Los Angeles Clippers (29-25) at Milwaukee Bucks (34-17)
Game Info: Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 10:00 p.m. EST (Fiserv Forum)
Betting Odds: Bucks (-4) / Over/Under (230)
Pick: Bucks (-4)
Thursday night brings us an enticing matchup between two of the NBA Finals hopefuls, when the Los Angeles Clippers head into Milwaukee to take on the Bucks in a primetime slot.
Los Angeles is a juggernaut when Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are clicking on all cylinders. They have won 4 out of their last 5 away games, and 5 out of their last 6 overall (5-1 ATS in this run), and have jumped all the way up to the 4th seed in the Western Conference. As they come into Fiserv Forum, they will be without Marcus Morris Sr. and John Wall, who play a key part in their success. With Morris out, they will most likely turn towards Nicolas Batum and Robert Covington to carry the load on the defensive end against Giannis Antetokounmpo, who will surely be on his A game as he has been all season, but especially over the last 5 games in which he has averaged 37.4 PPG. They rank 24th in offensive ranking, but a large part of this is the fact that George and Leonard have been in and out of the lineup all year so far. If they are to secure their biggest win of the year so far on the road, they will need their superstars going from the get go to quiet the crowd and execute in crunch time.
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Milwaukee is streaking again, winning 7 out of their last 8 games (5-3 ATS in this stretch). After scoring only 7 points last week against the Hawks, Antetokounmpo has really elevated his game over the last week. With 2 40+ outings in a row, he has boosted his PPG total to 31.8 on the year, and is fully in the MVP conversation because of it. Even though they are one of the best teams in the league with a 34-17 record, it seems as though they still fly under the radar when talking about the true contenders in the league. They rank 3rd in defensive rating, and a large part of this has to do with Giannis and Brook Lopez being able to clog the paint night after night, forcing contested shots all over the floor. They are fully in contention to secure the 1 seed by the end of the year if they can continue to play like this on both sides of the ball, only sitting 2 games back of the Boston Celtics at the moment. We shall see if their dominance can continue tonight on TNT.
A few betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- The Bucks are 17-9 ATS as the home team
- Milwaukee is 11-6-1 ATS in non-Conference games
- The under has hit in 20 out of 33 games that the Clippers have played on equal rest as the opposing team
The Bucks are simply unstoppable when Giannis is at his peak, which he currently is at right now. They are 21-5 SU at home, and have been able to stifle the opponents top players when it matters late in games. George and Leonard will most likely get their own for the majority of the game, but Jrue Holiday will play the primary ball handler in the 4th quarter and lock down the perimeter for Milwaukee to be able to get in transition in key moments. Give me the Bucks to win by a substantial margin at home against L.A.
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