- The Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets clash on Sunday
- Both teams won their opener as the Bucks beat the Boston Celtics while the Rockets beat the Dallas Mavericks
- See below for a preview and betting prediction for the game
The Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets both have resumed their season and both started out with a win. While the Bucks earned a comfortable 119-112 win over the Boston Celtics, the Rockets needed overtime to outlast the Dallas Mavericks 153-149. In Sunday’s Rockets-Bucks contest, who has the edge?
Bucks vs Rockets Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-3.5 (-110)||-162||O 242 (-110)|
|Houston Rockets||+3.5 (-110)||+136||U 242 (-110)|
Odds taken Aug. 1st
Bucks Have Been On A Roll
Although we’re still just one game into the return to the regular season, the Bucks have looked good in Orlando so far. They beat the San Antonio Spurs 113-92, then topped the Sacramento Kings 131-123. They did lose their third game – a 124-103 loss to New Orleans – but the Pelicans were excellent in exhibition games (3-0).
The Bucks defense has been excellent – as evidenced by their play in the win over the Celtics. Jayson Tatum was held to just two-of-18 shooting and five points while the entire starting lineup shot just 34.7% from the field. As a team, they made only 11-of-37 from three. The Bucks were tied for fourth in opponent points per game and they’ve started well so far.
Rockets Defense Nowhere To Be Found
The Rockets did get the win in their opening contest on Friday but their defense was nonexistent. They outlasted the Mavericks 153-149 in game that only saw one overtime. I say that because for a team to reach 149 points, you might get the impression that overtime lasted two or three sessions.
A big issue is rebounding as the Rockets are starting one of the smallest lineups of all-time. They have Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Robert Covington, Danuel House Jr. and P.J. Tucker. None of them are taller than 6’7”, which is a big concern (pardon the pun).
The Rockets got the win on Friday but were outrebounded 55-43. Harden and Westbrook combined for 80 points but it’s definitely concerning that the Rockets can barely eke out a win when their two stars pour in that many points. That’s a cause for concern as we move through the rest of the season.
Bucks Are The Bet
The Bucks and Rockets have already met once this season, clashing in their season opening contest in Houston. The Bucks won that game 117-111 but keep in mind that much has changed for the Rockets since then.
Notably, they traded away center Clint Capela, who had 13 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in that contest. Beyond that, the Rockets are also currently without Eric Gordon, who chips in 14.5 points per game.
The Rockets are going to use different pieces on Sunday as we’re likely to see some minutes for DeMarre Carroll and Tyson Chandler as they are going to need some muscle against the Bucks. However, I don’t think that changes much.
The Bucks are excellent on the defensive end of the court and that’s going to be a problem for the Rockets. The rebounding issue also figures to loom large as the Bucks lead the league in Rebound Rate while the Rockets are among the worst, ranking 26th in that stat.
The Bucks vs Rockets odds show that Milwaukee is a 3.5-point favorite. That being the case, I’d lay the small number with Milwaukee here.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -3.5 (-110)
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