Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#561 Milwaukee Bucks vs.
#562 Charlotte Hornets
Friday, January 24, 2020 at 3:05pm EST
Spectrum Center, Charlotte
Written by Chris Kubala

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W/L
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#561 Milwaukee
#562 Charlotte
39-6
15-30
25-20
21-22-2
22-23
23-22
119
103
106
110

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A pair of Eastern Conference teams on opposite sides of the cut line for the postseason take their game across the pond. The Milwaukee Bucks are the nominal road team as they face the Charlotte Hornets in a game contested in Paris Friday afternoon. Milwaukee cruised to a 111-98 home win over Chicago Monday in their previous contest. Charlotte was clobbered 106-83 at home by Orlando in their previous contest Monday night. The Bucks lead the all-time regular season series 58-55 and have won the last three meetings, including a 137-96 home romp in the first matchup this season on November 30, 2019.

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Milwaukee Bucks Seeking 40th Win of Season

Milwaukee cruised past Chicago to earn their seventh straight victory Monday night. The Bucks enter this one with a league-best 39-6 mark and lead the Central Division by 10 games over Indiana entering Thursday night. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the Bucks held a 7.5-game edge on the Heat for the top spot. Milwaukee led by seven after the opening quarter only to see the Bulls tie the game early in the third quarter. The Bucks responded with a 16-2 run to take a 70-56 lead and didn’t allow Chicago closer than six the rest of the way. Milwaukee shot a blistering 58.4 percent from the field, including 11 of 26 from beyond the arc, and controlled the glass 48-39 to overcome 23 turnovers. Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a triple-double with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Bucks.

The Bucks are 1st in the league in scoring offense with 119.4 points per game on the season. Milwaukee is first in rebounding by pulling down 51.7 boards per contest while the team is 5th by dishing out 26 assists per game. The Bucks are 9th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 106.7 points per contest this season. Giannis Antetokounmpo leads Milwaukee with 30 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.6 assists per contest this season. Khris Middleton chips in 19.5 points plus 5.7 rebounds a night while Brook Lopez contributes 10.1 points a contest. George Hill (9.8 points) and Eric Bledsoe (14.8 points, 5.1 assists) are solid secondary options. Kyle Korver, Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, Ersan Ilyasova and Pat Connaughton are solid pieces in the mix as well. Milwaukee is second in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 48.2 percent as a team this season. The Bucks are fourth in threes per game by draining 13.9 triples per contest and stand 10th in three-point shooting by hitting 36.1 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Robin Lopez did not travel with the team for this contest with an undisclosed injury.

Charlotte Hornets Hoping to Snap Slide

Charlotte suffered their seventh straight loss as they were whipped solidly by the Magic at home Monday in their previous contest. The Hornets entered Thursday third in the Southeast Division, 16.5 games behind the Heat for the division lead. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the team stood tied for 11th, 4.5 games behind the Nets for the final playoff spot. Charlotte led by eight after the opening quarter but was outscored 32-18 in the second quarter to trail by six at the half. The Hornets were outscored 55-38 in the second half as the Magic pulled away for the win. Charlotte shot 38.2 percent from the field, including 10 of 33 from three-point range, and lost the rebounding battle 47-39. Malik Monk led the Hornets with 20 points off the bench in the loss.

The Hornets are a below-average team offensively so far this season, ranking 30th in the league with 103.3 points per game. Charlotte is 27th in rebounding with 42.6 boards per game and 16th by dishing out 23.9 assists per contest. The Hornets are average defensively this season as they are 16th in scoring defense by allowing 110.5 points per game. Terry Rozier is second on Charlotte with 17.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game this season. PJ Washington (12.6 points, 5.5 rebounds), Devonte’ Graham (team-leading 18.6 points, 7.7 assists), Cody Zeller (11.3 points, seven rebounds) and Miles Bridges (12.1 points, 5.4 rebounds) are all scoring in double figures. Dwayne Bacon, Malik Monk (8.4 points) and Marvin Williams are solid contributors offensively as well. The Hornets are 26th in field goal percentage as the team shoots 43.6 percent from the floor. Charlotte is tied for 10th in the league with 12.2 threes per game while ranking tied for 16th in three-point shooting as they hit 35.4 percent from beyond the arc.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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This is a tale of two teams heading in opposite directions right. Milwaukee is rolling just as they have all season long with their league-best offense. The Bucks own the league’s best record and they are cruising to the top seed in the playoffs at this stage. Charlotte is in a tailspin despite being at least in potential striking distance of a playoff berth. The Hornets have the league’s worst offense as they have now sunk below the Knicks and Magic in that regard. Charlotte has lost more games in a row (seven) coming into this game than the Bucks have (six) all season. It’s hard to see the Hornets doing enough on either end here. Even a change of venue doesn’t help Charlotte as Milwaukee rolls to a victory.

Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks -13.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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We're looking at teams at the opposite ends of the spectrum on the offensive end of the floor. The Bucks lead the league in scoring offense while the Hornets are dead last. Milwaukee gets to ply their trade against the weak Charlotte defense that comes in 28th in the league in field goal percentage defense (47.9 percent) and 20th in three-point field goal percentage defense (36.1 percent) this season. The Bucks lead the league in field goal percentage defense by limiting the opposition to 41 percent shooting. Both teams have had three days off to get acclimated to the time difference here. The Bucks do their part offensively to put this one over the total.

Prediction: Over 219

Half-Time Side Pick

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Milwaukee comes into this game second in the league in first half scoring offense with 59.6 points per game this season. That number slips down to 57 ppg on the road this season. The Bucks are leading the league with a +7.7 ppg first half scoring differential on the season. That number is still +4.9 ppg on the road this season. Charlotte is tied for 28th in first half scoring offense with 52.1 points per game on the season. The Hornets are 25th in the league in first half scoring differential with a -4.2 point scoring margin. That number improves to -2.3 ppg as the home team this season. Still, Milwaukee is too powerful to be slowed down here as they have the lead at the half.

Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks -8

Half-Time Total Bet

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Milwaukee is leading the league in scoring defense as they allow 51.9 ppg this season. That number only trends up to 52.1 ppg on the road this season. The Bucks have an average first half total at 111.5 points per game this season. Charlotte is 18th in the league in first half scoring defense as they allow 56.3 points per game this season. That number trends down to 55 ppg as the home team on the year. The average Hornets' number in the first half is 108.2 ppg this season. Look for this one, even with the change in geographical location, to go over the total.

Prediction: Over 106.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.