Videos by OutKick
Perhaps the best NBA game of this regular season tips off Saturday at 9 p.m. ET when the Milwaukee Bucks (53-20) visit the Denver Nuggets (49-24) at Ball Arena.
Nikola Jokic is the reigning 2-time NBA MVP and Giannis Antetokounmpo won back-to-back NBA MVPs in 2018-20. Both of their respective teams are 1st atop the East and West Conferences.
Milwaukee has won three straight and five of the last games and are 4-2 against the spread (ATS) in those contests. This is Denver’s 1st home game after a 5-game road swing. The Nuggets were 3-2 straight up (SU) and ATS in that trip.
The Bucks are the right look in this game because they have more ways to beat you than the Nuggets. Also, Milwaukee is an elite team on both ends of the floor whereas Denver’s defense cannot stop a nosebleed.
Bucks vs. Nuggets Odds (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Milwaukee has an arsenal of 3-point shooting role players. Khris Middleton is a dynamic mid-range scorer. Giannis dominates the paint and gets to the foul line.
More importantly, the Bucks have three All-Defense-caliber starters. Bucks’ Jrue Holiday is one of the best defensive point guards in the NBA and can lock up Nuggets PG Jamal Murray.
Bucks C Brook Lopez is the favorite to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year at DraftKings (-230) and Giannis is a former DPOY as well. Brook and Giannis is the best you can do to defend Jokic.
Ultimately, this is a simple “power-rating play”. As in the Bucks are my No. 1 power-rated team in the NBA and the Nuggets are 6th. If Giannis and Milwaukee is getting points, I’m inclined to take those points.
Granted, the Bucks are just 4-9 straight up (SU) as a ‘dog and 4-8-1 against the spread (ATS). But, these teams are trending in opposite directions. Post-All-Star break, Milwaukee leads the NBA in net rating and Denver is 14th.
The Bucks might be getting a boost in the market because they are in the 2nd of a back-to-back (B2B) and Denver is a tough place to play on zero rest.
However, Milwaukee is 9-1 SU and 9-0-1 ATS on the 2nd of B2Bs. And the Bucks didn’t use much energy in their 144-116 beatdown of the Jazz Friday. Most of Milwaukee’s starters rested in the 4th quarter last night.
BET: Bucks +3.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, down to +2.5
Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.
PointsBet Sportsbook users can make their first bets risk-free up to $2,000. If the bet loses, PointsBet will refund you in site credit. New users can lock in this offer NOW by clicking this link.
First-time DraftKings users can get up to a $1,000 deposit bonus and receive a 20% first deposit match up to $1,000 when they sign up. New users can lock in this offer NOW by clicking this link.