Bucks vs. Trail Blazers Odds
|Trail Blazers odds||+4.5|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Keep up to date NBA odds here.|
We’re fast approaching the trade deadline and NBA All-Star Weekend, but there’s still a lot going on on the basketball court. Monday night offers a solid game between two teams that have been playing good basketball lately.
The Milwaukee Bucks (36-17) have won seven games in a row, the longest current winning streak in the league. Meanwhile, the 26-27 Portland Trailblazers have won five of their last seven games and are kicking off a five-game homestand as they linger at the bottom of the playoff table.
Both teams are only missing one rotational player at the moment, making them one of the healthiest teams in the league. If all likely players are actually playing, that will be a good yardstick for both teams.
Seven games ago, Khris Middleton returned from a brief G League stint in the Bucks’ rotation, and it’s no coincidence that Milwaukee started picking up wins. Middleton is a proven All-Star and while not at full speed, he is the perfect player for what the Bucks bench needs right now.
Often playing with Jevon Carter, Joe Ingles and Wesley Matthews, Middleton can just look to fill it in, and he’s done just that, especially in the last three games. Averaging 20 minutes a night, Middleton has averaged 19.3/5.7/3.0 in Milwaukee’s last three wins.
Once fully healthy, Middleton will join Giannis Antetokounmpo and co. in the starting lineup, but right now it’s one of those perfect rosters you wish you could stick with for the long haul.
I’m going to be looking to play the Bucks a bit heading into All-Star Break because they really seem to have found their groove. If Middleton stays a bit like a sixth man, I like them even more.
The Blazers have added a few plays to their own bench that have helped in recent weeks. Gary Payton II isn’t quite the numbers the team was hoping for when they signed him to a $26 million deal this offseason, but he’s a perfect pair with either Damian Lillard or Anfernee Simons in the backcourt. .
Drew Eubanks also replaced Jusuf Nurkic admirably and the Blazers offense hasn’t missed a beat since Nurkic came out (115.7 offensive rating with Nurkic vs. 115.8 with Eubanks). The defense is a bit worse, but Payton can help a bit.
That said, I don’t like the game against Portland on Monday.
The Trail Blazers really don’t have anyone who can slow Antetokounmpo down. Josh Hart is a great defender, but he’s not big enough to take on the task, and Eubanks isn’t the type of rim protector who can slow Antetokounmpo down. Plus, Portland’s bench just doesn’t have the same juice as the Middleton-led team in Milwaukee.
Bucks-Trail Blazers Choose
This line opened at Bucks -5 and moved early to -4.5, so keep an eye on it. Despite the front line moving against me, I still love the Bucks – I can just try to wait for the best number.
If the line returns to -5, I would take it there, and even to -5.5, but not beyond.
If the next move is -4, I will continue to wait.
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