Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#559 Cleveland Cavaliers vs.
#560 Milwaukee Bucks
Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 8:35pm EST
BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#559 Cleveland
#560 Milwaukee
5-18
21-3
37-43-2
57-37-3
45-36-1
49-48
104
117
114
108

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The Cleveland Cavaliers will head to the Fiserv Forum on Saturday night as they prepare for a tough Eastern Conference matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Cavaliers played in San Antonio on Thursday night and will travel to Toronto for a game on Monday to conclude their three-game road swing. Meanwhile, Milwaukee will be playing this game on the second night of a back-to-back after taking on the Grizzlies in Memphis on Friday. The Bucks are tied for the best record in the NBA after winning 22 of its first 25 games and they lead the Eastern Conference standings by 3.5-games. Meanwhile, Cleveland is battling through another lost season after getting out to a 6-19 start. Will the Bucks take care of business at home against the Cavaliers on Saturday?

Thompson, Beilein get into it on bench in win vs. Spurs

The Cavaliers are trying to continue their momentum after stunning the Spurs in San Antonio to open their three-game road trip on Thursday night. Kevin Love scored 30 points and hauled in 17 rebounds while hitting a game-tying 3-pointer to force overtime in the Cavs’ 117-109 win. Collin Sexton finished with 28 points while Kevin Porter Jr. added 25 off of the bench for the Cavaliers, who snapped an eight-game losing streak with the win.

Cleveland fans will have to wait a little longer to get a look at rookie shooting guard Dylan Windler, who suffered a setback in his return from a leg injury that has cost him the first 25 games of his rookie season. Windler, the 26th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, will be re-evaluated in two weeks after re-aggravating a stress reaction n his lower left leg.

Cavaliers’ head coach Job Beilein and power forward Tristan Thompson appeared to get into it on the bench during Cleveland’s win over the Spurs on Thursday. The incident occurred after Thompson appeared to lag behind the play on a Spurs’ fast break. Thompson was promptly benched for the fourth quarter and did not return during the overtime session. After the game, Beilein focused his attention on Thompson’s replacement, Larry Nance Jr., saying, “Larry was giving us everything that Tristan gives us.”

Bucks ride monster fourth quarter to beat Grizzlies

The Bucks pushed their current winning streak to 17 games on Friday night with a 127-114 comeback victory over the youthful Memphis Grizzlies. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 17 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter and hauled in 11 rebounds to help Milwaukee overcome a career-high 43 points from Jaren Jackson Jr. Kris Middleton added 26 points while Brook Lopez had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks, who outscored the Grizzlies by 18 points in the final quarter.

Through the first 24 games of the season, Antetokounmpo has been flashing improved confidence in his 3-point shot, especially from the top of the 3-point arc. Last season, he was just 6-for-53 on above-the-break 3-pointers at this point in the season. Fast forward a year later, and Antetokounmpo has shot 116 3-pointers from above-the-break making 37 of them for a respectable 31.9 percent clip.

In 26 contests this season, the Bucks lead the league with a 101.3 defensive rating and a +12.8 net rating, which is nearly 3.5 points better than the next-highest team (Dallas Mavericks). The Bucks haven’t been too shabby on offense either, ranking third in the league with a 114.1 offensive rating.

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After what happened in San Antonio, I’m not sure the Cavaliers have much of a chance in this game. Head coach Jon Beilein appears to be losing the locker room after his recent blow up with Tristan Thompson on the bench. Thompson was reportedly one of the veterans who stood for Beilein just days earlier, so it will be interesting to see how the Cavs respond in this game. It’s hard to believe Cleveland could win two in a row, especially here against a Bucks’ team that has won 17 straight. Despite the fact that they played a hard-fought game against the Grizzlies the night before, this should be an easy victory for Milwaukee. Take the Bucks to cover the number at home in this Eastern Conference battle on Saturday.

Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks

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The Bucks rank as the best defensive team in the NBA and they’ve held five of their last seven opponents to 103 points or less. Meanwhile, Cleveland has scored under 100 points in four of their last six games. The Cavs rank 27th in the league on offense and 24th in pace, so this should shape up to be a low-scoring affair. With Milwaukee playing on the second night of a back-to-back, take this game to stay under the projected total on Saturday night.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.