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Bucks Begin Championship Defense At Home Vs Nets

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Brooklyn Nets on opening night.

After falling into an 0-2 SU and ATS hole against the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA playoffs last season, the Bucks went 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS over the last five games of the series to move on to the Eastern Conference final. The Bucks will look to pick up where they left off against the Nets with another win Tuesday night in Milwaukee.

Brooklyn Nets vs Milwaukee Bucks
  • Date/Time: October 19, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Fiserv Forum
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Bucks -1.5 | O/U 240.5 (Line History)
  • Nets vs Bucks Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Bucks opened as a 1.5-point favorite and have since been bet down slightly to Milwaukee -1. The movement on the total has been more extreme as heavy action on the UNDER has moved the line down to 234 after it opened at 240.5. The UNDER is 5-0 in Milwaukee’s last five home games vs Brooklyn.

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Brooklyn News & Notes

The focus on the 2021-22 season should be on how stacked the Nets are and how strong their chances are of winning the team’s first NBA championship. Instead, the headlines have been dominated by Kyrie Irving’s decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Instead of allowing Irving to play with the team in road games away from New York (which requires vaccinations indoors), Brooklyn’s front office decided to keep Irving away from the team at all times.

The Nets are still one of the betting favorites to win the NBA championship and have plenty of talent to do so, led by the elite tandem of Kevin Durant and James Harden. But the team’s depth issues were on display last postseason when Irving and Harden were dealing with injuries, and having Irving out indefinitely will obviously keep a lot of pressure on everyone to stay healthy.

Milwaukee News & Notes

Giannis Antetokounmpo won the NBA MVP award during the regular season in both 2019 and 2020. He finally earned the trophy he was really looking for in 2021, leading the Bucks to an NBA title to secure the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Antetokounmpo also won NBA Finals MVP after averaging 35.2 points and 13.2 rebounds per game in Milwaukee’s 4-2 series win over the Phoenix Suns.

The Bucks have been one of the NBA’s most consistent regular-season teams over the last three seasons with a 60-22 SU record in 2018-19, a 56-17 record in 2019-20 and a 46-26 season in 2020-21. As long as Antetekounmpo is healthy, the Bucks should continue to be a dominant force in the Eastern Conference.

Why Brooklyn Will Cover

Kevin Durant was single-handedly keeping the Nets competitive against the Bucks last season with Irving sidelined and Harden severely hindered by injury. With Harden healthy and the whole team looking for revenge, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Nets earn a statement win here.

Why Milwaukee Will Cover

When Durant elevated his play in the postseason, Antetokounmpo seemed to do the same. Milwaukee has the depth advantage with Irving out and home-court advantage. If the Bucks take this game as seriously as the Nets almost certainly will, the path to victory boils down to making shots on the perimeter and letting Antetokounmpo do his thing down low.

Computer Pick: Bucks -1.5

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Shark Bites
  • The Nets are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games.
  • The Bucks are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games.
  • The UNDER is 7-2 in the Bucks’ last 9 vs the Nets.