The Brooklyn Nets put on two impressive displays at home to open a 2-0 series lead before the Bucks eked out Game 3 on their own home court Thursday night. A win Sunday afternoon would send this series back to Brooklyn knotted up at two games apiece. For that to come to pass, however, the Bucks would have to win their first game as an underdog all season long.
Let’s take a deep dive into the different markets with our Game 4 Nets vs. Bucks betting pick, complete with the best odds, prop predictions, and analysis.
James Harden looks set to miss once again for the Nets, while Jeff Green carries a questionable tag into Sunday morning. Green’s availability would be immense for Coach Steve Nash, who saw his team muster just 83 points on 34-94 shooting (36.2%) shooting in Game 3.
Thursday’s 86-83 Bucks win marked the third straight game to finish under the posted total in this series with all three staying under by at least 17 points. Oddsmakers continue to try to adjust as each game has dropped its total from a Game 1 final number of 239.5 to Game 4’s current posting of roughly 228. But, will it be enough or will we see another cagey affair this afternoon?
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Nets vs. Bucks Odds (June 13, 2021)
Here is the current line on Nets vs. Bucks Game 4 at DraftKings Sportsbook:
|CLIPPERS||+5 (-110)||+165||O 224 (-113)|
|SUNS||-5 (-110)||-200||U 224 (-109)|
Nets vs. Bucks Game 4 Pick
A casual fan will certainly be rooting for a Milwaukee win today and the potential for a highly contested, potential seven game series between these two juggernauts of the game. However, seeing the Bucks open as dogs on their own floor here is cause for great concern.
Milwaukee shot out of the gate like a front-running thoroughbred on Thursday night, taking a commanding 30-9 lead late in the first quarter. Bucks’ spread bettors were gleeful, but Brooklyn quickly showed its pedigree, narrowing the Milwaukee lead to just two points before the four minute mark of the second quarter with a 22-3 run of its own.
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The rest of the game was eerily reminiscent of the Mayweather-Paul fight, as neither team looked like they brought the offensive will to win. The Bucks eventually prevailed, but a couple things stood out that have us believing the Nets may be primed to respond positively on the road in Game 4.
For starters, if you check the stat lines for the two main stars in each team’s Game 3 lineup, you see two different tales. While Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined to shoot 26-56 (46.4%) from the field for 68 total points to go with their 29 total rebounds, Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving pooled together for just a 20-50 effort (40.0%) from the field for 52 total points and a 5-16 mark from long range (31.3%). Irving felt invisible for large chunks of the game in comparison to his dominant form throughout these Playoffs, as well.
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All Signs Point to Nets
For Milwaukee to barely escape with the win after having the huge early lead and get such a quality effort from their stars, while Brooklyn’s comparatively struggled, is a red flag here today in a game where you can expect a bounce back performance from the Nets’ two leaders.
Next, it should be of great concern to Bucks’ fans that their team did not see an uptick in its 3-point shooting, despite returning to the comforts of its home court for that Game 3. Milwaukee shot just 6-31 (19.4%) from long range Thursday night, with only Middleton able to make more than one from beyond the arc. For the NBA’s fifth best 3-point shooting team to struggle from deep like that, knowing that Brooklyn is the league’s second best long range threat and the Bucks the 2nd worst team at defending the arc, could make it impossible for Milwaukee to keep pace if Brooklyn returns to form from three in Game 4.
After all, the Bucks have not made more than eight 3-pointers in any game in this series, also failing to top 30% from deep in all three outings. Meanwhile, Brooklyn has made as many as 21 from deep, while shooting 50% in Game 2 from long range. This vast disparity will likely be too much for the Bucks to overcome, given their foul shot disadvantage as well.
That’s right, even though this series has been strikingly quiet in terms of fouls and foul shots for two teams that got to the line so often during the regular season, there is still a disturbing disparity in foul shooting percentage for Bucks fans. Giannis has been particularly dismal, despite making two important foul shots late in Game 3 and could fall victim to some less than unintentional fouling late in a close game today. Meanwhile, the Nets continue to be one of the best foul shooting teams in the league and if the tone of today’s game shifts to a more physical variety with both teams struggling from the field in Game 3, then Brooklyn will be able to count on plenty of free points, as Durant and Irving both shoot over 88% from the stripe.
As mentioned, the Bucks are winless as underdogs this season, failing to cover any of their five dog spreads thus far. That includes an 0-2 SU and ATS mark as home dogs, as well, losing both of those games by six or more points. Meanwhile, the Nets have been specialists at laying small numbers this season. They are a masterful 15-2 ATS as favorites of less than five points this season, including a mind-blowing 9-1 ATS mark in that role on the road.
Adding to the wild Brooklyn trends above, the Nets have covered 17 of their last 21 games as favorites and six of their last seven as favorites in the Playoffs. They have covered six straight games against teams with above .600 win percentages and eight of their last 11 on the road against teams with above .600 home marks. A bettor’s dream, having covered 20 of their last 27 overall (74.1%), they can be trusted to make it six covers in their last seven games on two days of rest today.
Milwaukee has been very good in day games this season, but where they have struggled for quite some time now is in that underdog role mentioned above. The 0-5 ATS run as underdogs this season extends to just 1-10 ATS in their last 11 in that role when you dig back a bit further in the team’s recent history, including four straight failed covers as home dogs. They have also now covered just 15 of their last 51 games in the Playoffs when getting points (29.4%).
Nets vs. Bucks Game 4 Prediction
The Bucks have had a tough time this season against the elite teams, as well, covering just seven of their last 23 games against above .600 opponents (30.4%). Perhaps they are just a bit overvalued these days because of their team success the past few seasons?
Expect Kyrie and Durant to get to the line more today and make it six covers for Brooklyn in the last eight head-to-head.
Our Pick: Brooklyn -2