The status of the top scorer for each team is in question when the Milwaukee Bucks visit the resurgent Atlanta Hawks on Thursday. Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee), the league MVP in each of the last two seasons, has been sidelined for the past six games for Milwaukee, which sits atop the Central Division and holds a 3 1/2-game edge over the Hawks (30-25) for the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. Trae Young (calf) has missed two straight contests for Southeast-leading Atlanta, which is bidding for its fourth consecutive victory. Both are officially listed as questionable for Thursday.
Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. ET at State Farm Arena. The latest Bucks vs. Hawks odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Milwaukee as a four-point favorite, while the over-under is set at 230. Before finalizing any Hawks vs. Bucks picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it has returned over $9,100 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up over $1,100 on its top-rated picks this season, and dating back to last year, it entered Week 17 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 95-59 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Bucks vs. Hawks: Bucks -4
- Bucks vs. Hawks over-under: 230 points
- Bucks vs. Hawks money line: Bucks -175; Hawks +155
- MIL: The Bucks are 2-10-1 ATS as road favorites
- ATL: The Hawks are 14-10 ATS at home this season
Why the Bucks can cover
Khris Middleton, who is second to Antetokounmpo on the team with an average of 20.3 points, led the way in Wednesday's win at Minnesota with 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. He struggled mightily with his shot in a loss at Dallas on April 8, scoring 14 points on 6 of 27 from the floor, before regaining his stroke. In the last two games, Middleton shot a combined 17 of 28 overall and 5 of 11 from 3-point range.
Forward Bobby Portis had a solid all-around game in Wednesday's victory, contributing 13 points, seven rounds and five assists. It actually snapped a streak of four consecutive double-doubles for Porter, who averaged 14.8 points and 12.5 rebounds during that span. Rebounding was a huge factor in Milwaukee's 14-point victory over Atlanta in January, as the Bucks dominated the backboards by a nearly two-to-one margin (52-27).
Why the Hawks can cover
Atlanta had seven players out in Tuesday's win over Toronto but continues to get production from throughout the lineup. Guard Bogdan Bogdanovic has been sensational over the past nine games, eclipsing 20 points on seven occasions while lighting it up from behind the arc. He has knocked down at least four 3-pointers in seven of those nine contests, including eight vs. Charlotte on Sunday, and is 39 of 66 during that torrid stretch.
Clint Capela, the league's top rebounder at 14.2 per game, registered his eighth consecutive double-double with 19 points and 21 boards in Tuesday's victory. He has also picked up his offense this month, averaging 19.9 points to go along with 14.9 boards in the last seven games. Brandon Goodwin has made the most of his opportunity to replace Young in the starting lineup, scoring 35 points and hitting 6 of 10 3-pointers in the last two.
How to make Hawks vs. Bucks picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 223 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Hawks vs. Bucks? And which side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a 95-59 roll on NBA picks.