Bucks vs. Nuggets Odds & Picks: Doc Drops Debut

The storylines in this matchup are plentiful with the Nuggets and Bucks being two widely regarded title contenders, winners of four of the last five MVPs facing off, and Milwaukee’s new head coach, Doc Rivers, making his debut on the bench. There have been adjustments after Adrian Griffin was let go but how much can be expected this early in a new regime? A realistic answer leads to the play on tonight’s game.

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Bucks vs. Nuggets Betting Odds

Bucks Nuggets
Spread +4 -4
Moneyline +140 -162
Total o238 u238

*lines accurate at the time of publication

Bucks vs. Nuggets Best Bets

Nuggets -4 (-108, DraftKings)

While the Nuggets have not been at top form as of late, they have still been able to hold serve at home. In January, Denver has the fifth-best net rating at home and are top six on both sides of the court. Their bench is decidedly better at home and against a Bucks team that even when healthy struggles to find enough rotation pieces, should be a big advantage.

This month the Bucks have been the 23rd-best team on the road in terms of net rating, even with post-Griffin playing trends slowly working their way back to what it looked like under Mike Budenholzer. The transition numbers have gone from horrific to bad defensively, which is a big step and the amount of transition they have allowed has gone down as well. Still, against a top quality opponent that is very good at home, can enough ground be made up to keep the game within a possession?

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Where Milwaukee is at a disadvantage defensively is while they are just working to re-discover their defensive principles and identity, more established defenses have been able to tweak their plan against Denver to make others besides Jokic make more plays. Some defenses have started giving Murray driving lanes off their pick and roll to prevent the pass back to Jokic.

The other way to get at the Nuggets offense is with turnovers. Denver has turned it over at the fourth highest rate in January but Milwaukee has been forcing them at the fourth lowest rate in January. Both offenses are ruthlessly efficient so limiting chances to show that efficiency should be key but the Bucks are not keen on making that part of their game, especially as they transition to a less aggressive scheme.

With all the moving parts surrounding the Bucks going into this game, the play, with the altitude as well and an under-the-weather Giannis Antetokounmpo, is on Denver.

Risk: 1.08 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit.

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