The Brooklyn Nets visit the Milwaukee Bucks for a pivotal Eastern Conference battle on Sunday. The two teams continue a best-of-seven series with Game 4, and the Nets lead the Bucks by a 2-1 margin. Milwaukee won Game 3, outlasting Brooklyn in a low-scoring matchup on Thursday evening. James Harden (hamstring) is out for the Nets, with Jeff Green (foot) listed as questionable. Donte DiVincenzo (ankle) is out for the Bucks.
Tip-off is at 3 p.m. ET in Milwaukee. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Nets as two-point road favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 228 in the latest Nets vs. Bucks odds. Before you make any Bucks vs. Nets picks, be sure to check out the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned over $9,100 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up almost $900 on its top-rated picks this season and entered the conference semifinals of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on a stunning 100-66 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Nets vs. Bucks spread: Nets -2
- Nets vs. Bucks over-under: 228 points
- Nets vs. Bucks money line: Nets -130, Bucks +110
- BKN: The Nets are 9-1 against the spread in the last 10 games
- MIL: The Bucks are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Nets can cover
Game 3 was an outlier for the Nets offensively. Brooklyn led the entire NBA in offensive rating during the regular season, scoring more than 1.17 points per possession, and its offensive efficiency has been even better in the NBA Playoffs. Beyond the raw production, the Nets are the best shooting team in the NBA, posting a true shooting mark of 61.0 percent and a field goal shooting mark of 49.4 percent in regular season play, and things simply fell apart in a one-game sample.
With that said, Brooklyn can rely on its elite offense, but its defense is coming around in a big way during the postseason. The Nets boast a defensive rating of 94.6 points allowed per 100 possessions in the series, holding the Bucks to just 1.15 assists for every turnover. Milwaukee, a top-five offensive team during the regular season, is producing just a 47.2 percent true shooting mark, and the Nets did post a top-10 showing in shooting efficiency allowed this season. Brooklyn likely won't hold Milwaukee down to this level, but Nets have shown the ability to get stops when needed under the bright lights that accompany the playoffs.
Why the Bucks can cover
The Bucks picked up a much needed win in Game 3 and they can use that to bolster their confidence. Offensively, it was anything but a dominant effort, with Milwaukee failing to crack 90 points and shooting just 6-of-31 from 3-point range. However, the Bucks were a top-tier offensive team this season, scoring 116.5 points per 100 possessions, and Milwaukee also connected on 38.9 percent of its 3-point attempts. With that in mind, it is reasonable to expect an uptick in efficiency, and both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton managed to be productive offensively in Game 3.
On the other end, Brooklyn presents myriad challenges, but Milwaukee is up to the task. The Bucks held opponents to just 110.7 points per 100 possessions this season and, even against the No. 1 offense in the league, Milwaukee is giving up just 109.1 points per 100 possessions in the series. Mike Budenholzer's team is dominating on the defensive glass, grabbing 79.4 percent of rebounds after forcing a missed shot, and that helps to raise the team's defensive floor.
How to make Bucks vs. Nets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting 227 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time. You can only get this pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Nets vs. Bucks? And which side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.