Nets vs. Bucks: Game 3 betting odds, preview, and pick
The Brooklyn Nets have dominated the first two games of their second round series. Can the Milwaukee Bucks find their groove now that they're back at home?
We have the betting odds and preview you need before Game 3 tips off at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fiserv Forum.
Thu, June 10 2021, 11:40 PM
No Harden, No Problem
The Nets lost James Harden within the first minute of Game 1 to a hamstring injury. He then missed all of Game 2 and has already been ruled out for Game 3. Although, that has not seemed to faze the Nets as they absolutely shellacked the Bucks in the first two games.
The Nets won the first two games by a combined score of 240-193, and Monday night’s 39-point loss was the worst of the season for the Bucks. It seems as if the Nets have found their stride with their current lineup despite the fact they're missing two key contributors in Harden and Jeff Green.
The most common four-man combination that the Nets have thrown on the court this postseason has included Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, and Joe Harris. This grouping with any fifth teammate has averaged +19.1 more points per 100 possessions than their opponents.
There's no place like home
The Bucks desperately need something to change in this series, and a change of scenery may be just the ticket. In the regular season, the Bucks went 2-1 against the Nets, winning both games at home. The Bucks also went 26-10 at home this season, compared to only 20-16 on the road.
Meanwhile, the Nets struggled on the road this season, going just 20-16. They also lost a road Game 3 to the much inferior and beaten-up Boston Celtics in the first round.
The Bucks are the favorites?!
This will come as a shock to many casual fans that watched the first two games of this series, but the Bucks are actually favored for Game 3. We already mentioned their impressive home record against Brooklyn’s mediocre road record. There are also some interesting trends to consider.
The Nets are only 20-18 ATS this season on the road and 7-6 ATS as a road underdog. The Bucks are 19-17 ATS as a home favorite, but 2-0 ATS as a home favorite against the Nets. Both of those games had less than 4-point spreads, just like Game 3.
One major factor in the Nets' domination of the Bucks in Games 1 and 2 was the shooting of Harris. However, his production and shooting percentages have dipped on the road this season. His scoring average drops from 14.9 at home to 13.4 on the road. His shooting percentage also drops from 52% to 49%, and his 3-point percentage drops from 49.8% to 45.3%.
Even though the Nets have looked unbeatable in this series, this is the game that I expect the Bucks to play their absolute best in. They know they have to win this game to stay in the series. It seems counterintuitive to pick against Brooklyn right now, but situations matter, and the Bucks returning to Milwaukee will make all the difference.
Khris Middleton struggled mightily in the first two games and will be key in turning this series around. Expect the two-time All-Star to come out firing in Game 3 en route to a Bucks victory.