The 35-31 Milwaukee Bucks and 18-48 Memphis Grizzlies have each been struggling as of late. The squads will be aiming for very different outcomes when they meet today (8pm ET Monday).
Milwaukee has won just three of its last 10 games despite having its core four of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker and Eric Bledsoe healthy the entire time. It’s a bit unclear what the team’s identity is, as the Bucks have been very inconsistent on both ends of the floor recently.
The Grizzlies are on a 17-game losing streak. As the squad looks toward securing the best odds of earning the No. 1 pick at the strong top of the draft, it has played several unknown players and looked very weak as of late. The organization wouldn’t admit it, but Memphis wants to lose games right now.
How will the different factors in this game affect the outcome? That is what this preview will look at before finalizing our Milwaukee Bucks vs Memphis Grizzlies predictions and picks.
Can Marc Gasol Come Out Aggressive and Efficient After Rest Game?
Gasol is by far the Grizzlies’ best player. After him, it’s a debate between guys like Chandler Parsons, JaMychal Green and Dillon Brooks. Either way, Milwaukee has at least four players better than Memphis’ second-best player.
This puts a bunch of pressure on Gasol to put forth a superstar performance for the Grizzlies to win. He has had a very challenging season with the injuries and poor play happening around him, but the 33-year-old center still capable of dominating every now and then. He had 23 points, 10 rebounds and four assists against the Spurs a week ago, nearly leading Memphis to a big upset win.
Milwaukee does not have an interior defender who has the strength or skill to deal with Gasol for the 30 to 35 minutes he will likely play on Monday. This game is a great opportunity for the aging star to mark up the stat sheet in a big way.
Will the Bucks Keep Pace of Game High?
The Bucks have a major athleticism advantage in this game. While they still play at a slow to moderate pace, they are very good scoring in transition. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies play the league’s slowest pace and don’t have many players with above-average speed and leaping ability for their position.
Milwaukee would be wise to play pressure defense in hopes of stealing the ball and scoring in transition, rather than playing more conservatively and aiming to prevent uncontested shots.
The Bucks are not a very tough team to guard when they have to manufacture all their offense in the half court. They must do everything they can to prevent this from happening.
Will Giannis Antetokounmpo Assert His Dominance from Get-Go?
Marc Gasol is a very tough matchup for the Bucks. However, Antetokounmpo is an even bigger problem for the Grizzlies. Memphis doesn’t have anyone with the combination of size, experience and quickness to slow down the Greek Freak.
The Grizzlies players who are around the same height as Antetokounmpo, like Marc Gasol, JaMychal Green, Jarell Martin and Chandler Parsons, are all much slower than him. There are some physical wings who will defend well, like Dillon Brooks, Andrew Harrison and Wayne Selden, but Giannis has a huge length advantage on all of them.
Milwaukee has struggled out of the gate in its recent slide, accumulating a minus-9.7 net rating in first quarters of its last 10 games. If Giannis asserts his dominance early on with a big first quarter, that can change.
Our Preview’s Milwaukee Bucks vs. Memphis Grizzlies Betting Picks & Predictions
The Grizzlies are sometimes a gritty team, but they have also shown the tendency to just give up on occasion, especially recently. Eleven of Memphis’ last 12 losses have come by at least six points.
I just have this feeling Milwaukee will use this game as a springboard to improve its play over the rest of the season. The Bucks have wildly underachieved as of late, and a game against the worst team in the NBA could be just what the doctor ordered.
These are our Milwaukee Bucks vs Memphis Grizzlies predictions for today’s game, along with this preview’s pick of the American sportsbooks’ odds:
- The Bucks should win this game pretty easily. Bet on Milwaukee -7pts @ -110 with 5Dimes, Intertops or Bookmaker.
- Milwaukee’s defense has been pretty lazy recently and the squad will make it a priority to score in transition. Expect a high pace, at least from the Bucks, to cause this game to finish with at least a moderate total. This preview recommends betting the over 207pts @ -105 with Bovada.
Jared is a lifelong sports fan and writer whose specialist subject is NBA. A 2015 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Jared has been a sought-after freelance sports writer. In addition to his valuable USA Betting contributions, he has also written for other top media outlets.