Nets vs. Bucks Odds, Game 3 Preview, Picks, & Prediction
Nets vs. Bucks Game 3 Odds
|To Win Series||+375/-500|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds accurate as of Thursday at BetMGM|
|Click Here to Bet $20 on Any NBA Playoff Game & Win $100 Regardless of Outcome!|
The Nets have taken the first two frames of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, but can the Bucks fight back as the series moves to Milwaukee? NBA betting analyst Sloan Piva is here to break down the odds, preview the matchup, and give his best picks and predictions for Game 3.
NBA Picks: Nets-Bucks GM 3 Odds Update
Updated 4:30 pm ET, Thursday, June 10, 2021
- GM 3 Moneyline: Just a few hours before tip-off, bettors are taking a liking to the Brooklyn Nets moneyline at sportsbooks, according to our friends at Scores and Odds. This isn’t the least bet surprising considering the dominance the Nets exerted on the Bucks during Games 1 & 2. A $100 bet on the Nets will pay up to $135 at some shops this evening.
- GM 3 Spread: While moneyline action is heavily skewed toward the Nets, bets against the spread are far more evenly split. In fact, the Bucks are receiving a slight majority of the consensus betting handle, 53% compared to 47% on the Nets, per SAO.
- GM 3 Over/Under: The public predicts a high-scoring affair in tonight’s game, with 61% of money on the Over. The Over/Under peaked at 235.5 on Wednesday but is now down to 233.5 at some sportsbooks. However, at BetMGM, the total is has stayed relatively steady at 234.5, as of 4:20 ET, Thursday afternoon.
- Bucks-Nets GM 3 Injury Report: With a comfortable two-game lead, Nets head coach Steve Nash won’t move too quickly with James Harden, who missed the first two games of the series with a nagging hamstring injury. The Nets ruled Harden out, which means Bruce Brown will likely get the start. Brown recorded 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in Game 2.
Nets vs. Bucks Preview
NBA Picks (Grades): Brooklyn +3.5 (B +), Brooklyn +2.5 1H (B)
When James Harden was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets earlier this season, the stage was set for another NBA superteam to make a run through the NBA Playoffs and straight to a title. Now it appears that Brooklyn is living up to the hype, and the newest iteration of a “Big Three” has been steamrolling its opponents on its path to contention.
With Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving all healthy, the Nets dismissed the Boston Celtics in Round 1 via a gentleman’s sweep. Now, with Harden absent most of Games 1 and 2 of the semifinals, they seem to remain undeterred in their quest for a short series against reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks. Brooklyn enters the Cream City with a 2-0 series lead, having outscored Milwaukee 240-193.
KD, a former league MVP himself, has demonstrated why he has twice been named Finals MVP on Championship-winning Warriors teams. The superstar veteran has been locked in from the jump this postseason, averaging 32 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.4 assists. He has also been great defensively, with 14 blocks and nine steals across Brooklyn’s seven playoff games. And best of all, he has been efficient—he has shot 77-of-140 from the field (55%) and 51-of-56 from the line (91%). He looks motivated as Hell to win his third title, and first one without Steph Curry.
Teammate Kyrie Irving, also a former NBA Champion, is on the hunt for his first title without LeBron James. Irving has looked great as well, averaging 24.4 points, six rebounds, and four assists in the playoffs. He has made 24-of-26 free throw attempts (92.3%), and turned the ball over just nine times in Brooklyn’s seven postseason games.
No Harden, No Problem for Nets
Durant and Irving have seamlessly navigated the first two games of Round 2 without Harden, who played just 43 seconds of Game 1 before exiting with a hamstring injury. The 2017-18 MVP did not suit up for Game 2. If he had, Brooklyn might have won by 50.
No offense to the Bucks, but they just do not have a way of stopping all of Brooklyn’s weapons across a 48-minute game. Durant possesses a unique blend of size, athleticism, and elite pure scoring ability. He looks as unguardable as ever. Irving, when healthy and motivated, has a superb combination of range, accuracy, savvy playmaking, and the best handles in the NBA.
