The Milwaukee Bucks (20-13) will travel to take on the Dallas Mavericks (15-15) at American Airlines Center on Thursday night. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. ET. The Bucks are fresh off a 126-106 win over the Houston Rockets after snapping a two-game losing skid. The Mavs will look to win their second straight at home after defeating the Timberwolves 114-102 on Tuesday. Both teams are coming into this matchup banged up and missing players who have landed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the Bucks unsurprisingly favored by 4.5 points. They’re priced at -190 on the moneyline with Dallas at +160, with the point total set at 209.5.
Bucks vs. Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Bucks -4.5 (-115)
While both teams are short-handed due to a massive COVID-19 outbreak that’s spread across the league, the Bucks may be in slightly better shape than the Mavericks.
Dallas will be missing Luka Doncic, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Reggie Bullock, Josh Green, and Maxi Kleber all due to the COVID-19 protocols, while Kristaps Porzingis (toe) is listed as questionable, and Willie Cauley-Stein is out for personal reasons as well.
The Bucks’ list of COVID absences is a little smaller, but still includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, Donte DiVincenzo, and Bobby Portis. Brook Lopez also underwent back surgery recently and will miss time as well.
Khris Middleton (knee) made his return to the floor on Wednesday against the Rockets, scoring 23 points and six assists, while Jrue Holiday led the team with 24 points and 10 assists. The Bucks will rely heavily on those two players to get the job done in Dallas while Giannis is still out. Given the situation, Milwaukee shouldn’t have too tough of a time winning this game especially against a depleted Mavericks side. Expect them to win handily and cover as well.
Over/Under: Over 209.5 (-110)
Despite missing their leading scorer, the Bucks are still scoring well into the triple digits each game, hitting at least 103 in nine of their last 10 outings. The Mavs are in a similar boat, hitting at least the same number in six of their last seven. While it might be close, I think this one hits over 209.5 as the Bucks could easily run up the score if they’re still playing as well as they did on Wednesday.
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