NBA Tips & Preview – Bucks @ Lakers

The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips as the in-form Milwaukee Bucks and teetering LA Lakers complete their regular season series. 

14:00 (AEDT), Wed 9th Feb @ Cryto.com Arena, Los Angeles

History: Played 157: Lakers 89 V Bucks 68

Last meeting: November 17, 2021: Bucks 109 d Lakers 102 at Fiserv Forum

Final Thoughts: Milwaukee Bucks will shoot for four straight wins when they take on an increasingly desperate LA Lakers.

The 34-21 Bucks have surged to second in the East with seven wins from their last nine games and suddenly have their sights firmly set on the top seed. They have easily accounted for the Wizards (112-98), Trail Blazers (137-108) and Clippers (137-113) in the past week.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is closing the gap on Joel Embiid in the MVP market and had 28 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists against the Clippers. Meanwhile, big man Bobby Portis followed up his 30-point night in Portland with 24 points and 11 boards against the Clippers, and Jrue Holiday racked up 27 points and 13 assists in the Cryto.com Arena blowout two nights ago.

The 26-28 Lakers are ninth in the West; the chasing pack is some distance back, but the high-profile team is several wins away from the top-six conversation. They have won two of their last three, bookending a one-point loss to the Clippers with a 99-94 defeat of the Blazers and a 122-115 overtime win over the Knicks.

LeBron James returned from a five-game absence spectacularly against the Knicks, reeling off a triple-double (29 pts, 13 reb, 10 ast). Anthony Davis (28 pts, 17 reb) was also in dominant touch, while Malik Monk dropped 28 points. Russell Westbrook’s troubled first season in the Lakers jersey hit a low point, however, booed by the home fans as he went 1-for-10 from the field in a 5-point performance.

James and Davis are day-to-day but probable to line up against the Bucks. Bench veterans Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard will miss a second straight game. Grayson Allen is probable for the Bucks after sitting out the Clippers clash.

The teams met in Milwaukee in November, with the Bucks carving out a 109-102 win. Antetokoumpo went off for 47 points, while Talen Horton-Tucker (25 pts, 12 reb) starred in a LeBron-less Lakers line-up.

The Lakers are 17-13 at Crypto.com Arena this season (13-17 ATS), winning seven of their last 10. The Bucks are 15-12 on the road (14-13 ATS), breaking a four-game away losing streak with wins in their last two.

LeBron’s bombastic return has buoyed the Lakers’ hopes of a revival, particularly with AD and Monk in great touch already. But the Bucks are dominating on both sides of the ball and I can’t see the hosts containing a Giannis-led juggernaut when he is getting such solid support from Portis, Holiday and co.

Best Bet: Margin – Suns 1-10 @ $2.75

Same Game Multi: Result – Suns; Handicap – Bulls +8; Total – Over 227.5; Devin Booker Points – Over 28.5 @ $13.26