UPDATE: Giannis has officially been ruled out.
No Giannis tonight.— Kevin Chouinard (@KLChouinard) December 27, 2019
UPDATE: Antetokounmpo is now doubtful so this changes things up a lot. I still think the Bucks will be favored by a decent amount, but this line should drop with Milwaukee on the road if Giannis is out. No Giannis would probably have me leaning the UNDER as well.
The Milwaukee Bucks (27-5) may have lost on Christmas in awful fashion to the Philadelphia 76ers, but they remain on top of the NBA for the time being. In fact, they should continue to remain on top of the NBA for at least another month or so, pending anything disastrous. The Bucks play 10 opponents in a row who are under .500, starting with the Atlanta Hawks (6-25) on Friday night. The Hawks are the worst team in the Eastern Conference and may be the worst team in the NBA after the Golden State Warriors showed up on X-Mas. Let’s take a look at the lines, odds, spreads and total for Bucks-Hawks and how to approach betting the game.
Bucks vs. Hawks spread, over/under, moneyline
Spread: Hawks +8.5
Moneyline: ATL (+320), MIL (-400)
I mean, this is a pretty obvious call with the Bucks only favored by 11 points. I think Milwaukee wins by 20+ in this matchup, mostly coming off the tough loss and needing to vent. I think Giannis let his emotions get the best of him on Christmas and the Sixers’ game plan around stopping him was flawless. Antetokounmpo needs to get back to doing what he does best, getting inside and finishing. That’s something he should easily accomplish against Atlanta.
As for the O/U, this is a very high total. But the last time these two teams played in ATL, the Bucks won 135-127, so that easily smashed the OVER. I’m going to lean the UNDER here though. I think Milwaukee will put an emphasis on getting back to good defense, and while the Bucks can score 130-140 points, I think they hold the Hawks to around 100 points.
Prediction: Bucks 122, Hawks 101
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