Portland pk at Milwaukee O/U 198.5
Jason Kidd’s recent determined effort to get better defensive efforts out of his Milwaukee Bucks squad is paying dividends. Over their last five games, Milwaukee has held opponents to 95 points or less four times and to an overall average of 89.8 points per game. In Saturday night’s game versus New York, the Knicks shot 42.1% from the field which is the highest allowed by Milwaukee during the five-game span. The Bucks were on a three game under the total streak with game results averaging 167 ppg but their last couple have hit 197 and gone over. Bookmakers adjustments obviously had something to do with that but a freakish 71-point fourth quarter Friday night against the Pistons followed by near 50% FG shooting by Milwaukee on Saturday certainly helped. Tonight’s total sits at 198-198.5 which considering Portland’s style seems pretty tight without a lot of margin for error. Where there is some wiggle room however is in line where the current price is a pick ‘em.
Fundamentals should come into play in this contest and figure they’ll help the Trail Blazers a bit more. Milwaukee’s injury ravaged PG position (down three players) is a concern in this matchup since Portland’s success is predicated on the offensive play of their starting guard tandem Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum who each possess PG skills. Tonight they’ll be defended by 6-7 swingman Khris Middleton and 6-3 O.J. Mayo. Have to believe the Blazers guards can cause havoc from the perimeter and the free throw line. With starting 7-0 C Meyers Leonard and 6-11Mason Plumlee along the front line Portland has enough size to combat Milwaukee’s advantage in this game. Portland’s schedule has been rest friendly the past week with a day off in between all of their games so expect maximum effort here in the first of back-to-backs which has the daunting task of at Cleveland waiting for them tomorrow. Situation helps a bit but the on floor personnel battles earns the lean toward Portland in this one.