The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips as Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks host Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets.
11:00 (AEDT), Mon 31st Jan @ Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee
History: Played 107: Nuggets 66 V Bucks 41
Last meeting: November 26, 2021: Bucks 120 d Nuggets 109 at Ball Arena
Final Thoughts: Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets are stationed in the top six of their respective conferences and looking to climb. Both teams come into this blockbuster off a solid week form-wise.
But it’s the first battle of the European MVP candidates this season that will have fans transfixed.
The 31-20 Bucks have won four of their last five, bouncing back from a 16-point loss at Cleveland with a 123-108 defeat of the Knicks at home two days ago. Giannis Antetokounmpo (38 pts, 13 reb, 5 ast) was at his blistering best, while Jrue Holiday (24 pts, 10 ast) and Khris Middleton (20 pts, 7 reb) were also superb.
Holiday is getting back to top form five games back after a two-week layoff with an ankle injury.
The 27-21 Nuggets are on a four-game winning streak. After beating Detroit at home (117-111), they overcame the Piston (110-105), Nets (124-118) and Pelicans (116-105) on the road. Nikola Jokic has surged into MVP contention – he is posting huge numbers on a nightly basis, including a triple-double against New Orleans (29 pts, 13 reb, 10 ast).
Aaron Gordon and DeMarcus Cousins are questionable for Denver today, but Will Barton is set to line up after missing the Pelicans clash.
Antetokounmpo (24 pts, 13 reb, 7 ast) led the Bucks to a 120-109 victory over the Jokic-less Nuggets in Denver in late-November. Middleton (17 pts, 5 reb, 7 ast) and Holiday (16 pts, 5 reb, 6 ast) played solid support roles and Pat Connaughton scored 20 points off the bench. Aaron Gordon (18 pts, 9 reb) and Will Barton (17 pts, 9 reb, 4 ast) were the Nuggets’ best.
The Bucks are 18-8 at home (10-16 ATS) and have won their last four straight at Fiserv Forum. The Nuggets are 14-12 on the road (11-15 ATS), winning seven of their last nine away.
It is largely down to Jokic, but the Nuggets have been one of January’s form teams. The Bucks are warming up again after a bumpy start to 2022, but I’ll take the visitors with a generous start in this one.
Best Bet: Handicap – Nuggets +6.5 @ $1.90
Same Game Handicap: Total – Over 230.5; To Score 30+ Points – Antetokoumpo; To Score 30+ Points – Jokic; Antetokounmpo Rebounds – Over 10.5; Jokic Rebounds – Over 13.5 @ $21.45