Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and the New Orleans Pelicans face a stiff test when the Milwaukee Bucks come to town on Tuesday. Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the top team in the NBA, though the Bucks will be without George Hill (hamstring). For the home team, all eyes will be on Williamson in this intriguing matchup, with a nationally-televised audience in store for a treat.
Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. ET from the Smoothie King Center. Sportsbooks list the Bucks as 6.5-point road favorites, up a half-point from the opener, while the Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 245.5 in the latest Bucks vs. Pelicans odds. Before making any Pelicans vs. Bucks picks or NBA predictions, see what SportsLine’s projection model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and last season it returned a whopping $4,280 on its top-rated NBA spread and money line picks. It’s already returned over $3,000 in profit on all top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season and entered Week 16 on a blistering 34-18 run on all top-rated NBA spread picks. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Bucks vs. Pelicans. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Now, here are several NBA betting lines and trends for Pelicans vs. Bucks:
The model also realizes that the Bucks are elite based heavily on the play of Antetokounmpo. The reigning NBA MVP is averaging 30.1 points, 13.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists, but beyond that, Antetokounmpo is also an elite defensive player who makes the Bucks highly effective on both ends.
Milwaukee is the league’s best defensive team, leading the NBA in defensive rating, defensive rebounding and multiple peripheral categories. The Bucks are 27-22 against the spread this season and covered the only other matchup between these teams this season.
Why the Pelicans can cover
Despite Milwaukee’s dominance, it isn’t a lock to cover the Bucks vs. Pelicans spread. The model understands that the Pelicans have a shaky overall record but, in the last 22 games, New Orleans is 14-8. Much of that uptick is keyed by a tremendous offense, with the Pelicans leading the NBA in points per game over that time span. New Orleans does have a turnover issue, but the Bucks play conservatively and that should give the Pelicans room to breathe.
Brandon Ingram should be a critical piece for the Pelicans, averaging 24.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, and he is flanked by Jrue Holiday and Williamson. On a per-minute basis, Williamson has been elite already to begin his NBA career, with 19.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in limited deployment.
How to make Bucks vs. Pelicans picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, with Antetokounmpo and Ingram both projected to fall short of their scoring averages. The model also says one side of the spread cashes in more than 50 percent of simulations. You can only see which team to back at SportsLine