Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets will look to get back to their winning ways in Tuesday's Game 5 versus Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Dating back to the regular season, Brooklyn had won 11 of its previous 12 games before dropping back-to-back contests in Milwaukee. The Nets return to Barclays Center on Tuesday, where they haven't lost since April, although the team will be shorthanded with Kyrie Irving (ankle) out. James Harden (hamstring), however, is attempting to return to the lineup and he's officially listed as questionable.
Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. ET in Brooklyn and the home team is 4-0 in this series. The latest Nets vs. Bucks odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Milwaukee as a two-point favorite, while the over-under is set at 221. Before finalizing 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: Bucks -2
- Nets vs. Bucks over-under: 221 points
- Nets vs. Bucks money line: Bucks -130 Nets +110
- MIL: Antetokounmpo has eight consecutive double-doubles this postseason
- BKN: The Nets are 5-3 as home underdogs
Why the Nets can cover
Even if Harden is able to go in some capacity, Durant will still likely need to carry much of the offensive load. He scored 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Game 4. In the four games against Milwaukee so far in the series, he has averaged 29.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Durant has already recorded three double-doubles in the series. He has averaged 31.3 points per game in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, second among players still active in the postseason.
The Nets are attempting to make the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since the 2002-2003 season. A Game 5 win would set a franchise record for most consecutive home playoff wins with six. Brooklyn has won 33 of 41 home games this season including the playoffs, and the Nets have won 23 of 26 home games against Eastern Conference teams. The chances of a victory seem to be good if the Nets can reach the 120-point mark. They have won all four postseason games when reaching that total, and were 31-3 during the regular season when hitting that marker.
Why the Bucks can cover
Milwaukee was the highest-scoring team during the regular season but it's been the defense that has gotten it back into this series. The Nets had scored at least 100 points in 34 straight games, but have now gone back-to-back games without reaching that total. With Irving out and Harden likely less than 100 percent if he is able to play, Milwaukee can focus even more attention on Durant, with P.J. Tucker doing a superb job on him in Game 4. Tucker was thrust into more playing time with the season-ending injury to Donte DiVincenzo (foot), but the veteran helped limited Durant to nine points on 25 percent shooting as his primary defender in Game 4.
On the other end of the court, Milwaukee found its shooting stroke from deep last game. The Bucks shot 34 percent from 3-point range, which is a huge improvement over the 22.7 percent they shot through the first three games of the series. The Bucks ranked fifth during the regular season with a 38.9 3-point percentage, so there's even more room to shoot better from long distance. If Milwaukee is knocking down its 3-pointers, then the undermanned Nets will simply lack the firepower to keep up.
How to make Bucks vs. Nets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, projecting 225 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well 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 well 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.