Title contenders collide when the Milwaukee Bucks (32-14) visit the defending champions Denver Nuggets (32-15) Monday night. The Bucks are expected to have new head coach Doc Rivers on the sidelines for this contest and are coming off a big win over the Pelicans Saturday. The Nuggets faced a depleted 76ers unit Saturday but barely managed to grab a win at home. This is the first meeting between these teams this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is dealing with a shoulder injury but is considered probable. The Nuggets remain without Julian Strawther for this game.
The Nuggets are 4-point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total coming in at 238. Denver is -166 on the moneyline while Milwaukee is +140.
Bucks vs. Nuggets, 9 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Nuggets -4
Neither team has been particularly good against the number this season. The Bucks are 18-27-1 ATS while the Nuggets are 19-26-2 ATS. Denver is 11-10-1 ATS as the home team, while Milwaukee is 8-12 ATS on the road.
The overall records are much more telling. Milwaukee is 11-9 straight up as the road team this season while Denver is 18-4 at home. The Nuggets got a nice wake-up call against the 76ers, while the Bucks might still be adjusting to a coaching switch. I like the defending champions to make a statement tonight with a cover against Milwaukee.
Over/Under: Under 238
These squads are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to totals. The Bucks are one of the most over-friendly teams at 28-18, while the Nuggets are the most under-friendly team at 18-29. Denver is 9-13 to the over as the home team and have gone under on their last five totals. The Bucks have a high-scoring offense and that alone does give me some pause but I like Denver’s defense to step up at home enough to cash the under.