Should Harden’s incredibly dominating inside-outside abilities be made available in Game 3, betting the Nets (currently +2.5) feels like a lock to me. Brooklyn has every possible component it could need to win it all, never mind beat the Bucks in the second round. Harden has such amazing ball-handling skills, such strength and deadly range, and such intelligence, it’s almost unfair that the Nets landed him.
Then, of course, Brooklyn also has a very good supporting cast. Joe Harris is the most accurate three-point shooter in the game, able to space the floor for Steve Nash’s offense and keep defenses honest. Blake Griffin has turned back the hands of time with his rebounding and interior offensive abilities, and he looks as motivated as anyone to win a ring. Bruce Brown, one of the better rebounding guards in the game, has chipped in on both sides of the court. Even 30-year old journeyman Mike James has carved himself into an impactful role for the Nets.
Bucks Supporting Cast Struggling
The Bucks simply don’t have enough weapons to truly compete with the juggernaut Nets. Giannis has been awesome, as he almost always is, but his supporting cast has left a lot to be desired. While the Greek Freak had 34-11-4 in Game 1, no other Buck reached 20 points. Things got even worse for Milwaukee in Game 2. Giannis finished with 18-11-4, and he led his team in all three categories. That’s not going to get it done.
Khris Middleton has been the biggest disappointment for Mike Budenholzer’s squad. He has shot 13-of-43 from the field and 3-of-13 from long distance this series. He had five turnovers and was a -30 in Game 2. Midseason acquisition Jrue Holiday hasn’t been much better. While his numbers look okay, Holiday has yet to make the same kind of impact for Milwaukee as he had during the regular season.
Then there’s ‘the others’ for Milwaukee. P.J. Tucker and Brook Lopez are far too slow to be difference-makers in a playoff game against younger, quicker, and more athletic superstars. Bryn Forbes and Pat Connaughton give you nothing if they are not stroking treys. And Bobby Portis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo probably don’t deserve to be getting meaningful playoff minutes.
In the postseason, rotations shorten up and the stars really shine. Giannis is definitely an all-time talent, but he’s going up against a squad comprised of players with 23 All-NBA selections, seven scoring titles, multiple championships, and three MVPs. Like I said, it’s not even really fair.
Nets-Bucks Game 3 Picks & Predictions
If Harden sits once again, I’m not betting against Milwaukee’s moneyline with home-court advantage. But I will take the Nets +3.5 at online sportsbooks, as the Bucks have shown through the first 96 minutes of this series that Brooklyn is the vastly superior team. It would bewilder me if Budenholzer’s guys suddenly ran away with a win just because they are at home. The Bucks went 19-19 against the spread at home this season, while the Nets were 20-18 ATS on the road.
Maybe Middleton breaks out of his slump, and the supporting cast plays better at home. But KD, Irving, Harris, and Griffin will still be competing until the final buzzer. And if Harden plays, like I said, it’s a lock for Brooklyn. This squad reminds me a lot of the Yankees in the late 1990s, and the Bucks are like the Cleveland Indians. There could be some relatively interesting games scattered into the series, but deep down we all know how it’s going to end.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION WITH HARDEN ACTIVE: Nets 120-114
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION WITH HARDEN INACTIVE: Bucks 115-112
Game 3 Pick: Nets +3 ATS
Schmitto’s Pick: Why get cute here? That’s what I tried last game, after I bet on the Nets -200 to advance before the series started. Betting on the Bucks in Game 2 did make some sense as a way to hedge, but I should’ve gone with my gut. My thinking behind laying odds on the Nets series was that it was somewhat plausible that the Nets could actually be one of best teams ever while oddsmakers were pricing them largely based on their 48-24 record. Now it’s playoff time and Brooklyn is turning up the heat, apparent in their 6-1 record in the playoffs thus far. During that span, they’re also 6-1 against the spread (while we’re at it, the Over/Under is 3-3). So again, I’ll ask, why get cute in Game 3? Yes, the Bucks and Giannis are in survival mode, down 0-2 with their back against the wall. But even if the Bucks win outright, a bet on the Nets can still pay! Right now, the Nets are getting +3.5 points at most sportsbooks but you can actually grab +4 at DraftKings Sportsbook. I won’t be surprised if we see similar line movement at other sportsbooks like BetMGM and PointsBet.
Image Credit: Imagn