NBA Picks ATS: Denver Nuggets at Milwaukee Bucks

Ty-Lawson-nuggetsDenver at Milwaukee
Time: 8 PM ET, Feb 20, 2014
Spread: DEN -4.5
M/L: DEN -200; MIL +170
Total: 205

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Milwaukee Bucks were able to get a rare victory when the Orlando Magic visited Tuesday, winning 104-100 behind Caron Butler’s 21 points. The Bucks are just 10-43 on the season and enter tonight’s contest against the Denver Nuggets as 4.5 point underdogs according to NBA oddsmakers.

Milwaukee made a cost-cutting move to its backcourt over the offseason, replacing Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis with Brandon Knight and O.J. Mayo. The result has been a team that was mediocre and mildly competitive has become the worst in the Association. The Bucks average just 92.5 points per game while surrendering 101.8.

The Bucks do have some promising pieces to build around, but all three are defensive-minded players, in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Larry Sanders and John Henson. Antetokounmpo is dubbed “The Greek Freak” due to his long arms and huge hands, and his potential is said to be greater than anyone in the 2013 draft class. Antetokounmpo has grown 1.5 inches since the draft and will be over 7-foot when fully grown, and his wing span is already 7’3″

Henson is a strong rebounder and interior defender, and Sanders is one of the best shot blockers in the league. But the Bucks best offensive player is Knight, and he averages 16.7 points per game. No other Buck averages more than 12. It’s just a mishmash of players, and the Bucks will be in contention for one of the franchise talents available in the 2014 NBA draft.

Denver’s season hopes have been dashed by injury. Danilo Gallinari is out for the season, as is JaVale McGee and Nate Robinson. Ty Lawson hasn’t played since Feb 8th, but he is questionable for tonight’s contest. Lawson is the Nuggets leading scorer. The UNC product averages 18 points and 8.8 assists per game.

The Nuggets do have a staple of depth when fully healthy, and still boast a dangerous frontline that features Wilson Chandler, J.J. Hickson and Kenneth Faried. Randy Foye is capable of having big nights, though at this point in his career there is no illusion that he is anything more than a bench scorer. A fully healthy Nuggets team would be double-digit favorites over Milwaukee, but that isn’t the kind of season 24-28 Denver has had.

DEN Trends: 0-5 ATS in last 5 playing on 1 days rest; 0-6 ATS in last 6 overall; 0-4 ATS in last 4 games vs a team with winning percentage below .400.

MIL Trends: 6-1 ATS in last 7 overall; OVER 8-2 in last 10 vs teams with losing road records; 4-1 ATS in last 5 after allowing 100 or more in previous game.

Head-to-head: OVER 6-1 in last 7 meetings in Milwaukee; OVER 10-4 in last 14 meetings; Nuggets 5-2 ATS in last 7 meetings.

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