Bucks vs Trail Blazers Picks and Predictions: Milwaukee Presses Pause on Dame Time

Damian Lillard has been at his best during this recent stretch but with a sky-high points total of 34.5 and a tough matchup with Jrue Holiday on tap tonight, we think now is the time to bet Under. Read more in our NBA betting picks below.

Last Updated: Feb 6, 2023 2:34 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers NBA
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Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard were both just awarded the NBA Player of the Week award for the East and West respectively for their dominant scoring performances through Week 15 of the NBA season.

Fitting then, that the Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers should face off and these two superstars should go at it mano-a-mano on Monday, February 6.

Our NBA picks and predictions for Bucks vs. Trail Blazers believe that Milwaukee has the formula to prevent the clocks from striking Dame Time tonight.

Bucks vs Trail Blazers best odds

Bucks vs Trail Blazers picks and predictions

Betting against Dame Time is always a risky proposition. Damian Lillard has been on one recently, scoring 36.6 points per game over his last five, but what's notable is that he’s not shooting some outrageous percentage from three through this run.

He’s instead getting it done by obliterating opposing teams from the charity stripe. Lillard is a stunning 61-63 from the free throw line over his last five games, marrying efficiency and volume that would make prime James Harden smile.

But that’s not a formula that bodes well for him tonight. Newly minted All-Star Jrue Holiday is probably the Platonic ideal of a Damian Lillard defender. He’s smart, tough, and strong, with hands fast enough to make sure his pressure doesn’t lead to any cheap fouls.

He’s an incredible ball denier, and many the All-NBA guard has ultimately wilted under Jrue’s relentless pressure. Famously, the New Orleans Pelicans swept the Trail Blazers out of the playoffs in 2018 largely because Holiday’s pressure took Dame out of the series.

That’s been the rule rather than the exception when these two play as not many of Dame’s notable scoring games have come against Holiday. He would only have hit the Over on this points prop in matchups against Holiday one time in 22 games, a 41-point game that came all the way back in 2018.

And it’s not just Holiday. The Milwaukee Bucks’ strategy of conceding threes and denying the rim has been largely successful even against Lillard, despite his propensity for launching from deep on volume. Lillard has never scored 35 points in a game against the Bucks in any of his 17 games against them in his career. He’s only scored 30 or more on two occasions. 

That leads us back to Dame’s underrated foul drawing, as the Bucks are the stingiest team in the NBA in terms of allowing opponent fouls. No easy layups and limited free throws is the only recipe shown to consistently succeed at delaying Dame Time indefinitely, and the Bucks are the masters of it.

My best bet: Damian Lillard Under 34.5 points (-110)

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Bucks vs Trail Blazers spread analysis

The entire season has been an exercise in patience for the Bucks. Their offense has been Bottom 5 almost the entire season, and rather than make a panic trade, they’ve been quietly self-assured that things would stabilize as soon as they could get Khris Middleton back healthy.

The Bucks’ patience has been rewarded now, as Middleton is back and playing to form, and he’s helped lift the Bucks to the level of a Top-10 offense over the past seven games, per Cleaning the Glass

Their defense has remained steadfast, and taken together they have the best point differential in the NBA over the past two weeks, a sterling +11.7. That’s seen them beat the spread by an average of 2.8 points over that same span.

In short, the Bucks are back and deadly as ever, and a major problem for this Blazers squad. The Bucks continue to take care of the bad teams and are 4-1 ATS in their last five against teams with a losing record.

Portland has struggled to cobble together consistent play from anyone not named Lillard or Jerami Grant this season, and their once spunky defense has collapsed to 27th on the season (and 29th over the past two weeks).

They’ve been squeaking out wins despite Dame’s overwhelming offensive performances, and as I’m expecting that to falter tonight, I’m bearish on their chances of hanging with Milwaukee tonight. The Blazers have struggled against even modestly good teams, including a  3-7 ATS in their last 10 games against teams with a winning record.

Bucks vs Trail Blazers Over/Under analysis

Milwaukee is the No.1 defense in the NBA, and their 107.3 rating over the past seven games is actually significantly stingier than their season-long grade. That defense travels, which has seen the Under go 6-2 in the Bucks’ last eight road games, as well as 5-1 in their last six road games against teams with a winning record at home.

That string of Unders will be put to the test against a Portland team that seems to only play in Old West-style shootouts, with the Blazers scoring 120 points or more in six of their last seven games. That’s seen the Over go 5-2 in Trail Blazers' last seven overall, but more strikingly 11-4 in their previous 15 games against teams with a winning record. 

But again, I’m expecting some success from Milwaukee with regard to slowing Dame down, which they’ve historically been quite capable of doing. That’s seen the Under go 7-1 in the last eight meetings in Portland.

If there’s a worry about the Over, it’s that the Bucks' offense has been clicking and the Blazers are awfully ill-equipped to handle Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Bucks vs Trail Blazers betting trend to know

The Bucks are 4-1 ATS in their last five games vs. teams with losing records. Find more NBA betting trends for Bucks vs. Trail Blazers.

Bucks vs Trail Blazers game info

Location: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Date: Monday, February 6, 2023
Tip-off: 10:00 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Wisconsin, ROOT Sports Plus

Bucks vs Trail Blazers key injuries

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