The Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets are scheduled to meet at Ball Arena on Monday night. There is going to be plenty of the floor between the Bucks and Nuggets in this one. Giannis Antetokounmpo versus Nikola Jokic is a must-watch matchup on the Monday slate in the NBA. If there is any one-on-one matchup that is the most intriguing on the schedule today it has to be the Greek Freak and Joker. Whoever wins this battle is going to win the game. No pressure for either guy, but it’s likely we see a winner come from the team who gets more production from their centers.
Milwaukee heads to Denver with a record of 15-8. They are heating up at the moment, and the Nuggets are going to be a pretty big measuring stick for the Bucks. It’s going to be an interesting matchup, and I’m excited to see where things progress at Ball Arena in this one. The Bucks are on a four-game winning streak, and have wins in six of their previous eight outings. In their most recent victory, the Bucks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 124-99. This was their second straight win over the Cavaliers in similar fashion. A day earlier on Friday, the Bucks won and covered with a 123-105 win.
Along with those wins, the Bucks also defeated the Trail Blazers, 134-106, and Pacers, 130-110, during this four-game winning streak. Everything seems to be coming together for the Bucks right now after a sluggish start. The offense is really beginning to click. That said, the Nuggets are a much bigger test than the three teams I mentioned above. Beating a rebuilding Cavaliers team is one thing, but doing it against the Nuggets on the road is another. The Nuggets are coming off a 119-114 loss against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday.
Jokic went wild for a career-high 50 points, but it didn’t result in a win for the Nuggets. The Nuggets were 114-93 losers against the LA Lakers prior to that outing, so they will be looking to avoid a three-game skid tonight. The Nuggets go into this contest with a record of 12-10 for sixth in the West. Good team and there’s talent to like in Denver, though their depth isn’t scaring off any of the top teams in the conference, aka the Clippers and Lakers. Head below for our free Bucks vs. Nuggets pick on February 8, 2021.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Denver Nuggets NBA Betting Odds:
Bucks vs. Nuggets Prediction:
Giannis is up to 27.1 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game. The Bucks locked him into a long-term deal for good reason. He’s a double-double machine, and the Nuggets have a big chore in defending him. Nikola Jokic is not nearly athletic enough to contain Giannis. Jokic is going to need help when Giannis drives, and the Nuggets can likely only hope to slow him down and not completely contain his ability on offense.
The Bucks are heating up with an average of 125 points scored per game in their previous five games. As Giannis goes, so do the Bucks, and I’m not overly optimistic in the Nuggets drawing up an effective enough gameplan to put the clamps down on him. Overall, the Bucks are second in the league with 121.1 points and 49.3% from the field.
They have been one of the best teams at the ball connecting from deep, as the Bucks are converting from beyond the arc at a clip of 40.1%. When defenses have to worry about Giannis from all areas of the floor, everything else opens up for the offense. There isn’t much secret to what the Bucks want to do offensively, but stopping it is a totally different problem.
The Nuggets did a super job clamping down on Giannis in their most recent meeting. He was held to just 9 points in a 109-95 win for the Nuggets in March of 2020. That isn’t the norm, though, as the Bucks netted an average of 118.25 points per game against the Nuggets in their previous four outings before that lackluster effort. Expect the Bucks to watch the film from the game in March and return with a much better game plan tonight.
Denver just trails the Bucks offensively in the 2020-21 campaign. They are scoring 115.4 points per contest for third in the NBA. At home, they see a slight uptick with 116.3 points per game. In their last six meetings, the OVER has gone 6-2, and in Denver it’s trended towards high-scoring games with an edge to the OVER at a rate of 5-1. The total looks four or so points too short. I wouldn’t be surprised if the total rises from here. A 121-115 or 124-116 final score doesn’t look too crazy given these teams.