Milwaukee Bucks Remain Red-Hot – And a Great Betting Choice
- Bet Bucks at +200 to win Eastern Conference with 888Sport.
- Bet Bucks to win NBA title at +1100 with Betfair.
- Bet Giannis Antetokounmpo to win NBA MVP at +175 with Karamba.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks were at it again Thursday night, knocking off the Celtics to improve on their league-best 44-14 record.
They remain the only team in the NBA without a two-game losing streak and have yet to lose to the same team twice. They’ve now won 22 of their last 26 games since Christmas to take a 1.5-game lead over the Raptors in the Eastern Conference.
Bucks a Great Bet to Win East
With last night’s victory over the Celtics, the Bucks now have two wins against Boston, one against Philadelphia, three against Toronto and two against Indiana. Their combined record against the Nos. 2-5 seeds in the East is a remarkable 8-3.
They’ll of course need to get it done in a seven-game series, but no team will enter the postseason with more momentum in their own conference than the Bucks.
They all got valuable playoff experience in last year’s first-round exit against the Celtics, and first year Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer is no stranger to the playoffs. It also helps that, barring a big run from the Raptors, Milwaukee will have home-court advantage throughout.
They’re playing in the Fiserv Forum, which opened this year, where they’re 24-5, second in the NBA only to Denver (25-4).
For those reasons we’re jumping on the Bucks at +200 to win the East with 888Sport. They jumped the Raptors (+210) in the past week and it’s easy to see why. They’re the hottest team in the NBA, they’re healthy and they’re not slowing down.
Bucks’ NBA Finals Odds Enticing
So, if the Bucks win the East for the first time since 1974, what sort of shot do they have of taking down the Warriors’ dynasty? Assuming Golden State makes their fifth straight Finals appearance, Milwaukee should actually feel pretty good about their chances.
For starters, they’ve got the firepower in Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton to hang with Golden State, and owning the league’s best defense is one way to slow down the juggernaut of a Warriors offense.
They’ve also played the Warriors well the last four seasons.
The Bucks thumped them in Golden State back in November and played them well in a home loss in December. Milwaukee also beat the Warriors in Golden State in March of last season, and they were the ones to break the Warriors’ streak of 24 wins to begin the 2016 season.
The Warriors are always intimidating in May and June, but the Bucks could enter a Finals matchup knowing they’ve had recent success. It’s why we’re open to the idea of wagering the Bucks to win it all at +1100 with Betfair, the third-best odds in the league.
Giannis a Legit NBA MVP Bet
Don’t count your MVP votes before they hatch. James Harden is on an incredible tear and on Thursday scored 30 points for the 32nd consecutive game. He brought the Rockets back from the dead and now has them securely in the West playoffs with a shot to earn home court advantage.
And yet, Harden doesn’t feel like the MVP frontrunner anymore. He was running away with it in December and January and looked to be on the way to a repeat.
But he’s been caught by Antetokounmpo, who since Christmas is averaging 28.5 points, 12.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. He’s also shooting 58 percent and getting to the free throw line 9.3 times per game. They’re beyond video game numbers.
We’ve written that the MVP almost always goes to a player on a team in the top-3 of their conference, and the fact that Antetokounmpo is the best player on the league’s best team – even in the East – is going to carry serious weight.
The Bucks are on pace to win 62 games, which would be their best mark since 1972 when some guy named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won 63 games.
The Bucks are on a tear right now and it’s brought Antekounmpo right back into the MVP conversation. We love his odds at +175 with Karamba. They won’t be getting any better the rest of the way.
Bet the Bucks Against the Spread
They failed to cover in Thursday’s win over the Celtics but that was a rare occurrence. Since Christmas the Bucks are 18-7-1 against the spread, including 8-1 in their last nine games that Antetokounmpo played in.
They’re now No. 1 in defensive efficiency and No. 4 in offensive efficiency. The last team to finish a season ranked in the top-4 in both categories was the 2017 Golden State Warriors, who won 67 games and a title.
Antetokounmpo and All-Star Khris Middleton have been great, but they’re also getting major bounce-back years from Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe. It all seems to be coming together for this team and they’re a great bet in the short-term.
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