Milwaukee Bucks at Golden State Warriors
NBA: Thursday, November 8, 2018, ORACLE Arena, Oakland, California, 10:30 PM ET
The inter-conference foes will face at the ORACLE Arena on Thursday in a potentially mouth-watering tilt as the Golden State Warriors welcome the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening game of the series. The reigning champions are on a red-hot eight-game winning streak, while the visitors were on a seven-game winning streak but lost two out of the previous three games. The rivals met twice in the 2017-18 and each team claimed a road victory.
Milwaukee Bucks suffered the second consecutive road defeat
Milwaukee opened the new NBA season with seven straight wins and topped the Eastern Conference after the first two weeks of the campaign but they lost two out of the last three games. The Bucks responded to a tight defeat at Boston with a massive victory over the Sacramento Kings at home but they suffered the second loss of the season to the Portland Trail Blazers and dropped to an 8-2 record and now are facing the biggest test of the young campaign.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks in a 118-103 loss to the Blazers with 23 points, team-high nine rebounds, and six assists, but he also committed six turnovers. Brook Lopez followed the ‘Greek Freak’ with 22 points and four boards, while Khris Middleton contributed with 22 points, eight rebounds, and six dimes. Milwaukee trailed since the final minute of the opening quarter and even though they hit 16 triples, Portland scored one more and recorded 51 boards in opposite to the Bucks’ 42.
"There's things we can do differently, there's things that we did tonight that we can do better."
Coach Bud on last night's game: pic.twitter.com/g6ItSXVrmh
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) November 7, 2018
The Bucks have the second-best offense in the NBA that averages 120.0 points per contest, while they also have one of the best defenses that allow 107.3 points per game (5th). Milwaukee’s rebounding is the best in the league as they are recording 53.2 boards per game, while they are the second when it comes to assists per contest with 26.4 dishes a night. Milwaukee is 7th in field goal percentage as they have 47.6 percent from the floor and 4th from downtown with 38.0 percentage, while they are leading the NBA with 15.6 three-pointers made per game.
Golden State is looking to extend the winning run to nine games
Golden State excellently responded to a tight defeat to the Denver Nuggets with eight consecutive wins, seven of which were by double digits. Interestingly, only the Brooklyn Nets managed to stay close until the final minutes of the game, and after completing a three-game road trip on the East, the Warriors returned home and connected three wins including the latest one over the Memphis Grizzlies. Steve Kerr’s side now has the best record in the NBA as only them and Toronto Raptors have a 10-1 at the moment.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors in the 117-101 win over the Grizzlies with 27 points; Kevin Durant chipped in with 22 points, six rebounds, and six assists, while Steph Curry added 19 points, team-high seven dishes, and five boards. Draymond Green sustained a foot injury and logged just 14 minutes, while Andre Iguodala was rested, so backup players such as Alfonzo McKinnie and Quinn Cook received more playing time and impressed with 27 points and seven rebounds combined. Golden State struggled in the first half as the Grizzlies kept them to 58-58 at the half but that changed late in the third quarter when the hosts created a big run and later even had a 26-point lead.
Alfonzo is doing something special, see more in the latest Film Session 👀 pic.twitter.com/O1oxLoqYyy
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 7, 2018
Draymond Green skipped practice two days after a foot injury and that isn’t a great sign regarding his status for Thursday’s game against the Bucks. If he’s forced to sit, Jordan Bell could potentially earn meaningful minutes, and either Andre Iguodala or Jonas Jerebko could move into the starting lineup. Steve Kerr said he’s hopeful to get Shaun Livingston back on the court by the end of the week as the guard is dealing with a sore right foot, while DeMarcus Cousins should be back in the next few weeks.
The Warriors have the best offense in the 2018-19 that averages 123.5 points per contest, while their defense is in the top 10 as it allows 109.7 points per game (10th). Golden State’s rebounding is above average as they have 47.0 boards per game (8th), while they are at the top of the league when it comes to assists per contest with 30.5 dishes a night. Golden State is 1st in field goal percentage as they have 51.9 percent from the floor and 1st from downtown with 42.3 percentage, while they are 3rd with 13.3 three-pointers made per game.
- 5-0 ATS in their last five games played at home
- 6-1 ATS in their last seven after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
- 6-1 ATS in their last seven vs. Eastern Conference rivals
- 4-0 ATS in their last four vs. NBA Central rivals
- 1-7 ATS in their last eight games played on the road vs. an opponent with a home winning percentage of greater than .600
- 1-8 ATS in their last eight games played on the road
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following a straight up loss of more than ten points
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Golden State won nine out of the previous 12 H2H encounters including four out of the last five, while the Warriors were victorious in three out of the past four meetings at the Oracle Arena. Despite the fact that the Bucks are 11-4-1 ATS in the last 16 duels and they are 8-1 ATS in the previous nine duels in Golden State, I am going with the hosts as Milwaukee is not good enough away from home. At least not good enough to upset the Warriors on this one. Two best offenses in the NBA will face here so we can expect a spectacle but in the end, the Bucks’ inability to beat strong home teams will prove to be crucial.
Prediction: Golden State Warriors -6 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
Considering the teams’ respective offenses that are scoring over 120 points per game, we can expect to see a 240+ point game here. Golden State already conceded 120+ twice at home, while Milwaukee scored 110+ in three of their four away games, so I am going with over on this one. Over is 8-2 in Warriors last ten Thursday games; over is 11-1 in Bucks previous 12 games following a straight up loss, while over is 14-4 in Bucks last 18 road games.
Prediction: Over 239.5 (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Golden State was down at halftime just once in this season, while they didn’t trail after the opening 24 minutes in the consecutive nine games, so I am backing the hosts to be up at halftime on this one. The -3 spread is not a big one and considering Milwaukee’s latest performances on the road, the Warriors have a big chance to cover it, even without Draymond Green.
Prediction: Golden State Warriors -3 (-110)
Half-Time Side Pick
The Warriors are facing the 5th best defense in the league but Milwaukee’s D is not that strong when it comes to road games, so I am backing Golden State to score between 60 and 65 points in the first half, which should be enough for over 117 points. Milwaukee, on the other hand, is the second-best offense behind the Warriors, so the visitors will surely have their own saying here and will try to score as many baskets as possible early on.
Prediction: Over 117 (-115)