The Milwaukee Bucks completely breezed past the Jazz last night and will stay at high altitude to take on the Denver Nuggets tonight. Each team sits atop their respective conferences behind MVP campaigns from Giannis Antetokounmo and Nikola Jokic and will now look to establish supremacy in what could be a potential Finals preview.
The Nuggets will have a large rest advantage coming into tonight's game, having not played since Wednesday. Can Jokic and the Nuggets take the air out of the Bucks' lungs on Saturday night or will the Bucks come rolling in with momentum and get the road win?
Find out in our free NBA picks and predictions for the Bucks vs. Nuggets on March 25.
Bucks vs Nuggets best odds
Bucks vs Nuggets picks and predictions
The Nuggets had played quality ball throughout the entire season until a slight hiccup earlier this month, during which they sustained a four-game losing streak against some less-than-impressive teams (Bulls, Spurs, Nets, and Raptors).
Denver has since turned things around with three wins in their last four, but the slip was the driving factor behind Nikola Jokic losing his massive lead in the MVP race — a distinction he held for essentially the entire season.
The NBA MVP odds race has tightened, featuring the new odds-on favorite Joel Embiid (-190) and the two superstars facing off tonight: Nikola Jokic (+280) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (+320).
The two have accounted for the last four MVPs, and the end-of-season matchup between the two could be a defining moment for the race as a whole, and could potentially eliminate the one on the wrong end of tonight's result from the race entirely.
And from a high level, the matchup projects to be a close one. On the year, the Bucks' +4.5 net rating ranks fifth to the Nuggets' sixth-ranked rating of +3.9.
But as it has been noted in the past, the Bucks have been an entirely different animal since late January when Giannis returned from a short injury stint and the All-NBA play from Defensive Player of the Year favorite Brook Lopez.
Since January 23, the Bucks have been the league's best team by a wide margin. Outside of their undeniable 24-3 record, they have also blown past the rest of the league in the underlying metrics. Their +10.1 net rating is a sizable amount higher than the next-best mark (+8.0), and their defense (108.5) has been the league's best during that time.
But most importantly, Milwaukee's offense has taken a massive leap.
The offseason addition of Joe Ingles finally began to pay dividends with him joining the lineup after his ACL tear last season, and trade deadline acquisition Jae Crowder has played a pivotal role. Lopez has also posted one of his highest monthly point averages in five-plus years.
And therein lies the value proposition of tonight's game. Milwaukee possesses a level of depth and a far better recent track record, and getting the Bucks as an underdog tonight is simply too good to pass up.
My best bet: Bucks moneyline (+130 at PointsBet)
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Bucks vs Nuggets spread analysis
The spread opened with the Bucks set as 2-point favorites and they have since moved to +3 dogs.
Milwaukee is an impressive 41-27-5 against the spread, which is good for the second-best cover rate this year at 60.3%. They are also 18-8-2 ATS against Western Conference teams after last night's throttling of the Jazz, which is the league's best non-conference cover rate (69.2%).
Back-to-backs are always a spot that bettors look to take advantage of, but Milwaukee has not been the team to try that against. The Bucks' 9-0-1 record with no rest currently ranks as the league's best.
Bucks vs Nuggets Over/Under analysis
The total opened at an already lofty 235 and has since moved to as high as 237 at some shops.
The Bucks have played to a league-best 23-13 record towards the Under on the road (63.9%). That includes an 8-5 record to the Under as a road underdog this year.
They blew past last night's total of 234, contributing 144 points in a total that went a whopping 26 points over. On totals at or above 237, Milwaukee is 3-3 to the O/U.
Denver has held a 19-17 record to the Over at home, but the Nuggets have also played in four straight Unders. They've also gone 6-2 to the Under on totals of 237 or more.
Bucks vs Nuggets betting trend to know
The Bucks are 9-0-1 ATS on back-to-backs this year. Find more NBA betting trends for Bucks vs. Nuggets.
Bucks vs Nuggets game info
|Location:||Ball Arena, Denver, CO|
|Date:||Saturday, March 25, 2023|
|Tip-off:||9:00 p.m. ET|