While the Milwaukee Bucks are the defending NBA champions, they come into their Wednesday night matchup with the New York Knicks trailing New York in the Eastern Conference standings. In fact, the Bucks are currently outside of the top-eight in the East, as they are struggling to find their footing this season thanks in part to injuries to several key players on their roster. After a win on Tuesday night, the Bucks are back at it on Wednesday looking to take down the Knicks in Madison Square Garden.
Of course, Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks is a matchup that was just played on Friday, with the Knicks coming back from a huge first quarter deficit to win by double figures. In this game, the Knicks will look to have a better start from the opening tip, and take advantage of a Bucks team that will be playing its second road game in as many nights. But Giannis Antetokounmpo will look to prevent that from happening.
Milwaukee Bucks – Going Back To Back
The Milwaukee Bucks just played on Tuesday night, beating the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly to snap a two-game losing streak. Milwaukee took advantage of the absences of Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris for the Sixers, as Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 31 points in the winning effort. But Wednesday promises to be a tougher game for the Bucks, as they have to play their second game in as many nights against a Knicks team that is much healthier than the 76ers are right now.
Health is a concern for the Bucks still, even though some of their key pieces have returned over the last week or so. Bobby Portis and Jrue Holiday are back in action for the Bucks, but Khris Middleton is out due to a bout of COVID, while Brook Lopez continues to miss time due to injury for Milwaukee. While it is too early in the season to worry about playoff positioning, the Bucks will hope their best players can all be on the floor together soon.
Expected Line-Up: Jrue Holiday, George Hill, Grayson Allen, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis
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New York Knicks – Searching For Consistency
The New York Knicks enter this matchup with the Bucks at 7-4 on the season and in the top-eight in the Eastern Conference. But the Knicks are searching for consistent play, as they followed up Friday’s win over the Bucks with a home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They then beat the Philadelphia 76ers on the road, further exemplifying this team’s struggles to defend consistently and make the plays they need to on the offensive end.
Against the Bucks, guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo is always the top priority for a team. But the Knicks need to make sure that they are guarding the three-point line well. In previous home losses to the Raptors, Cavaliers and Magic this season, the Knicks were torched from the three-point line in the second half. Milwaukee has plenty of shooters capable of inflicting similar pain onto the Knicks, and Tom Thibodeau’s team will have to be diligent about getting in the way of three-point shooters for all four quarters of this contest.
Expected Line-Up: Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson
Expert Pick #1 – Knicks -2.5 @ -110
While the Knicks haven’t been as consistent as they’d have liked so far this year, the schedule both teams are facing as of late benefits the Knicks. New York is not facing another back to back for a week and a half, while the Bucks are in the middle of one while missing multiple stars from their starting lineup. Expect the Knicks to take advantage of this and to win at home against the defending champions.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 215.5 @ -110
Our second bet for this game is the over 215.5 at -110 odds. The Knicks have not been a good defensive team so far this season, as they have really struggled to lock in against the perimeter shooters of other teams. Combine that weakness with the fact that the Knicks are one of the better shooting teams in the league themselves this year, and this game has points written all over it.
Expert Pick #3 – Knicks to Win @ -140
We have already backed the Knicks to cover the spread as a favorite in this game. In the event that they only win the game by one or two points, we are also going to bet the Knicks to win at -140 odds. A bet at these odds is still a decent value based on the scheduling spot that is working against the Bucks here, even if there is some juice to lay to take the Knicks on the moneyline.
A 2-0 start to the season series against the Milwaukee Bucks would be huge for the New York Knicks. And they should be able to get just that in this Wednesday night matchup at the Garden. Expect the Knicks to take advantage of a depleted Bucks roster on the second night of a back to back and to cover the spread.