The Brooklyn Nets got a lift from the return of Kyrie Irving in a road win over the Indiana Pacers last game, but they’ll be without the All-Star guard when they host the Milwaukee Bucks in a massive Eastern Conference showdown on Friday.
Will Milwaukee roll into the Barclays Center and beat Brooklyn? Keep reading our Bucks vs. Nets NBA picks and predictions for January 7 to find out.
Bucks vs Nets odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
The Bucks were 5-point underdogs when this thing first hit markets and they can also be found getting only 4.5 now. Meanwhile, the total opened at 229 and has now gone all the way up to 232.
Bucks vs Nets predictions
Predictions made on 1/7/2022 at 11:05 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Bucks vs Nets game info
• Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
• Date: Friday, January 7, 2022
• Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN, SN1
Bucks vs Nets betting preview
Bucks: Pat Connaughton G (Out), Grayson Allen G (Out), Jrue Holiday G (Out), Giannis Antetokounmpo F (Probable), George Hill G (Out), Donte DiVincenzo G (Out), Brook Lopez C (Out).
Nets: Kyrie Irving G (Out), Kessler Edwards F (Out), Joe Harris G (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Bucks are 0-4 against the spread in their last four games as road underdogs. Find more NBA betting trends for Bucks vs. Nets.
Bucks vs Nets 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.
With Irving not being able to play in home games, the Nets will be without his services tonight. That means that Brooklyn will have to give James Harden the keys to the offense again, but that should be just fine. Harden has thrived when put in a position in which the Nets need him to go out and play like he used to with the Rockets. That is when the star is most comfortable, and he should be able to light up a Bucks team that is going to be without most of its best perimeter defenders in this game.
The Bucks are likely going to have Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton tonight, but that just might not be enough against this Nets team. Kevin Durant is going to be out there for Brooklyn, and he generally takes the matchup with Giannis rather personally. He’s going to want to go after the Finals MVP, and having Durant locked in is bad news for Milwaukee.
The Nets also have a bit more depth than the Bucks with all of these players missing for Milwaukee. Sure, Brooklyn is going to be without several talented players, but the Nets can rely on other rotation pieces in this game. The Bucks don’t have the same luxury at the moment, as they’re relying on a couple of short-term rotation options.
Prediction: Nets -4.5 (-110)
While both of these teams are loaded with offensive talent, this number just seems to be a bit too high for this game. The Under is actually 8-1-1 in the last 10 meetings between these two, and only one of those 10 games featured the two teams scoring more than 232 points. We often expect these stars to go out there and score at will when they play each other, but both of these teams care about the defensive end. They’re actually tied for the eighth-best defensive rating in basketball this year.
The Under is 12-7 in the Nets’ 19 home games this season and it’s 6-2 when Brooklyn is facing a team that it has already lost to this season. The Under is also 5-1 when the Nets are avenging a loss by 20 points or more against an opponent over the last three seasons.
Prediction: Under 232 (-110)
It’s never going to be easy to suggest fading Giannis, but having Harden and Durant on your side makes it a little easier. Giannis and Middleton is one heck of a duo, but it isn’t quite as good as the one the Nets have. Brooklyn also has the better supporting cast in tonight’s contest, and the team is also playing at home.
This spread also isn’t large enough to really scare away anybody that might be looking to take the Nets to win outright. Brooklyn can put this away with some free throws late in the game, if it ends up being that close.
Pick: Nets -4.5 (-110)
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