Bucks vs. Spurs Odds & Predictions 10/23/21
Milwaukee Bucks (1-1 SU, 1-1-0 ATS) vs. San Antonio Spurs (1-1 SU, 2-0-0 ATS)
When: Saturday, October 23rd, 2021, 8:30 PM (ET)
Where:AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
TV: NBA League Pass
Point Spread: MIL -7.5/SAS +7.5 (Opened at MIL -7.5)
Total: 223.5 (Opened at 223.5)
Money Line: Bucks -326, Spurs +255
Power Rating: Milwaukee -10
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Probable Starting LineupsMilwaukee Bucks PG Jrue Holiday, SG Grayson Allen, SF Pat Connaughton, PF Krhis Middleton, C Giannis Antetokounmpo
Home Team: PG Dejounte Murray, SG Derrick White, SF Doug McDermott, PF Keldon Johnson , C Jakob Poeltl
Bucks: Jrue Holiday (GTD),Rodney Hood (GTD),Donte Divencenzo (Out), Brook Lopez (Out), Semi Ojeleye (Out), Bobby Portis (Out)
Spurs: Zach Collins (Out)
When a team wins a championship, the question is always how its players and coaches will treat the following season? Will they try to prove their title wasn’t a fluke and play for the top record? Or, will they focus on staying healthy with an eye on the playoffs?
The Milwaukee Bucks are the only team lucky enough to face this issue as the current reigning champs. For Milwaukee, their dilemma is even more pronounced as their championship run concluded just three months ago.
Even though the team has played just two games, we are already getting a glimpse as to how Milwaukee’s season will play out. After opening their season with an impressive 127-104 win over the Nets, the Bucks were destroyed by the Miami Heat 137-95.
We should take this outcome with a grain of salt as the Bucks were without several key players. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if they have several games like this throughout the season.
In Milwaukee’s condensed off-season, it appears that Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo worked on improving his jump shot. If this proves true, the Greek Freak will be a front runner to pick up his third NBA MVP award.
The San Antonio Spurs enter this game having just played last night, falling to the Denver Nuggets 102-96.
In the game, the team had a standout performance from Keldon Johnson, who finished with 27 points. San Antonio also received contributions from Derrick White and Dejonte Murray, who racked 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Last season, the Spurs finished 10th in the Western Conference and squeaked in as the last team in the NBA play-in tournament. An opening-round loss to the Memphis Grizzlies sent the group into an early off-season.
In between seasons, the San Antonio Spurs front office failed to make any moves leading me to believe they improved their playoff outlook. Shipping DeMar Derozan to the Chicago Bulls signaled this team could be headed to the NBA lottery.
The additions of Doug McDermott and Thadeus Young are not what I consider needle-moving acquisitions. Keldon Johnson and Dejounte Murray are the team’s most promising young players, but even a coach as respected as Greg Popovich needs more talent than this to complete.
An Eye On Pace
Last year, the Milwaukee Bucks were second in the NBA in pace, averaging 104.4 possessions per game. When playing against fast-paced teams, the Spurs tended to slow the game down, suggesting San Antonio could dictate tonight’s style of play. However, this wasn’t necessarily a good thing for the team as the Spurs won just 38% of their games vs. fast-paced opponents.
When the Bucks played against teams profiling similarly to San Antionio in pace, they won 61% of their contests. This was slightly below their overall winning percentage of 64%.
Giannis Dominates Inside
In their championship season, the Milwaukee Bucks had their highest win percentage vs. teams that struggled to score the ball. Against teams like the Spurs, Milwaukee won 68% of their games with an average margin of victory of +8. However, on average, these opponents did score three points above their expected output.
The Spurs will have the challenging task of slowing down one of the league’s most efficient offenses. When Giannis Antetokounmpo gets into the paint, he scores at a remarkable rate of efficiency. San Antonio doesn’t have the personnel to keep up with the Greek Freak, so I expect a big game for him and the Bucks.
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Spurs Will Put Up Points
Last season, the Spurs were one of the worst defensive teams, something we haven’t come to expect from Greg Popovich-coached teams. When the Bucks squared up with such units, they won 78% of their games with a MOV of 11 points.
Even though Milwaukee was one of last year’s most efficient defensive teams, I don’t expect the Spurs to struggle offensively. The Bucks tend to play down to their competition. Last year, bad offensive opponents scored 8 points above their expected output vs. Milwaukee.
Last season, the Milwaukee Bucks and San Antonio Spurs split their two meetings as both teams took care of business at home. Between both games, San Antonio outscored Milwaukee 259-245.
Offensively, the Bucks had similar outputs between games one and two, ending with 120 and 125, respectively. It was the Spurs who went off in game two, finishing with 146 points.
How the Public is Betting the Bucks vs. Spurs
58% are betting the Bucks against the spread.
67% are wagering on the game to go over the posted total of 223.5.
Betting Trends Worth NotingIn Milwaukee’s last five road games, the Over has gone OVER. When Milwaukee has traveled to San Antonio, the OVER has hit five times in a row. The Spurs are 5-0 against the spread when playing the Bucks.
Joe’s Pick to Cover the Spread
I expect the Milwaukee Bucks to be one of this season’s toughest teams to handicap. When placing a wager on the Bucks, it will be important to watch the injury report as the team will look to rest players throughout the season.
Since the line’s opened, the Bucks have come down a whole point to -7.5 point favorites. I recommend taking Milwaukee on the spread up until -9.5. San Antonio is at home but coming off a back-to-back game in which their starters played significant minutes. In today’s NBA, teams are cautious with their players when playing consecutive nights.
Prop Bets Worth Wagering
In this game, I will be taking Grayson Allen to finish over his line of 10.5 points. This season Allen will get an abundance of open looks from deep with the attention given to the Greek Freak.
My other prop bet of the night is Dejounte Murray to go over his line of 16.5 points. Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday is dealing with an early-season injury. This means Murray will see a lot of time vs. George Hill, a matchup he can exploit.
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