters, making 36.9% of his attempts. Lopez is coming off a 27-point and nine-rebound performance against Portland on Monday. Always watch Jevon Carter (7.3 PPG, 40% 3PT, 1.0 SPG), as the guard is a fantastic shooter and defender. With Bobby Portis (14.4 PPG, 10.1 RPG) and Joe Ingles (6.3 PPG) out, they’ll need these three to find their scoring stroke to get a win on Thursday.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have lost five of their last eight games, leading them to trade for D’Angelo Russell. That means they’ll be without Russell Westbrook, their top player off the bench. While the trade could help them make a run, the Lakers will be shorthanded tonight as they host one of the best teams in the league. LA is seventh in scoring (117.3 PPG) and field goal percentage (48.2%), fifth in rebounds (45.1 RPG), and twenty-sixth in three-point percentage (33.8%). The defense has been their Achilles heel, ranking twenty-seventh in opponent scoring (118.4 PPG) and steals (6.6 SPG).

The Lakers are led by Anthony Davis (26.7 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 2.0 BPG) and Lebron James (30.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 7.0 APG, 1.0 SPG). Davis has been incredible on offense and defense, but injuries have limited him to seven or fewer games in three of the last four months. His defense is crucial for this team’s success, especially with Giannis coming to town. He is questionable to play, which will be crucial as Davis went for 44 points, three blocks, and ten rebounds against the Bucks in December. James is also questionable for Thursday with an ankle injury. After missing some time in November, James has been a reliable starter who has been consistently excellent all season. He fell short of a triple-double against the Bucks with 28 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds. With both of these players questionable and Westbrook out, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Lakers give them a night off.

With Westbrook gone and reinforcements not ready to join, the Lakers will not have much support behind their two stars. They will rely on Riu Hachimura (12.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG) to play a significant role offensively on Thursday night. After being traded to LA a few weeks ago, he has become an essential part of this Lakers lineup behind James and Davis. The team will also rely on Lonnie Walker IV (13.7 PPG) and Dennis Schroder (12.0 PPG, 4.0 APG) to step up their scoring. Walker is an excellent shooter, making 37.3% of his attempts from three. Schroder’s scoring could be more consistent, but he does move the ball well. He’s capable of scoring in bunches, but he’s averaging just 9.7 points so far this month.

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