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Oddsmakers Expect Another Nail-Biter in Nets-Bucks Encore

The Milwaukee Bucks are 2-point favorites in NBA betting odds for their meeting Tuesday night with the Brooklyn Nets.

Not much has separated the Nets (43-22 SU, 33-32 ATS) and Bucks (40-24, 30-34) this season, with both meetings going down to the final buzzer. Oddsmakers are projecting another tight affair when the teams close a two-game set in Milwaukee, opening the Bucks as 2-point home favorites.

Brooklyn Nets vs Milwaukee Bucks
  • Date/Time: May 4, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Fiserv Forum
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Bucks -2 | O/U 243 (Line History)
  • Nets vs Bucks Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The opening odds for this game are nearly identical to Sunday’s matchup in Milwaukee, when the Bucks were 2-point favorites and the total was 242.5.

Brooklyn News & Notes

The Nets may finally be showing signs of missing James Harden, having lost consecutive games for the first time in nearly three months and seeing their lead over Milwaukee for second in the East drop to 2.5 games.

Brooklyn was also without Kevin Durant for Friday’s 19-point loss at home to Portland, but K.D. returned Sunday to score 42 points in the Nets’ 117-114 defeat in Milwaukee. It was the second straight 42-point outing for Durant, whose seven three-pointers Sunday tied a career high — although he missed what would have been a game-tying three at the buzzer.

Kyrie Irving seems more affected by Harden’s absence, struggling badly from the field in three of his last five games. Irving, who shot 4-for-19 and 3-for-13 in recent games vs Boston and Toronto, needed 21 shots to score 20 points Sunday against the Bucks. He and Durant also combined to commit nine of Brooklyn’s 16 turnovers.

Prior to Sunday, Brooklyn had been nearly perfect when tied or leading after three quarters, going 35-1 SU. The Nets opened the fourth quarter Sunday with a 6-0 run to take a 96-90 lead before the Bucks responded with an 11-0 run to take control.

Milwaukee News & Notes

To say the Bucks rode their top three players to victory Sunday would be an understatement. Not only did Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday combine to score 96 of Milwaukee’s 117 points, they were the only Bucks to attempt a field goal in the opening quarter and only one other player — Pat Connaughton — scored in the fourth.

Antetokounmpo finished with a season-high 49 points on 36 field-goal attempts, exploiting the Nets’ decision to guard him with DeAndre Jordan and dare him to take long jumpers. Middleton added 26, six of them coming during the 11-0 fourth-quarter run that gave the Bucks the lead for good, and Holiday contributed 18 points, five rebounds and four assists. Milwaukee is now 29-15 SU this season when Antetokounmpo, Middleton and Holiday are in the lineup.

One reason the Bucks were so top-heavy offensively on Sunday might have been their lack of depth, as backup center Bobby Portis was a last-minute scratch due to a stomach illness and veteran point guard Jeff Teague left early with an abdominal strain. Portis is listed as probable to return Tuesday, while Teague’s status was uncertain.

Betting Pick: Nets +1

Expect Brooklyn to have a more effective strategy defending Giannis in the rematch as the Nets solidify their hold on the second seed in the East.

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Shark Bites
  • The total has gone OVER in 9 of Milwaukee’s last 12 home games.
  • Brooklyn is 8-4 ATS in its last 12 games.
  • Milwaukee is 15-4 SU in its last 19 games vs Brooklyn.