The past two NBA champions collide in Southern California when the Milwaukee Bucks battle the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
The Bucks are playing their third stop of a Western road trip, posting twin 137-point efforts in victories over the Trail Blazers and Clippers in the first two outings.
Milwaukee easily covered in those games as an NBA betting favorite on the road and is giving the points again to the Lakers inside Crypto.com Arena, where L.A. has been an underdog just four times this season (2-2 ATS).
Check out our free NBA picks and predictions for Buck at Lakers on February 8.
Bucks vs Lakers odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Milwaukee opened as a 4.5-point road favorite while the total for this non-conference clash hit the board at 230 points.
Bucks vs Lakers predictions
Predictions made on 2/7/2022 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Bucks vs Lakers game info
• Location: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
• Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022
• Tip-off: 10:00 p.m. ET
• TV: TNT
Bucks vs Lakers betting preview
Bucks: George Hill G (Questionable), Grayson Allen G (Questionable), Brook Lopez C (Out)
Lakers: Dwight Howard C (Questionable), Carmelo Anthony F (Questionable), Kendrick Nunn G (Out)
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Milwaukee is 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS as a non-conference road favorite this season. Find more NBA betting trends for Bucks vs. Lakers.
Bucks vs Lakers picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
The Bucks have won three straight and have put spreads of -11, -11 and -5.5 to shame with an average margin of 22.3 points in that span. Milwaukee most recently overpowered the scrappy Clippers with a 77-point second half in which they shot better than 61% from the floor in the final 24 minutes after a slow start – if 60 first-half points can be considered slow.
Tuesday’s matchup with LeBron James and the Lakers should be a fun one, considering the star power on the floor as well as the frenetic tempos both teams play on offense (ranked No. 4 and No. 6 in pace rating). However, the Bucks have just the perfect amount of size and athleticism to slow up Los Angeles’ transition attack.
Milwaukee allows the second-lowest points per game to transition offenses (16.6) and limits those foes to a scoring frequency of just 48.8%. The Bucks also protect the key better than most, giving up just 42.3 points in the paint per outing (fourth lowest) – a calling card for this LeBron-led Lakers team. Los Angeles attempts the second-most shots inside of five feet but won’t get those up-close looks versus Milwaukee.
The Bucks will push L.A. outside its comfort zone, leaving the Lakers to settle for mid-range looks. Los Angeles is not a great shooting team, knocking down just 40% of shots from midrange which will lead to longer rebounds and opportunity for transition from the Bucks offense, which can get up and down the court with the best of them.
But unlike the Lakers, Milwaukee is far from hindered in a half-court set. Should L.A. get on their horse and slow down the Bucks' push, they’ll need to deal with a deep roster of scorers and high-percentage spot-up shooters from Milwaukee. It’s bombs away for the Bucks the past three games, shooting 43% from 3-point range for an average of 18 makes from distance in that span.
Prediction: Bucks -4.5 (-110)
Outside of a 121-point eruption versus Atlanta’s turnstile defense on January 30, Los Angeles has failed to score more than 115 points in regulation in eight straight games and has been held to less than 110 in half of those contests.
Milwaukee is by far one of the toughest defenses L.A. has faced in that span, sitting No. 9 in advanced defensive rating, and is a tough matchup for the Lakers’ offensive playbook. This total is a tall order considering, opening at 230 points online and marking the highest Over/Under L.A. has faced since a closing number of 230.5 versus Utah on January 17 (101-95 win stayed well Under).
We’ve gushed over the Bucks’ offensive prowess, especially in the past three games, but the Lakers are a sound defensive team as well when Anthony Davis is in action.
When AD was sidelined most of December and January, the Lakers allowed foes an average of 115.3 points per game as well as a 36.6% shooting clip from beyond the arc. However, since his return in late January, L.A. is allowing an average of only 109.6 points and holding outside shooters to a 33% success rate from outside, benefitting from tighter perimeter checks knowing Davis is protecting the rim behind them.
Prediction: Under 230 (-110)
The Lakers back into this game with a lot of baggage (trade rumors swirling like the Santa Anas) and only one regulation win in their last six outings, needing overtime to edge the Knicks at home on Saturday – a game in which much-maligned guard Russell Westbrook was benched after going just 1-10 for five points.
Milwaukee has been able to win games in various ways and styles and won’t back down from a physical Lakers team and what is shaping up to be a battle inside. Los Angeles records the fifth most fouls per outing (20.2) and sends opponents to the free-throw line for an average of more than 23 foul shot attempts per contest (third most).
The Bucks are coming off a bruising matchup with Los Angeles’ other team, getting to the stripe 27 times and knocking down 22 of those shots. Milwaukee is making more than 79% of its free throws the past three games, which will add up on Tuesday and get the Bucks over this 4.5-point spread.
Pick: Bucks -4.5 (-110)
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