Today’s play of the day is a battle between two Eastern Conference teams who could very well meet in the first round of the 2019-20 NBA Playoffs. If you look past their team records, this could very well be the game of the day. Giannis Antetokounmpo has no contemporary on the Magic, but they are a team full of exciting and ascending young talent. These two teams could become heated rivals down the line if Giannis chooses to sign a super-max to stay with the Milwaukee Bucks. With that being said, as the consensus point spread suggests, tonight’s contest has a clearly superior team.
- Opening Lines: The consensus point spread for this contest opened at -11.5 on the Milwaukee Bucks. The consensus over/under total opened at 219.5 points. The point spread has seen overnight movement and has increased to -12.5. The over/under total has dropped to 219.
- Current Line: Milwaukee -12.5
- O/U: 219
- Location: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Start Time: 8:00 PM EST, Monday, December 9th
- Last Meeting: Milwaukee defeated Orlando 123-91 – November 1, 2019
The Orlando Magic enter tonight’s contest with an 11-11 record and riding a four-game winning streak. While Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, and the injured Nikola Vucevic are the players the casual fan may know, it has been former lottery picks Jonathan Issac and Markelle Fultz who have propelled this team to new heights (for them). They are one of the deepest teams in the league, and while they may not exactly be ready for the grind of four seven-game series in the playoffs, their collection of talent dictates that they may be able to make some noise and surprise some teams throughout the season. The Magic will have a tough task in trying to extend their winning streak to five games in tonight’s contest against the Milwaukee Bucks. They have the talent to surprise most any team in the league. However, upsetting the Bucks in Milwaukee may be too much to ask at this point in their team’s development.
The Milwaukee Bucks have been playing like one of the very best teams in basketball, and currently, sit with a 20-3 record. They are riding high on a 14 game winning streak that includes a thrashing of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the Los Angeles Clippers. They have been making do without star guard in former rookie of the year Malcolm Brogdon, in what is for all intents and purposes a severely weakened Eastern Conference. With that being said, their victories over teams like the Clippers, the Houston Rockets, and the Utah Jazz have clearly displayed that they more than just a team that can beat up on the East. Their three losses this season were all games they could and probably should have won, and came against the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics, and the Utah Jazz. The Bucks have the inside track on making it 15 victories in a row, and only a complete shutdown of Giannis or a red hot shooting night from the Magic may be able to stop them.
- Milwaukee is 3-1-1 ATS in their last five contests against Orlando.
- Under is 3-1-1 in the last five contests between these two teams.
- Under is 5-0 in the last five contests between these two teams played in Milwaukee.
- Orlando is 9-12 ATS on the season.
- Orlando is 5-5 ATS on the road this season.
- Milwaukee is 12-11 ATS on the season.
- Milwaukee is 6-5 ATS at home this season.
- Orlando is 5-5 ATS in their last 10 contests.
- Orlando is 4-1 ATS in their last five road contests.
- Orlando is 2-6 ATS in their last eight Monday contests.
- Orlando is 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 contests against teams with winning records.
- Orlando is 1-5 ATS in their last six road contests against teams with winning home records.
- Milwaukee is 5-5 ATS in their last 10 contests.
- Milwaukee is 4-0 ATS in their last four contests.
- Milwaukee is 4-0 ATS in their last four contests played on two days of rest.
- Milwaukee is 4-0 ATS in their last four contests as a favorite.
- Over is 5-2 in Orlando’s last seven road contests.
- Over is 5-2 in Orlando’s last seven contests as an underdog.
- Over is 9-4 in Orlando’s last 13 contests.
- Over is 4-1 in Orlando’s last five contests as a road underdog.
- Over is 4-1 in Milwaukee’s last five home contests against teams with a road winning percentage below .400.
- Over is 24-9 in Milwaukee’s last 33 contests on two days of rest.
- Under is 13-5 in Milwaukee’s last 18 Monday contests.
Giannis Antetokounmpo under 12.5 rebounds (-118)
At first glance, I thought the over would be the play for this prop. Giannis is averaging 13.1 rebounds per game, which should mean he can easily clear the 12.5 rebound total, right? Deeper analysis reveals that Giannis has been averaging less than 30 minutes per game over his past four contests. The main culprit being blowout victories meaning the Bucks have the luxury of resting their star player.
The Magic are a team the Bucks have already beat by 20 or more points this season, leading to there being an increased risk on the over play. Giannis is averaging 13 plus rebounds a contest but has cleared 12.5 just three times in his last 11 contests. How did he get to an average of 13 plus per game you ask? He has eight games of 15 or more rebounds this season. He started the season hot and posted 13 or more rebounds in 11 of his first 12 contests of the season.
The sharps and early bettors are fully aware of which way Giannis’ numbers have been trending, and that when playing non-elite teams that he is a daily fourth-quarter rest candidate. This has led to heavy juice being on the under at -118, while the over currently sits at -102. Punch in the under at FanDuel before the juice on this player prop rises.
Milwaukee Bucks third-quarter home team total over 28.5 points (-102)
The juice for this prop currently sits on the under. 28.5 points in a quarter by any team in the league is a tough bet. With that being said, the Milwaukee Bucks are averaging 30.3 points per third quarter on the season, and with the first half spread and team total, and the second quarter team total all carrying a lower win probability, this is the prop to attack. Normally, we would just stick with the Giannis under prop listed above, but we are looking for a way to mitigate our risk on the full game line on the 12.5 points. Giannis could very well be rested by the Bucks in the fourth, and their second-quarter average is too close to the posted total of 29.5 for there to be any value to speak of. Giannis should get extended third-quarter run if the game is already out of hand and the Bucks plan to rest him for the fourth. When we combine that with the hot recent shooting of Khris Middleton, we should have an easy click for this prop. The juice here suggests the number could drop to 28 or 27.5 points. Have some patience and lock this in for one unit prior to game time at FanDuel.
The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Orlando Magic by 32 points in their meeting earlier this season. That’s it. That’s my rationale. In all seriousness, the Bucks have been on a tear in their recent contests, and only garbage time should allow the Magic to cover the spread in this contest. In basketball, 12.5 is a ridiculous spread to fade eight times out of 10. However, the Bucks were able to smash the Los Angeles Clippers by 28 points on Friday, showing that their recent trouncing of opponents could extend to even the elite teams in the league. The Bucks are going to slow down, and in all honesty, Jonathan Issac and the Magic are the perfect potential letdown game for the Magic as far as covering the spread is concerned. Issac leads the league in blocks per game and is finally becoming the player many of us hoped he could be when he was drafted sixth overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. Hedging the 12.5 full game with the third quarter home team total listed above helps mitigate our risk here, as backdoor covers are always a concern when they talent gap between two teams is so large.