Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#507 Milwaukee Bucks -11 vs.
#508 Atlanta Hawks 233
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 7:35pm EST
Philips Arena, Atlanta
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#507 Milwaukee
#508 Atlanta
10-3
4-9
57-37-3
42-40
49-48
47-34-1
117
113
108
119

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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: November 20, 2019, State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA, 7:30 PM ET

The Milwaukee Bucks will be looking to hand the Atlanta Hawks a fourth consecutive loss when the two Eastern Conference foes go head-to-head on Wednesday night. Even with the State Farm Arena serving as the venue, the Hawks still come into the game as considerable underdogs with a 2-4 record at home. They’ll be facing a Bucks team riding a four-game win streak and coming off a 115-101 victory over the Chicago Bulls. The Hawks, on the other hand, have racked up consecutive losses to the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns.

Bucks proving resilient

The Robin to Antetokounmpo’s Batman is without question Khris Middleton.

So it has been interesting to see how the Bucks have managed to attack opponents in his absence. Middleton was diagnosed with a left thigh contusion over a week ago that is expected to keep him out for as long as a month. Yet, the continued superstar presence of Antetokounmpo combined with a herculean effort from the team’s role players has helped the Bucks continue to win games.

It’s tough to envision them needing much help going on the road to take on the Hawks on Wednesday. Yes, I’m talking about the same Hawks team that ranks dead last in offensive efficiency and in the bottom-half of the league in defense. Star guard Trae Young has been sensational, but there hasn’t been much help behind him, aside from Jabari Parker and John Collins.

Meanwhile, the strength of the Bucks has been their depth. It’s the reason why they’re scoring 118.5 points per game on one end of the floor and ranking fourth in defensive efficiency on the other end. Atlanta being the second-worst team in turnovers could also be a problem against an opportunistic defensive team like the Bucks.

Young can’t hide all of the Hawks’ weaknesses

The continued evolution of Trae Young’s abilities has served as its own personal side attraction for the Hawks’ basketball games. On one hand, there’s the disappointing season that is likely to be filled with more teases and talk of rebuilding for the future. On the other hand, there’s the cotton candy-induced magic that comes from tuning into the spectacle that is Trae Young. It’s the ride of a lifetime, but it’s also the comfort food with no substance.

The Hawks have more problems than the greatness of Young can hide. They are clearly limited on the offensive end of the floor with Parker and Collins being the only other dependable scoring options for the team. Then there’s the defensive end of the floor, where Young’s game has clearly yet to take off. Considering the Bucks will do everything to limit his shooting percentage on Wednesday, he’ll have to be aggressive on defense, while leaning on his floor vision to get by in a role as a master facilitator.

One problem for the Hawks is the lack of big-shot potential. They are only averaging 29.7 percent when shooting from 3-pointer this season. That puts them in a tough spot if they fall behind early against the Bucks. It has been a glaring issue throughout the early portion of the season. The Hawks lack the means to score points in bulk and push for a comeback.

Kevin Huerter has already been ruled out for Wednesday’s game against the Bucks, while Parker and Evan Turner could both be game-time decisions.

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The Bucks can mask the loss of Middleton due to the myriad of other shooters on their roster, but the Hawks wouldn’t be able to do the same for Parker. Young has done an exceptional job of making everyone around him play better, but the deck would be stacked to levels of impossible if Parker isn’t given the green light on Wednesday.

Antetokounmpo is a monster on the floor averaging 30.5 points per game, and he’ll be running into a timid Hawks defense ranking in the bottom-half of the league in field goal shooting percentage. Young won’t be the only player delivering the circus goods for the crowd in this game. You can rest assured fans will get treated to multiple dunks coupled with a little mean-mugging from Antetokounmpo.

Turnovers will be the backbreaker for the Hawks. Even if they could get hot on the floor, their inability to take care of the ball will cost them in the end. Young might not have as much fun with a dependable veteran defender like George Hill in his face.

I’m taking the Bucks and laying the points.

Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks (-11)

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The lack of quality offensive depth has shown up in the Hawks being held to 101 points in back-to-back games against legitimate contenders. With Parker’s health status up in the air, it makes sense to take a step back from this lofty betting total and get a full glimpse at the Hawks’ situation. They could potentially be down to only two players averaging in double figures on the roster. Young will also run into a solid defender in Hill to potentially put the one-man circus show on a one-night intermission. This betting total is too high for my liking. I’m taking the under here.

Prediction: Under (232.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.