Bucks vs Lakers – NBA Pick for March 30th

by Kevin Roberts
on March 30, 2018
All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from Bovada at 9:34 am CT on 3/30/2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing. 

The Indiana Pacers failed me on Thursday night. They did go into Sacramento and take down the Kings, but they didn’t come close to covering a -8 point spread.

The loss dropped my season NBA picks record to 63-52-2, but my recent run has been strong with an 11-6 mark over my last 17 picks.

Bettors get a hefty NBA betting slate to work with on Friday, as nine games hit the schedule. There is a lot to work with here, as an impressive seven games roll in with point spreads of -7 or better.

The one I have my eye on goes down in L.A. at the Staples Center. The Lakers host the Milwaukee Bucks, who won’t have to travel fall after scoring a win over the Golden State Warriors at the Oracle Arena last night.

Milwaukee’s suspect 17-20 road record will be put to the test for the second night in a row, but with six wins in their last 10 games, they seem to be heating up at the right time.

The Bucks come into this game fairly healthy, but it’s possible that can’t be said about the Lake Show.

Lonzo Ball has been a huge force as a rookie, pushing the NBA’s fastest pace in the midst of huge minutes. He is currently questionable to suit up due to a knee bruise, however:

Not having Ball could be a big blow for the Lakers, as he pushes the pace and sets up their offense. Beyond possibly not having their lead guard, the Lakers aren’t going to be the easiest team for sports bettors to back.

L.A. has played their best ball at home (19-16), but they’re just 4-6 over their last 10 games and lost the first meeting between these two teams. The Lakers are still competing to close out the year strong, but even at home Vegas isn’t fully backing them.

This game comes in as a true pick’em at most basketball betting sites, with Bovada offering interesting betting value for either side. Here’s a closer look at this matchup and where bettors should lean tonight:

Milwaukee Bucks (+1)
Los Angeles Lakers (-1)
Total: 220

Bovada is a good baseline site, but if you like the Lakers here you might want to play at 5Dimes (+1, +101), where they offer far more value ATS.

Los Angeles has been solid (12-10) ATS as home underdogs and are just as good (8-5) ATS as home favorites. I’m not sure the spread data is going to be too helpful at either end, though.

This is basically a pick’em game and whether you’re looking for the best spread or SU angle, you’re really just trying to gauge who wins this game.

For me, that’s the Bucks. Milwaukee just got a nice confidence boost last night by taking out the Dubs and they’ve handled this Lakers team in the past.

Los Angeles is not an easy out, of course.

Brook Lopez has given them nice stability at the five spot and he could dominate a weak Milwaukee interior defense. That’s a big hypothetical, however, as Lopez has grown into more of a perimeter-based player as his career has gone on and he’s also never been a tenacious rebounder.

The Bucks will want to pay more attention to Julius Randle, who has been quite the force at both ends of the floor lately.

Add in the explosive scoring of Kyle Kuzma and the healthy return of small forward Brandon Ingram, and the Lakers are slowly morphing into a quality group.

Milwaukee is already where the Lakers hope to be, however. The Lakers will have no answer for The Greek Freak, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will have to decide which of Eric Bledsoe or Khris Middleton he’ll try to slow down in this one.

KCP can’t cover both, while Jabari Parker’s ability to spark the offense from the bench could offset any defensive damage Caldwell-Pope does inflict.

The first time these two sides met up, the Bucks dictated the pace and played superior defense. They kept KCP, Lopez and Ingram all in check, while Milwaukee’s length seemed to be an issue.

That hasn’t changed, as Giannis Antetokounmpo still gives the Bucks a long defender on the outside and Bledsoe and Middleton have both proven to be capable defenders.

The key to this game might be the status of Ball, who shredded the Bucks to the tune of an impressive triple-double the first time around.

Even if he suits up, however, I think Milwaukee is finally dialed in as they try to close the season strong and improve their playoff seeding.

Right now the Bucks are locked into the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, but they can jump ahead of the Miami Heat or Washington Wizards if they finish with a better record. That could help them avoid a first round showdown with the Toronto Raptors, which at this point has to be the goal.

Ultimately, I trust the Bucks a bit more in this spot. This game should be close, fast-paced and fairly high-scoring. Milwaukee offers a little more value as a +108 straight up bet at 5Dimes, however.

Pick: Bucks

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