The 2021 NBA Playoffs continue on Thursday with Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets. Kevin Durant turned in a legendary performance in Game 5, putting up 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists to lead Brooklyn to a 114-108 win that gives them a 3-2 edge in the series. The Nets are now listed as +160 in the last 2021 NBA Championship odds from William Hill Sportsbook. However, now the series head back to Milwaukee, where the Bucks were able to win both games earlier in the series by limiting the Nets to 89.5 points per game. Kyrie Irving (ankle) remains out, while James Harden (hamstring) has been removed from the injury report after returning for Game 4.
This NBA Playoffs 2021 matchup is scheduled to get underway at 8:30 p.m. ET at Fiserv Forum. Milwaukee is the 5.5-point favorite, up 2.5 points from the opening line, with the over-under listed at 220 in the latest Nets vs. Bucks odds from William Hill. 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 -5.5
- Nets vs. Bucks over-under: 220 points
- Nets vs. Bucks money line: Bucks -215, Nets +185
- BKN: The Nets are 8-2 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
With Harden making a surprising return to the lineup after missing three games with a hamstring injury, Brooklyn leaned heavily on its two available stars in Game 5 with Durant playing all 48 minutes and Harden playing 46 minutes despite feeling the lingering effects of his injury. Durant obviously dominated with his triple-double, but Harden shot 1-for-10 and managed just five points.
However, even while playing through an injury, Harden seems unlikely to shoot that poorly again and he was still a capable distributor with eight assists on the night. With Durant absolutely dominating this postseason, if the Nets can get more from Harden on Thursday night it will certainly make them more formidable offensively after being held to under 100 points in both of their previous games in Milwaukee.
Why the Bucks can cover
Milwaukee's offense has struggled at times, but the Bucks remain an elite defensive team. The Bucks lead the entire NBA Playoffs 2021 in defensive rating, giving up 102.1 points per 100 possessions, and that speaks for itself. Beyond that, Milwaukee is holding Brooklyn to fewer than 1.08 points per possession in the series, well below its league-leading scoring efficiency. The Bucks are fantastic on the defensive glass, grabbing 80.4 percent of available rebounds, and they were a top-two team in the NBA in both 2-point shooting allowed (50.7 percent) and free-throw attempts allowed (18.8 per game) during the regular season.
On the offensive end, Antetokounmpo remains a force, averaging 30.6 points and 12.0 rebounds per game in the series. The Bucks were also a top-five offensive team in the league during the regular season, with elite shooting marks in field-goal percentage (48.7 percent) and 3-point percentage (38.9 percent) over a large sample.
How to make Bucks vs. Nets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total. 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.