Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks – NBA, June 10, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| June 10, 2021 5:43 am PDT

The Bucks host the Nets in Milwaukee tonight, looking to get a foothold in this Semi-final series. They will have to hope the change of venue will change their fortunes as another defeat tonight will almost certainly spell the end of their season. Milwaukee hasn’t got close to the Nets in games one and two, and they were on the wrong end of a thorough thrashing in the latter. Brooklyn won all four quarters of game two as they laid down a marker, not only for the series but perhaps the entire competition.

The good thing for Milwaukee is this fixture has been won by the home side on the day the previous five times it has been played. They will undoubtedly hope this continues tonight and through to game four for them to get back in the tie.

This has generally always been a fixture that has seen very little between the two teams. They have each won five of the last ten meetings, and they have both averaged precisely 116-points per game.

Here is my Nets vs. Bucks betting preview.

Nets vs. Bucks Odds

Nets +3.5-110
Bucks -3.5-110
Nets To Win+145
Bucks To Win-155
Over 234 Points-110
Under 234 Points-110

I know the series is moving to Milwaukee, and the home team has generally done well in this fixture, but I am amazed the Bucks are favorites here. The way they blew up in game two and surrendered so quickly looked like a team void of ideas and confidence to me.

Yes, you could argue they were saving themselves for game three and didn’t exert themselves when they knew defeat was likely, and yes, you could say that they will put everything into it as they have to win tonight. But can you bet against a side like the Nets that has little to no pressure on them?

The Bucks will be pleased they have shaken the underdog tag off tonight as they have lost all five of the games they entered as the betting outsider this season.

Nothing to Lose for the Nets

The Nets have nothing to lose and everything to gain this evening as all of the pressure is off after taking a 2-0 lead in the series. They were unplayable in game two as they scored at 52% from the field goal range and a mightily impressive 50% from deep. If they can replicate that tonight, it won’t matter what the Bucks do this evening.

The one glimmer of hope for the Bucks is that the Nets hadn’t been great on the road before the playoffs. They lost three of their last five regular-season away fixtures, including two in Milwaukee, which must still be fresh in their minds. They also split the games in Boston in round one with a win apiece between them and the Celtics.

The Nets also have a poor record in game three recently, losing the previous three they have played. They lost game three against the Celtics in the first round and also lost to the Raptors and the 76ers (Sixers) the two years before that.

Here are the latest betting trends for Brooklyn:

Against The Spread

  • They have won 11 of their previous 12 matches.
  • The Nets have won four and lost two of their last six games with the Bucks.
  • Brooklyn has only lost one of their previous ten matches against Eastern Conference opposition.

This proves you can’t bet against the Nets right now.

Points Total

  • All of their previous five games played in June have gone under the betting total.

This suggests, along with their combined averages over their previous ten meetings, that we could see under the points total this evening.

Other Pointers

  • Brooklyn is 6-14 in their previous 20 matches with Milwaukee.
  • They have only won on three of their last 12 visits to Milwaukee.
  • The Nets have won their last five matches against teams based in the Central Division.

Their form against the Bucks has generally been poor and possibly why the bookmakers have installed Milwaukee as the favorites. Or perhaps it’s the fact that James Harden has been ruled out through injury. However, they didn’t appear to miss him too much in game two, and players like Joe Harris seemed to excel in the limelight.

The Nets have been deadly accurate in the playoffs up until this point, and after their exploits in game two, it’s hard to see that changing. They have the second-best success rate from the field goal range and the highest percentage from the three-point range and the free-throw line.

This has resulted in them scoring an average of 122-points per game which is the second-highest in the playoffs behind the 76ers.

They have moved the ball around the court incredibly well, and the control and timing of their moves have been impeccable and reflect the experienced team they have. Players like Kevin Durant who seem to be getting better with age and has taken his game to another level this season.

But perhaps what I like about them most is their work rate. For such a talented group of players, they all work hard for each other. This is reflected in their high steals count, which stands at an average of seven per game.

They are also blocking well, and the only area for improvement I can see is their rebounding. However, when making as many baskets as they are, this doesn’t matter much (in attack anyway).

The Nets are an aggressive team, and they do sometimes overstep the mark, which can get them in trouble on occasions.

As well as Harden, the Nets will also miss Green and Dinwiddie tonight.

Bucks to Bounce Back?

The Bucks looked in bad shape in game two, and perhaps they are paying the price for having a lack of competition in the first-round against the Heat, who appeared to give up after game one of that series.

However, you wouldn’t bet against them bouncing back this evening, especially when you look at their impressive home record as of late, where they have won their previous ten matches. Four of those wins include defeating both the Nets and the 76ers (two wins against each), the number one and two ranked teams in the East.

Game three has been much kinder to the Bucks as they have won four of their previous five encounters. They have wins over the Heat, Magic, Pistons, and the Celtics, while they lost game three against Miami at this stage of the competition last season.

Here are the latest betting trends for Milwaukee:

Against The Spread

  • Milwaukee is 4-9 in their previous 13 matches.
  • They have lost eight of the last 12 games they entered as the betting favorite.

These stats don’t bode well for the Bucks, and suggest taking them on against the handicap.

Points Total

  • Four of their last six games have gone under the betting total.
  • Only one of their previous five matches against the Nets has failed to go under the points total.
  • The total has gone under in 12 of their last 17 games against teams from the east coast.
  • All of their previous five matches against teams based in the Atlantic Division have gone under the betting total.

This heavily suggests backing under the points total this evening.

Other Pointers

  • Milwaukee is 12-4 in their last 16 games.

This highlights the excellent form the Bucks had been in before entering this series.

Where do the Bucks need to improve their game? Well, for a start, the Nets made one in every two shots from deep in the last game, and the Bucks are making less than one in every three in the playoffs so far.

They have to bridge the gap here to get closer to the Nets. They also have the second-worst record from the free-throw line (it seems all the time in the world isn’t helping them here, which has meant the Nets can afford to continue playing their aggressive style of basketball without any repercussions.

I would like to see the Bucks take a page out of Brooklyn’s book and throw their weight around a bit more. Right now, they are being bullied off the court by the Nets.

They have also made more turnovers than any other team in the playoffs and therefore have to tighten up.

There are plenty of positives to build upon also. You can beat the Heat 4-0 without playing half-decent basketball. Nobody has been able to get close to the Bucks when it comes to rebounding, and that’s at both ends of the court. However, they have to stop the shots in the first place as their superb rebounding is going to waste against a team shooting as well as the Nets are.

The Bucks will miss both Di Vincenzo and Nwora this evening.

Nets vs. Bucks Betting Pick

Pick
  • Under 234 Points
    -110

I was very tempted to take the generous odds on the Nets here as I have seen very little from the Bucks to suggest a comeback is imminent. The Nets seem to have their number, and they are using their experience, guile, and know-how to get the job done. However, the safer play is to back under the betting total as everything points towards this.

Although this is the lowest total of the series set by the bookmakers, I still believe it’s a couple of points on the high side. The previous four games between these have gone under the points total, and this could be no different. The Bucks will want to throw the Nets off of their rhythm that they got into so quickly in game two, which means slowing the game down from the off and frustrating Brooklyn.

However, I don’t believe the aging legs of the Nets will mind this, and they will look upon this game as a free shot and perhaps even a breather in the series.

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