New York Knicks vs Milwaukee Bucks

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The Milwaukee Bucks seek to continue their extended winning streak when they host another hot team in the New York Knicks at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee Saturday night beginning at 8 pm EST. The Bucks are favored by 10-points, up from 9.5-points at the opening, while the total stands at 222.5.

The Knicks moved a game above .500 after sweeping a 2-game home set versus the struggling Washington Wizards Thursday night as their defense stiffened in the 2nd-half allowing only 42 points as the team picked up the 4-point win. The Wizards were down by 15 at the half; However, their offense began to heat up late outscoring Washington 39-24 in the final period en route to their 23rd win of the season. RJ Barrett led the starters with 24 points and 10 boards on a less than stellar shooting night, yet, the bench was solid posting 55 points with Alec Burks leading the way with 27 points. The Knicks covered as 2.5-point favorites and are a strong 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 outings.

The Bucks ended an 8-game winning streak losing to the Boston Celtics at home Friday night by 8-points as they could not recover from a 3rd-period in which the road team posted 43-points. Giannis Antetokounmpo posted less than 20 points for the 2nd-straight game finishing with 16 points on 6-12 shooting while Khris Middleton led the way with 19 points on 4-5 shooting from long-range. Despite the loss, the Bucks are a comfortable 8-games ahead of the 2nd-place Indiana Pacers for the lead in the Central division standings. Milwaukee failed to cover the spread for the 2nd-straight game as 6-point favorites and are just 1-4 ATS in their last 5.

Milwaukee has picked up wins in 8 of their last 10 meetings versus New York, including 5-straight at home. The Bucks are also 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 versus their Eastern Conference foe while going 4-0-1 ATS during this time.

Knicks seek 3rd-straight

And while New York is not lighting up the scoreboard on the offensive end as of late posting just an average of 110-points in his last 4 outings; However, with their defense playing at the top of its game during this time (allowing (giving up 103-points during this time), the Knicks enter this contest winners of 3 of their last 4 matchups. The team gave up 46% shooting to the Wizards, yet allowed just 31% from deep while forcing 17 turnovers.

On the other hand, the Knicks have had to endure some rough defensive performances versus Milwaukee in recent meetings, including surrendering 134 on the road March 11th. The home team shot a solid 57% from the field while making 18 treys as the Knicks suffered a blowout loss.

New York shot a dismal 42% in the contest posting just 101 points with Barrett scoring 22 on 9-15 shooting. Immanuel Quickley posted 15 off the bench on an awful shooting night while reserve Alec Burks ended with 17 points and 8 assists. Leading scorer Julius Randle, who is coming off a 13-point, 9 rebound night in the 2-game finale versus the Wizards, was less than stellar in the contest missing 8 of 11 shots finishing with 7 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 turnovers.

Bucks seek to get back on track

Antetokounmpo did not have a outstanding line in 2 outings versus the Celtics posting a total of 29 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists, 7 turnovers on 10-23 FG, 2-6 3FG, 7-13 FT. However, they were able to rely on some hot-shooting from Middleton, who averaged 23 points, while point guard Jrue Holiday, despite committing 6 turnovers, had a huge performance in the finale scoring 17 points while shooting 50% from long-range (3-6 3FG). Important to note that Holiday has continued to improve his shooting numbers as he is now making 49% of his shots along with a strong 38% from deep.

Antetokounmpo shined in the team’s blowout win over the Knicks earlier in the month posting 24 points, 10 rebounds, along with 10 assists while Middleton finished going 6-9 from the floor for 14 points (4 turnovers). Interesting enough, Bryn Forbes, who has posted double-digits in 5 of his last 7 games, scored 21 points in the contest going a perfect 7 of 7 from long-range to provide a huge lift off the bench.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

While the Bucks have been terrible against the number of late while the Knicks have shined in this are, the fact is that the Bucks have not only covered in 6 of the last 7 meetings, but, are 5-1 against the number as double-digit favorites versus New York, including going 4-0-1 ATS at home.  With Antetokounmpo, this contest will be a bad matchup for the Knicks as was shown days ago.  In all, look for the Bucks to cover in this matchup.

Prediction:
Milwaukee Bucks -10

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

The over is 7-3 in the last 10 games for the Knicks while going 7-1 in the last 8 for Milwaukee.  And while the defense for New York has improved throughout the season, they have given up some big time numbers to opponents on the road of late with the over being the result in 4 of their last 5, overall.  I see a fast-paced, high-scoring, back and forth affair amongst these squads with the over being the strong play.

Prediction:
Over 222.5