Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs @ Milwaukee Bucks

Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs @ Milwaukee Bucks
Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs @ Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks (26-14) host the San Antonio Spurs (22-16) Saturday at Fiserv Forum for a 9 p.m. ET tip-off. Below, we analyze the Spurs-Bucks odds and lines, with NBA picks and predictions.

This is the final game of a 5-game road trip for the Spurs. They’ve won three straight outings and four of their past five games while going 4-1 against the spread, including a 116-110 victory last night over the Cleveland Cavaliers as 5-point favorites Friday.

Quietly, San Antonio has cobbled together an impressive season thus far and sits atop the Southwest Division with a two-game lead over the Dallas Mavericks.

Aside from a random 31-point whooping at the hands of the Denver Nuggets earlier this month, the Bucks have been on fire lately. They’ve won 10 of their previous 11 games, but are only 6-5 ATS in those contests.

These teams have split their last four head-to-head meetings, but San Antonio is 4-0 ATS in those games and won the most recent Spurs-Bucks game 126-104 last January.

Spurs at Bucks: Odds, lines, predictions and picks
Prediction
Bucks 121, Spurs 116

Money line (ML)
PASS with a slight lean on Spurs (+350) because I like San Antonio to cover the spread, but, I’m not in love with the payout and think the Spurs should be getting closer to +450 for an upset.

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Against the spread (ATS)
According to CleaningTheGlass.com, which removes garbage time stats, San Antonio and Milwaukee are both in the top 10 of the league for net points per 100 possessions.

When playing top-10 teams, both are negative in point differential per 100 possessions but the Spurs are ranked 5th whereas the Bucks are 11th and have the 29th-ranked ATS margin at minus-7.5 points in those games.

Also, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has done a good job getting his team ready to defend Bucks SF Giannis Antetokounmpo over the years.

Antetokounmpo averages just 18.5 points per game on 49.7% shooting over his 14 career games against the Spurs, which is more than 30 percentage points below his career average. He has scored 25 or more points in only five of those meetings.

Finally, San Antonio has been one of the friskiest road ‘dogs in the Association, going 7-3 ATS when getting points on the road.

BET SPURS +9.5 (-110) for 1 unit.

Over/Under (O/U)
The OVER 230.5 (-110) has a few trends backing it and I like the Over as much as the Spurs +9.5 (-110).

First, the Over has cashed in six of San Antonio’s previous seven games where the starting five combined for 160 or more minutes played the previous day, according to Covers.com.

Also, the Spurs have cashed five straight Overs when playing winning teams and the Bucks have gone Over in four of their last five vs. winning teams.

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