Bucks vs. Cavaliers odds: NBA picks from expert who's 12-4 on Milwaukee games

The Cleveland Cavaliers host the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday in a nationally televised contest at 7 p.m. ET. While the Bucks try to lock down a playoff spot, the injured Cavs could be without Larry Nance Jr., Kyle Korver and Rodney Hood, in addition to Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson as well as head coach Tyronn Lue.

Cleveland opened as a 3.5-point home favorite and now is laying three. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 222.5.

Before picking either side of this exciting matchup, you need to read what SportsLine hoops expert Larry Hartstein, who has nailed 12 of his past 16 Bucks picks and is on a sizzling 49-35 run picking all NBA games, has to say.

Last week, Hartstein made a confident pick on Bucks-Grizzlies, noting how Memphis, a 7.5-point underdog riding a 17-game losing skid, would struggle defensively against the high-scoring Bucks. The result: Seven Bucks scored double-figures as Milwaukee rolled to a 121-103 victory, allowing Hartstein to cover by nearly a dozen points.

Hartstein, who has a strong analytical background, has now examined every matchup, every player and every trend for Bucks-Cavaliers and locked in his picks.

He knows if the Bucks expect to win -- or at least cover the spread -- they would be wise to attack the guts of a porous Cleveland defense that yields an unsightly 110.1 points per game. With so many starters questionable, foul trouble could spell disaster for the Cavs, who would have to go deep into the bench reserves.

But Cleveland can cover if LeBron James' hot hand is fully charged. In his past two games, King James is averaging 34 points on 59 percent shooting. Also, forcing the action right at Giannis Antetokounmpo might keep the Greek Freak off his game.

So what side of Milwaukee-Cleveland do you need to be all over on Monday? Visit SportsLine now to see the strong point-spread pick by Hartstein, who has absolutely crushed the NBA, and find out.

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