Arena: Fiserv Forum
Home Floor: Milwaukee Bucks
COVID-19 continues to spread its vicious cycle all over the world and the NBA has now seen 80+ plus players placed in the dreaded health & safety protocols. Still, with replacement players on ten-day deals, many games have been able to go on. In this game, the Giannis-less Milwaukee Bucks host the Houston Rockets, whose ace Christian Wood is questionable for the game. If Holiday and Middleton play then Bucks can be a resolute opponent on both ends, for the Rockets, they have been in a world of trouble without Wood and lack Bucks’ depth. Can the Rockets surprise the Bucks? To get a quick look, head over to “Notes”. For Game result and total prediction, hop over to “Expert Betting Tips”.Get Your Welcome Bonus!
Deep Bucks lineup
Milwaukee has one of the deepest lineups in the league and although, they may not look like a championship-calibre squad without Giannis, Holiday and Middleton make this squad look like a Playoffs one. Jrue Holiday had a 40 points game just a few days ago but he regularly figures in the 20-25 points range, which is stellar. Khris Middleton can dip in 20-25 points too but with Portis out, the frontline duties will be entrusted to Cousins. Still, I wouldn’t underestimate this team. With Allen, Connaughton, Middleton, Nwora, Holiday, and Hill, there are still quality perimeter shooters while Middleton, Holiday, and Hill can also set up teammates. To be honest, with the way things are going in the league, the Bucks have still been largely intact!
Rockets without Wood and with Wood
Without Christian Wood, the high-scoring Rockets team has scored 102 or less. With him in the lineup, crossing the 110 points mark is possible during at least 67% of the nights these days. Wood chips in with 20+ points, 10+ rebounds on a regular basis and when he is gone, the inside scoring and second-chance points disappear for the Rockets. The team has excellent perimeter shooters like Gordon, Matthews, and Brooks, but with Wood the team has an added-dimension of inside scoring. Houston needs to score a lot because their defense against high-scoring teams has been below-par.
Rockets will need Eric Gordon to come up big because Middleton and Holiday are two serious customers on the offensive end. Even if Wood plays here, they will have to find someone who can score 25 or more or two players who can combine for 35 or more. Bucks can get outmatched if Wood plays here though, as with Portis and Antetokounmpo unavailable, Cousins can get overwhelmed by Christian. In terms of bench, the Rockets can have a slight advantage with Martin Jr., Josh Christopher, Sengun, Nwaba and Augustin matched-up against Hood, Hill, Sandro, JaVonte. I think the only two areas where I will hand an advantage to the Rockets is the bench, and the Center position. In the rest of the areas, I believe Bucks have their bases covered, considering they are as healthy at the time of writing this piece.
Here are some quick hitters related to the game:
- Milwaukee Bucks have scored 112 twice without Antetokounmpo and with Holiday and Middleton;
- Rockets have scored 118, 116 in the last two games with Christian Wood. And just 103, 89 without him;
- Bucks have lost one and won one without Antetokounmpo. The loss was in Overtime against the Pelicans;
- Jrue Holiday has scored 26, 40 in his last two appearances;
- DeMarcus Cousins picked up 12 rebounds in his last appearance;
- Eric Gordon has not scored more than 20 for four games, so you’d think he is due a big game here;
- Christian Wood has scored 21 or more in the last two games. He is questionable for this match;
- Khris Middleton has missed the last three fixtures for the Bucks. He was usually scoring in the 20-22 points range prior to his injury;
- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Donte DiVincenzo, Brook Lopez, and Bobby Portis are listed as OUT although Portis’ status is unclear at the time of writing the piece;
- Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green have been listed as OUT for the Rockets;
- Keep checking the injury list before placing bets.
Expert Betting tips
Points Range: I believe the Bucks can get a river of points if Holiday and Middleton are healthy. Even if Holiday is alone in his endeavour here, he can pitch in with a big-time effort. Jordan Nwora has shown promise scoring-wise and he can have another big game here. I feel Bucks can score in the 107-120 points range here. Meanwhile, for the Rockets, I think Christian Wood has to be available because then only they will have a match-up advantage on any position. If he plays, they can get to the similar range to the Bucks, but if he doesn’t then there is a chance they fall below 107. I think if Gordon has a big night then the Rockets can go past 110 too. I feel the Total Points Range here is 219-229 here.
Prediction: Again, plain and simple, if Holiday and Middleton play, the Bucks have a huge edge. And again, if Christian Wood plays for the Rockets, they can mount up a resistance. But overall, I believe, the Bucks, playing at home, against a leaky defense can extract a substantial outing. The Bucks can play some quality defense too considering they have one among Holiday and Middleton back. I think the Bucks will win this 121:109. My betting options below assume Holiday and Middleton are good to go for the game.
- Point Spread: Milwaukee Bucks -9.5 for 1.90;
- Total 1 Over 116.5 for 1.86;
- Player Props: Player Points: Jrue Holiday Over 19.5 for 1.83.