Milwaukee will head to Orlando tonight to take on a struggling Magic team. We’ll preview the game and then go over why you shouldn’t overthink this one when it comes to betting.
The Orlando Magic are 1-9 in their last 10 games and over that span, they have a NET rating of -13.1 which is 29th in the league. It’s hard to have a worse stretch of games on both ends of the floor than the Magic are having right now and the bad news for them is they now get to host a Bucks team that has won four of their last five games.
Injuries have made it difficult for this young Orlando team to find any real consistency or chemistry on the offensive end. Leading scorer Paolo Banchero missed time for a part of the season and now Jalen Suggs, Chuma Okeke, Gary Harris, Mo Bamba, and Wendall Carter Jr. have been dealing with injuries. These constant line-up changes have led to a 109.1 offensive rating and an average of 16.6 turnovers per game.
Milwaukee was already having a strong season but now they could be getting another spark on the offensive end with Khris Middleton back from injury. Middleton played in his first game of the season against the Lakers on December 2nd and was able to score 17 points shooting 54.5% from the field.
Despite being 16-6 this season offense has not been the strength of this Bucks team. Milwaukee is only averaging 112.7 points per game which is 15th in the NBA so the return of Middleton should help them improve on those numbers.
The true strength of this time lies on the defensive end, as the Bucks are second in the NBA in defensive rating at 107. Milwaukee only allows 108 points per game and has held their opponents to an average of only 46.3 points in the paint per game.
Milwaukee is currently favored by -9.5 points across the board and I think it’s the best play in this one. The Bucks are a far better team and getting them under 10 points here is too good to pass up. All of the strengths this Bucks team have match up incredibly well against this Magic team.
Orlando is only averaging 107.8 points per game which is 29th in the NBA so quite frankly even if the Bucks have one of their worst offensive games of the season they can still handle this Magic team strictly on the defensive end. The Magic already struggle to create for each other averaging a league-worst 21.2 assists per game which again poses an advantage for Milwaukee since the Bucks allow the least amount of assists per game in the league.
With all the injuries the Magic are dealing with I don’t think they have someone who can stop Giannis Antetokounmpo on the offensive end. Giannis should be able to take advantage of the lack of front-court depth the Magic have right now and after getting a few days off he should be able to continue his 31.7 points per game pace.
Milwaukee Bucks (-9.5)