The Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets are our first decided second-round series in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. The Bucks swept the Miami Heat while the Nets took down the Boston Celtics in five games. It’s the 2-3 seed chalk matchup that everyone sort of expected in the second round, a series that could decide who goes on to the NBA Finals. Since everyone wants to be there first, DraftKings Sportsbook already has series lines and odds for Game 1 posted for Bucks-Nets. Let’s take a look.
Update, June 4 — So we’ve got some early betting splits from DKSB on this series and most of the money is coming in on the Nets at -200. They’re getting 77 percent of the handle and 61 percent of the bets so far. We still haven’t seen this line move over the past few days.
Update, June 3 — The series line has remained the same over the course of the past few days. There really isn’t much of an edge until we see what happens on the court in Game 1. There’s still value in Bucks +160 and I even saw a bettor on another book take Milwaukee to win it all on a $40K bet, so people are entering this series with some trust in Giannis and Co. The Nets, to me, are still too much for any team this season to overcome, but we’ll see.
The Nets enter as the favorite to win the series at -200. The Bucks are +160 as the underdogs. This series should be a bit more even than the line suggests. During the regular season, the Nets rarely had their full Big 3 healthy at the same time. The Bucks took two out of three games from the Nets and have the defensive stoppers to throw at Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving/James Harden. Giannis Antetokounmpo has a lot to prove in this series after exiting in the second round last year. The Nets, to me, are still the clear-cut pick to win it all at this point. Can the Bucks give them a series? Absolutely.
An interesting line is the Series Correct Score market. The Nets to win the series in six and seven games is +450. So if you think the series goes the distance, like it should, then getting in on that line right now makes some sense. Most outcomes with the Bucks winning have good numbers with the most likely prediction being Bucks in 5 at +550. These should fluctuate a bit before Game 1 on Saturday.
Nets vs. Bucks Game 1 odds
Spread: Nets -4
Moneyline: BKN (-167), MIL (+138)
Update, June 3 — The lines haven’t moved over the past couple of days for Game 1 on Saturday, which is just a testament to how close this series could end up being. The Over/Under is set at a pretty insane 239.5 points. Generally, between two elite teams who have quality defenders, we can expect less scoring than anticipated. My lean would be on the under with the line close to 240.
There’s some interest in Bucks getting 4.0 points in Game 1. If there were ever a time for the Bucks to surprise the Nets it’s early on in the series. We’ll see how much the line moves by Saturday, it like won’t be more than a point or so in one direction or the other. Donte DiVincenzo being sidelined for the rest of the playoffs hurt the Bucks depth and that will be tested against Brooklyn. Giannis and Jrue Holiday should help slow down the Nets offense. The questions are 1) Will the Bucks offense show up? and 2) Will the Nets just be too much on offense?
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