Warriors vs. Bucks NBA Preview and Best Bet

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Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks attempts a jump shot. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP

In what could be in NBA Finals preview, the Golden State Warriors travel to Milwaukee to take on the defending NBA champions, the Milwaukee Bucks. In this exciting high-profile matchup, which team is the right NBA pick? Let’s break down the NBA odds for this game.

Golden State Warriors vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Thursday, January 13, 2022- 7:30 PM EST at Fiserv Forum

Golden State Warriors

After getting a huge boost from the return of Klay Thompson, the Golden State Warriors lost 115-108 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night. The loss kicked off a four-game road trip for the Warriors. The most high-profile game on the trip is definitely tonight.

The loss was disappointing for the Warriors who have lost three of their last four contests. The Warriors are an average 5-5 and their last 10 road games. The Warriors are currently 12th ranked in offense and 109.8 points per game.

However, their defense has been impressive. The Warriors are first in points against at 101.3 points per game. The Warriors play a motion offense where they share the ball, which is why they are first in assists at 27.9 per game.

The loss dropped the Warriors to the second-best record in the NBA at 30-10. The Warriors have been much better at home in the Chase Center, where they're 18-3. The Warriors are a very respectable 12-7 on the road, but there is definitely a drop-off in their play when they are away from home.

The Warriors will be missing a major piece of their team with Draymond Green expected to be out until January 18th. Draymond Green is the heart and soul of this team and is the leader of the defense. Green brings intensity and a sharp basketball IQ.

The Warriors will greatly miss his presence for the next couple of weeks. If the Warriors are able to get wins without Green in the lineup, it will bode well for their ability to secure first place in the Western Conference.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks have lost their last two games, both in Charlotte against the Hornets. This continues a bad streak for the Bucks. Milwaukee has lost 4 of their last 5 games. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been filling up the stat sheet, but with so many players missing at the guard position, it has been tough for the Bucks to play as a cohesive team.

The Bucks get many players back in the lineup tonight. They are hoping one of the returning players includes Jrue Holiday. Holiday is currently listed as a game-time decision with an injured left ankle.

The Bucks have also been without their coach during this recent stretch has Mike Budenholzer has tested positive for COVID-19. Milwaukee has been a disappointing 1-3 under-acting head coach Darvin Ham during Budenholzer's absence.

Milwaukee desperately misses the defense of Jrue Holiday. Without Holiday, the Bucks cannot defend the point of attack as well as they did when winning it all last season. Holiday prevents the opposing teams to get in their seats.

He can harass opposing point guards into mistakes. This keys the Bucks’ defense and gets them out in transition. Without Holiday preventing the offense from getting started, opposing teams are finding it much easier to get the shots they want against the Bucks defense.

The Bucks have great defenders, but the key to their defensive success lies in the ability of Jrue Holiday to prevent the opponent's offensive sets from getting properly started.

Key Matchup

Andrew Wiggins vs. Khris Middleton

Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo will duel but they will need help from their supporting cast. Both Stephen and Giannis put up huge numbers in their recent games but their teams were not able to come away with the victory.

Wiggins and Middleton are both key supporting players, and they will be tasked with guarding each other. Wiggins’ defense will be especially crucial to a Golden State team missing Draymond Green.

If Wiggins is able to slow Middleton down and not allow him to properly augment Giannis on the offensive end, the Golden State Warriors have a great chance of proving why they have the number one ranked defense in the league and getting the win.

If Middleton is able to have a big game and prevent Wiggins from chipping in and helping out Stephen and Klay, the Bucks will have a good chance to win.

Best Bet

Most of the time, I think handicappers overestimate the number of points missing players are worth. In the Warriors case, I think it's hard to truly encapsulate how much Draymond Green means to the team. I personally don't even know how to quantify it properly, but I do believe that he means more than the bookmakers do.

For this reason, I will continue to fade the Warriors against top teams until Draymond returns to the lineup. I think Milwaukee is a team that will get back on track tonight. Tonight's best bet is the Milwaukee Bucks -1.5 (-110).

NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -1.5 (-110) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Milwaukee Bucks -1.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.