Charlotte Hornets vs. Milwaukee Bucks – NBA, April 9, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| April 9, 2021 9:37 am PDT

The Hornets swarm into Milwaukee looking to pick up a win against the Bucks tonight. These two teams lead their respected Divisions and, as such, find themselves ranked third and fourth in the Eastern Conference. However, whereas the Hornets are neck and neck with both the Hawks and the Heat in the Southeast Division, the Bucks pretty much have the Central Division wrapped up already.

Charlotte won a high-scoring game when they last met in January. That win ended a run of five straight defeats against Milwaukee. As the scoreline suggested that night, both teams shot well, but the Hornet’s three-point shooting separated the teams as they scored at a rate of 47% from deep, which is one of the highest averages from that range by any team this season.

However, the Bucks have won the last six matches played in Milwaukee and therefore come into this game with plenty of confidence.

Despite averaging the same halftime score over their previous ten encounters, the Bucks have finished stronger and averaged seven more points than the Hornets per game. The shooting display that Charlotte put on in their win over Milwaukee last time out appears to have been a one-off as, during these ten games, they have only averaged a field goal percentage of 42%. The Bucks have also dominated the battle on the boards, which means the Hornets are in for a challenging game tonight.

Hornets vs. Bucks Odds

Hornets +9.5-110
Bucks -9.5-110
Hornets To Win+400
Bucks To Win-400
Over 226 Points-110
Under 226 Points-110

Although the Bucks have generally enjoyed things against the Hornets recently, I didn’t imagine the spread at online betting sites would be this big.

It looks a good three or four points high to me and could certainly offer some value. The points total seems about right and could be hard to take on either way.

Hornets Analysis

The Hornets come into this game in inconsistent form, having alternated wins and defeats in their previous seven matches. If that continues tonight, then their poor record against the Bucks will remain. The same Charlotte team appears to have failed to show up in consecutive games over their previous five matches as they have either won easily or lost heavily.

This is probably due to the Hornets team’s young nature, and with experience will come consistency. They are being led by rookie Lamelo Ball who has won his third consecutive rookie of the month award. Although he misses out tonight and is essentially the reason the Hornets are overwhelming underdogs.

Charlotte has generally been a hard team to beat on the road this season as they have won 13 and lost 15 of their 28 Road trips. They head into Milwaukee in excellent away form, having won five of their last seven games on the road. Their two defeats came when their offense ultimately failed and posted 89 and 86 against the Nets and the Celtics.

Here are the latest betting trends for Charlotte:

Bet Type Trend
ATS They have won seven of their previous nine matches.
Total Five of their last six games have gone under the betting total.
SU The Hornets are 6-3 in their previous nine matches.
ATS Charlotte has only lost two of their last nine games against Milwaukee.
Total Only one of their previous nine road trips has failed to go under the points total.
SU They have won nine and lost three of their last 12 matches against teams in the Eastern Conference.
ATS The Hornets are 8-3 in their previous 11 games played in April.

The Hornets have a very sub-standard offense this season that has struggled to find the net regularly. This by no means suggests they are not capable of making baskets, it just doesn’t happen regularly enough, especially from inside the arch, and they struggle against teams they sit deep. They find it hard to open teams up and often try to force the issue, leading to many turnovers per game.

Their defense is marginally better but is still best described as average. However, they haven’t defended as well on the road this season and have conceded on average three points more per game.

As well as Ball, the Hornets will miss Hayward and Monk for tonight’s matchup.

Bucks Analysis

The Bucks come into this game also in indifferent form, having lost five of their previous eight matches. This includes losing their last two games against the Warriors and the Mavericks.

Therefore, they will be thankful to return to Milwaukee, where they have an excellent record of 18 wins at the expense of only seven defeats. However, they have also lost their last two matches at the Fiserv Forum against the Celtics and the Knicks.

Here are the latest betting trends for Milwaukee:

Bet Type Trend
ATS The Bucks have lost seven of their previous nine matches.
Total The total has gone over in ten of their last 15 games.
SU Milwaukee is 14-6 in their previous 20 matches.
Total Five of their last six home games have seen the points total go over.
ATS They have only won one of their previous five matches against teams in the Eastern Conference.
Total Only one of their last five games against teams based in the Southeast Division has failed to go over the betting total.
SU Milwaukee is 7-3 in their previous ten matches played in April.

It’s perhaps no surprise to see that the Bucks have the number one offense in the league this season, given how many of their games have gone over the betting total. They are averaging 119-points per game which is a frightening proposition for any team to face.

They are ranked fourth from field goal range and third from three-point range, which confirms what a formidable attack they have and that they can hurt you from anywhere on the court.

However, their defense needs work despite them holding their opponents to a field goal average of 45%, which is amongst the best in the league this season. Thankfully for them, they are conceding three fewer points per game at home, which, combined with the fact the Hornets average three fewer points on the road, could be significant.

They are also the best defensive rebounding team in the NBA this season, and they aren’t too shabby at rebounding at the other end of the court either, which means they see a lot of the ball.

The Bucks are a well-disciplined team, and you can see that they have a clear game plan that they execute more often than not on any given night.

Milwaukee also comes into this game with doubts over their star player, as Giannis Antetokounmpo has now missed three consecutive games for them. He is currently suffering from a sore knee, and even if he does feature, you have to feel he won’t be 100%. However, with that said, a half-fit Giannis is better than no Giannis at all.

Jrue Holiday has tried his best to pick up the slack in Giannis’ absence and barring his performance last time out. He has done an excellent job. He has had a fantastic season, and therefore it is no surprise the Bucks have tied him into a new four-year contract.

As well as Antetokounmpo, there are doubts over Tucker, who has been out with a calf injury recently.

Hornets vs. Bucks Pick

Pick
  • Under 226 Points
    -110

When I first glanced at this game, I was convinced I would be taking the Hornets with the handicap. However, without the influence of Lamelo Ball, they could struggle to get creative which has been their problem for most of the season anyway. If the Bucks miss their top scorer tonight, it could mean we see fewer points on display tonight, and I will, therefore, reluctantly bet against the best attack in the league and pick under the points total.

One last thing to point out is these two teams have combined for an average score of 219 points in their previous ten meetings, which would put them comfortably under the total tonight.

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