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Bucks Shoot for Sixth Straight Win over LA in Potential Finals Preview

The top two teams in the NBA will share the court Friday at Staples Center as the Bucks visit Los Angeles. Milwaukee has won and covered its last five games against the Lakers, including a 111-104 victory earlier this year in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Bucks vs Los Angeles Lakers
  • Date/Time: March 6, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Staples Center
  • TV Coverage: ESPN, Spectrum SportsNet LA, Fox Sports Wisconsin, Sportsnet
  • Opening Odds: Lakers -3 | O/U 228.5
  • Bucks vs Lakers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Oddsmakers opened the Lakers as 3-point favorites, a decision they probably regretted immediately as money quickly poured in on Milwaukee. Some books were even listing the Bucks as 1-point chalk as of Thursday evening. The total has also seen movement on the UNDER, moving down to 227 by the time of writing.

Milwaukee News & Notes

The Bucks offense bounced back Wednesday following a pair of subpar performances as Milwaukee drilled the visiting Indiana Pacers 119-100. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 29 points and Khris Middleton added 20 for the Bucks, who had failed to score more than 92 points in each of their previous two games after cracking the century mark in 83 consecutive regular-season outings.

“I think everybody in this locker room wanted to play ball and just get back on track,” Antetokounmpo said.

Despite the increased scoring output, the Bucks still went UNDER the total for the fifth straight time. Wednesday’s game finished half a point below the number, but the previous four games went UNDER by an average of more than 25 points. Milwaukee has also gone UNDER in eight of its last 11 road games, with six of those UNDERS coming by double-digit margins.

Milwaukee could be without NBA three-point percentage leader George Hill for the second straight game Friday after the veteran guard missed Wednesday’s contest with a groin contusion. Fellow sharpshooter Kyle Korver remains out indefinitely with a back injury.

Los Angeles News & Notes

LeBron James and the Lakers seem to be putting a little extra emphasis on this potential NBA Finals preview, even if The King isn’t exactly saying so. “What’s known doesn’t need to be said,” James told the media when asked if he had a message for Antetokounmpo and the league-leading Bucks.

If the Lakers are a little sour about Milwaukee, they’ve got good reason. The Bucks have defeated LA in each of the last five meetings, including a 111-104 win in Milwaukee earlier this year. However, the Bucks were favored in each of those contests, including a couple of games before James had even joined the Lakers.

LA has plenty of momentum as it looks to turn that trend around, coming off a 120-107 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday to improve to 9-1 SU in its last 10 and 7-2 ATS in its last nine. The Lakers have also excelled lately when playing on two days’ rest, going 10-2 SU and 8-4 ATS in their last 12.

Anthony Davis, who had 37 points and 13 rebounds in 39 minutes on Tuesday, is still nursing a knee injury that kept him out of Sunday’s game against the Pelicans. As of Thursday night, however, Davis was listed as probable to face the Bucks.

Betting Pick: Lakers +1

LA won’t be lacking motivation in this one, while Milwaukee may feel the effects of playing in its fourth city in six days.

Shark Bites
  • The UNDER is 8-3 in the Bucks’ last 11 road games.
  • The Lakers are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games.
  • The Bucks are 5-0 SU and ATS in their last 5 games vs the Lakers.