No.1 in the East Facing No.1 from the West
The top teams in their respective conferences will meet when the Milwaukee Bucks face the Denver Nuggets. This game on Saturday will be between teams with some of the best NBA title odds and feature players in the MVP conversation.
The Bucks blew out the Utah Jazz in the first game of a back-to-back, winning 144-116 with a combined scoring effort. In the Nuggets’ last game, they beat the Washington Wizards 118-104, getting contributions from their top players.
Bucks Tough Schedule Ahead
These next nine games for the Bucks could significantly impact their standings. While the team sits in first place in the Eastern Conference, they have a 2½-game lead over the Boston Celtics, who have been the No.1 seed for most of the season. What could put Milwaukee’s position in danger is its upcoming schedule.
The Bucks have three back-to-back series remaining, including the one they are now, which started with the Jazz. On top of that, out of the nine remaining games, four are against the best teams in the league. The Nuggets, Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and Memphis Grizzlies are all coming up. None of those games will be easy, including two more against play-in hopefuls the Chicago Bulls and the Toronto Raptors.
Bucks updated their injury report last night.
Khris Middleton is OUT (right knee injury management) for tonight’s game as well. https://t.co/rUQOaef1BW
— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) March 24, 2023
The NBA lines could still favor the Bucks, having one of the best rosters, but injury management might become a problem with so many back-to-backs. Khris Middleton is a crucial part of the team and missed the game against the Jazz, resting his knee, which has been an injury that hampered him all season. While he could face the Nuggets, Middleton might miss some games in this final push.
Nuggets’ Defense Hopefully Back on Track
The Nuggets have remained, for the most part, in complete control of the Western Conference No.1 seed according to most NBA playoff odds. They currently have a 3½-game lead over the second seed, but after a minor slump, the Nuggets seem back on track.
Denver had recently gone through one of its worst slumps, winning one game through six. It was a rough 10-day stretch in which all the Nuggets’ issues were fully put on display. The defense could not stop anyone, with the worst defensive rating during that six-game stretch.
A lot of the team’s defensive ability is based on player activity, and when that isn’t happening, the defense suffers. With the season nearing the end and the No.1 seed seemingly locked up, it makes sense that some of the efforts on defense would dip.
Flashes of what the Nuggets’ second unit defense can be with Zeke Nnaji from last night: Switching 1-5, get stops, and run. pic.twitter.com/R0FEIE5IWW
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) March 20, 2023
However, with the playoffs getting closer, the defense activity is ramping back up. The Nuggets have the ninth-best defensive rating through the last four games, looking notably better. That might make the team once again reliable for NBA picks.
Bucks vs Nuggets Game Injuries
Bucks vs Nuggets Head-to-Head
Over the last two seasons, the Bucks and Nuggets have split their two-game series, with the road team winning. That could flip this season, with the Bucks winning the first matchup at home 107-99 on Jan. 25. Giannis Antetokounmpo played great, scoring 33 points with 14 rebounds, but Nikola Jokić missed the game.
Bucks vs Nuggets Game Information
- Game: Bucks (53-20) vs Nuggets (49-24)
- Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
- Day/Time: Saturday, March 25, 9 p.m. ET
- Bucks vs Nuggets Live stream: NBA Game Pass
Bucks vs Nuggets Betting Lines
Bucks vs Nuggets Picks & Prediction
The NBA news around this game might be focused on one thing, which is the battle between potential MVPs, Antetokounmpo and Jokić. They are the players to win the last four MVP awards, and one seems likely to win their third.
Playing a head-to-head game could have a massive impact on their MVP bid. However, with the Nuggets being at home and not coming off a back-to-back, they could have a slight advantage to win this game.
The Denver Nuggets are listed at -150 in our Vegas NBA odds. This means that if you wager $100 on the Nuggets, you have a chance to win $67. The Milwaukee Bucks is +130, offering a chance to win $130 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Denver Nuggets a 60.00% chance to win, with the Milwaukee Bucks at 43.48%.
Bucks vs Nuggets Trends
Bucks vs Nuggets Edge
Bucks vs Nuggets Results
Bucks vs Nuggets Game Summary
Nuggets vs Bucks Previous Game (Jan. 25, 2023)
The Milwaukee Bucks are coming off one of the highest-scoring games in their history. It’s not a coincidence that the 150-point performance occurred in Giannis Antetokounmpo’s return to the lineup.
Giannis and Co. will try to build off the win in Detroit when they host the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. Nikola Jokic, who won the last two MVPs after Giannis claimed the previous two, returned from a hamstring injury to put in another outstanding effort Tuesday in New Orleans. Their potential matchup makes for a fun night of online gambling.