Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks Free Pick 1/3/23, NBA Odds, NBA Predictions

Washington Wizards (17-21) at Milwaukee Bucks (23-13)

Game Info: Tuesday, January 3, 2023 at 8:00 p.m. EST (Fiserv Forum)

Betting Odds: Bucks (-8) / Over/Under (226)

Pick: Wizards (+8)

Tonight we are going to travel all the way up north to frigid Milwaukee to take a look at a matchup we just saw a few nights ago as the Wizards travel to play the Bucks. Coming off of a drubbing at home to the Wizards on Sunday night, Milwaukee will look to get right in this game to keep pace with the Celtics atop the Eastern Conference. 

Washington will love their chances against Milwaukee in this one, even if Giannis Antetokounmpo is ready to go after not playing last game agains them. They are currently on a 5 game win streak, their longest of the season, in which they have also handily covered in each of these games too (5-0 ATS). This is in large part to their ever improving defense that is ranked 1st in the NBA over this span in defensive rating (103.4). During this stretch they have managed to guard the perimeter very well, which has allowed them to get long rebounds and get going in transition in order to put up easy points. Leading their team on the offensive side of the ball is Kristaps Porzingis, who I don't think is getting enough respect around the league for how well he has played all season. He is averaging 22.2 PPG and has added in 8.9 RPG in his stellar season so far. He will look to get going early in order to keep the raucous Milwaukee crowd quiet as he tries to help his team climb into the picture in the East. 

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Milwaukee has been Milwaukee so far this year. Over the past few seasons, they have been an outstanding all around team on both ends of the floor, starting with their main man, Giannis Antetokounmpo. He is questionable going into this one, but early reports are that he will be active. But, he will most likely be without his two wingmen in Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, so he will have a ton of the burden on his shoulders to dominate on the glass as he does almost every night. The Bucks rank 5th in the NBA in ATS record at home, covering in 13 of their 19 games played, so whether they are banged up or not, they will trust that they can bounce back here. Mike Budenholzer and his staff have had 2 nights to come up with a better game plan than they did last game agains the Wizards, but will it be enough to cover the inflated spread at home? They will hope that the addition of Antetokounmpo back into the lineup can start a good run for them as they have lost 5/6 games. 

A few betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- Washington is 7-1 ATS in their last eight games played

- Milwaukee is 1-5 ATS in their last six games played 

- The under is 6-0 in the Wizards last 6 road games

Although Milwaukee should look much better in this game coming off of such a big loss at home, it is hard to see an almost double digit win with so many unanswered questions in the air. Washington is familiar with their style of play and is on a hot streak right now that has given them wins over the 76ers, Bucks, and Suns twice over the past 7 games. Even if Beal is out, I like for Porzingis to give them good minutes all night to keep this within the cover range for us to cash. Give me the Wizards on the road to cover the 8.5. 

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