Wizards vs. Bucks Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Washington has had no luck lately and has taken quite the dive in the standings, entering this game on a five-game losing streak and sitting in 11th in the Eastern Conference.
Milwaukee hasn’t played great lately as it’s lost two of their last three games, with their most recent loss a 36-point blowout against Denver. However, they are in much better shape and come into this matchup with an overall record of 31-21.
Washington can’t seem to have anything break in their favor, and that trend continued when some tough injury news was delivered that will impact this game. Will the Wizards be able to overcome that injury and get back in the win column, or will we see this Bucks team bounce back in front of their home crowd?
Wizards Have Been OK Without Beal
Bradley Beal will not suit up for this matchup, which is not great news for a Wizards team that desperately needs a win.
Beal has missed a total of nine games this season, and surprisingly the Wizards are 6-3 overall without him on the floor. That can be attributed to acquiring more depth in the offseason in the form of Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell, who have all done their part with more minutes available.
However, the recent slump this team has run into has been quite concerning, and I don’t expect things to get better when their franchise star is not on the floor.
Most of their issues present themselves right out of the gates. In the first half of their last five games, this Wizards team is shooting just over 44% from the floor and is scoring an average of 53 points, both of which rank in the bottom ten in the NBA in that span of time.
Furthermore, according to NBA Advanced Stats, Washington is posting a putrid first half Defensive Rating of 118 in their most recent five games and is getting killed from behind the arc, allowing their opponents to shoot 40.3% from deep.
From the jump, Washington is struggling to find a rhythm on both ends of the floor and playing right into the hands of their opponent. We could easily see those struggles continue against the reigning NBA champs.
Bucks Offense Still in Form
Going 5-5 overall in their most recent 10 games has pushed the Bucks down to the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, but this is a team that has played much better over the course of the season than their recent record indicates.
Entering this matchup, Milwaukee has posted an Offensive Rating of 111.4 in 52 games this season, the ninth best in the NBA. Much of their offensive success comes from behind the arc, where they are sinking the fourth most three pointers per game with 14.1 and hitting at a clip of 35.9%, which will certainly go a long way in creating separation against any team.
Milwaukee has also been impressive on the defensive end of the floor, posting a Defensive Rating of 108.5. They’re holding their opponents to just 44% shooting from the floor overall, 34% from behind the arc, and allowing just 42.5 points per game in the paint as well, further displaying their versatility and depth from just about everywhere.
This Bucks team has also been dominant on the glass, which is likely their biggest advantage entering this matchup. Milwaukee is averaging the second most rebounds per game with 46.8, and while they are on their home court that number increases to 48.4. That is likely going to be a difference maker against a Wizards team that averages just 43 boards per game on the road this season.
This Bucks team has almost every advantage when compared to Washington, and I expect that to be on full display Tuesday night.
As previously mentioned, the Wizards have struggled to find a rhythm early on recently, and as a result I think targeting the first-half spread provides good value in this game.
During their five-game losing streak, Washington has been outscored by an average of five points in the first half, and most of those games have come with Bradley Beal on the floor.
Washington has been getting killed by the 3-point shot in the first half as of late, and now they will go up against a Milwaukee team that ranks inside the top four in first half three-point percent, shooting 37.2%.
This Bucks team is attempting an average of 20.4 three-point attempts in the first half this season, and I expect Milwaukee to stretch the floor early on and build a lead rather quickly in this one by exposing the deficiencies that Washington has on the defensive end of the floor.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks 1H -7 (-110)