The Bucks are on a back-to-back, but they can lean on their depth in ways the Suns can’t tonight, which is part of the reason why our NBA picks are backing a similar result to the 2021 NBA Finals in this rematch.
The Milwaukee Bucks (49-19) picked up a pivotal win last night over the red-hot Kings, with Giannis Antetkounmpo pitching in a monstrous 46 points on 19-of-28 shooting. Giannis’ name is not spotted on tonight’s injury report, and he will get to join the Bucks in another Finals rematch — the first of which he missed two weeks ago.
The Phoenix Suns (37-31) will host this time around, and are looking to avenge their 104-101 loss from February 26th. The hope following that game was that Kevin Durant would be available for the rubber match, but after spraining his ankle last week, that hope has been extinguished. Nevertheless, Devin Booker and Chris Paul will do their best to answer.
Can the Phoenix Suns get revenge in their second attempt despite missing Durant or will the Bucks, this time with Giannis, put their foot down once more and establish superiority once again?
Continue reading for free NBA picks and predictions for the Bucks vs. Suns matchup on Tuesday, March 14th.
Bucks vs Suns best odds
Bucks vs Suns picks and predictions
In this matchup two weeks ago, the Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Bucks took care of business behind some key performances from familiar faces. Jrue Holiday led all players with 33 points behind 4-of-9 shooting from deep while logging a game-high +13 plus-minus. He unsurprisingly brought the clamps on defense, punctuated by a steal on Devin Booker with 11.1 seconds left with the Suns down two, essentially sealing the game.
Brook Lopez chipped in 22 points of his own as well as 13 rebounds and four blocks. The 34-year-old continues to age gracefully, and is currently the odds-on favorite to win the Defensive Player of the Year award. In his last five games alone, he‘s averaging 4.6 blocks per game, including a nine-block performance against the Nets last Thursday.
He‘s also arguably the most potent big-man perimeter threat in the league, and is shooting 50% from deep this month. To top it off, the 21.6 points he’s been averaging this month is his highest average for a month since November 2016. Lopez’s status for tonight’s game could be in danger following a scuffle with Trey Lyles in the closing moments of last night’s game, but he is more likely to be hit with a fine than a suspension.
Bobby Portis has also been a massive factor for the Bucks as of late, minus for his smaller performance last night (three points in 19 minutes). In the three games prior, Bobby averaged 19.7 points and 12.3 rebounds while logging 30+ minutes in each contest. In the previous game against the Suns, he posted 10 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes.
Reserve guard Jevon Carter has also stepped up as of late, averaging 13.4 points in the last five games while shooting 45.5% from deep. Like Portis, he had a small impact last night (five points in 13 minutes), but given that the Bucks are on a back-to-back he may be leaned on more heavily tonight.
This level of high-impact depth is the exact thing plaguing the Suns in this post-Durant trade world. Sending out the likes of Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson was obviously necessary to complete the trade, but it has left their regular rotation rather thin — especially in the absence of Durant.
In their last game against the Bucks, their bench combined for just 23 points. And although some time has passed since that game, the issue hasn’t gotten any better. Since trading for Durant, their bench scoring (31.3 PPG) has ranked eighth-worst in the league. Only two teams above .500 (the Cavaliers and Heat) have lower bench scoring during that time.
My best bet: Milwaukee Bucks -1.5 (-108 at WynnBET)
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Bucks vs Suns spread analysis
The spread opened with the Bucks favored by a point and it has since moved to -1.5.
Milwaukee‘s 38-26-4 against the spread this season, and its 59.4% cover rate is the second-best in the league. As away favorites, they’ve gone an even better 14-5-2 (73.7%) — again, second-best in the league. Only two teams have played more games in that split: Boston (14-15, 48.3%) and Memphis (10-12-1 (45.5%).
The Bucks are 8-0-1 against the spread in back-to-backs, the only team this year without a loss in the spread column in that split. They’re 11-5 against the spread in their last 16, and are 15-8-2 (65.2%) against the Western Conference this year when it comes to covering the number.
The Suns are 36-30-2 (54.6%) against the spread this year, good for the eighth-best cover rate on the season. As home underdogs they have gone 3-4 (42.9%), and they also are on a back-to-back (10-7-1, 58.8%).
Phoenix has gone an even 13-13-1 (50.0%) against the spread in games against Eastern Conference opponents. They have gone 4-9 ATS as underdogs, and 2-6 when underdogs of less than four points.
Bucks vs Suns Over/Under analysis
The total opened at 231.5 and many books have moved up to 232-232.5.
The Bucks are an even 34-34 on totals this year, but they’re the league’s friendliest team towards Unders on the road at 22-12 (64.7%). As away favorites specifically, they‘re favoring the Under slightly more (14-7, 66.7%).
They’ve gone Over the total in five of their last seven and have gone 7-5 to the Over in games with a total of 232 or higher, but on back-to-backs they have gone 6-3 to the Under (66.7%).
Phoenix is also even on totals this year, having gone 33-33-2 this year. At home, they’re 17-16 to the Under; as home underdogs, they’re 4-3 to the Under.
On back-to-backs they’ve gone 7-2 to the Under, and their 77.8% rate to the Under is the highest of any team in that split. They have, however, gone Over in four of their last five. In the six games with a total of 232 or higher, they’ve gone 4-2 to the Over.
Bucks vs Suns betting trend to know
The Bucks have gone 14-5-2 against the spread as away favorites this year. Find more NBA betting trends for Bucks vs. Suns.
Bucks vs Suns game info
|Location:||Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ|
|Date:||Tuesday, March 14, 2023|
|Tip-off:||10:00 p.m. ET|
|TV:||Bally Sports Wisconsin, Bally Sports Arizona|