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Bucks Favored Over Nets as Series Shifts to Milwaukee

After outscoring the Bucks 240-193 in the first two games, Brooklyn (54-25 SU, 44-35 ATS) looks to take a 3-0 stranglehold on their Eastern Conference semifinal. However, Milwaukee (50-28, 35-43) has won its last 10 games at Fiserv Forum, including a pair of wins over the Nets in early May.

Brooklyn Nets vs Milwaukee Bucks
  • Date/Time: June 10, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Fiserv Forum
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Bucks -3.5 | O/U 234.5 (Line History)
  • Nets vs Bucks Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Nets’ domination of the first two games hasn’t shaken oddsmakers’ faith in the Bucks, opening Milwaukee as a 3.5-point favorite in this must-win spot. The Bucks were favored by 2.5 and 3 points when they hosted Brooklyn in back-to-back contests in early May.

Brooklyn News & Notes

The Nets didn’t need James Harden or Jeff Green to win the first two games of this series convincingly, and they won’t have either player’s services once again tonight. Brooklyn is being cautious with Harden, who injured his hamstring minutes into the series opener, while Green is considered day to day but has been officially ruled out for tonight.

On a sizzling 11-1 SU and ATS run over their last 12 games, the Nets’ biggest concern tonight might be trying to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself. Brooklyn also dominated its first two home games in Round 1 before letting down when the series shifted to Boston, allowing Jayson Tatum to score 50 points in a 125-119 loss.

“For us, there’s no relax,” Blake Griffin told the New York Post. “We’ve basically done what we’re supposed to do.”

What the Nets have done best is shoot and defend the three-point shot, outscoring Milwaukee by a whopping 64 points from behind the arc so far in the series. Joe Harris has led Brooklyn’s perimeter barrage by hitting eight of 16 from deep, while Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin are a combined 17-for-40. Meanwhile, the Nets have held Milwaukee to 24.6 percent shooting from three-point range.

Milwaukee News & Notes

The Bucks are just two losses away from another disappointing playoff exit, but coach Mike Budenholzer isn’t pushing the panic button following Monday’s blowout loss. “In the locker room, there’s a lot of great leadership,” Budenholzer told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “The guys will respond appropriately.”

Milwaukee certainly responded well from lopsided losses during the regular season, winning all four of their games following defeats by 20-plus points — with those victories coming by an average margin of 18.8 points. But for the Bucks to turn this series around against Brooklyn, it might be as simple as getting better play from their top two stars.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was held to just 18 points in Game 2 — the third time in his last four games that he scored 20 or less — and settled far too often for perimeter shots. Fellow all-star Khris Middleton is an ugly 13-for-43 from the field in the series, averaging 15 points per contest, and has failed to crack the 20-point plateau in three of his last five outings.

Betting Pick: Nets +3.5

The Bucks should bring a much better effort with their backs against the wall, but this looks like too many points to spot the sizzling Nets.

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Shark Bites
  • Brooklyn is 11-1 SU and ATS in its last 12 games.
  • Milwaukee is 10-0 SU in its last 10 home games.
  • Brooklyn is 3-9 SU in its last 12 road games vs Milwaukee.