- The Cleveland Cavaliers are 1.5-point home favorites over the Milwaukee Bucks in an NBA game scheduled for Saturday, January 21
- Cleveland lost 120-114 at home Friday night to a short-staffed Golden State Warriors squad
- Milwaukee hasn’t won at Cleveland since February 6, 2021
Realistically, the Cleveland Cavaliers (28-19, 23-21-3 ATS) should be positioned to move into second spot in the NBA’s Eastern Conference with a win on Saturday over the Milwaukee Bucks (29-16, 24-18-3 ATS). Instead, the Cavaliers dropped the ball on putting themselves in that position.
Losing 120-114 at home to a Golden State Warriors squad resting four starters including Steph Curry, Cleveland was squandering a chance to be moving to within a half-game of the #2-seeded Bucks in the East.
This will be the fourth meeting of the season between these two clubs. So far, home teams are 3-0 straight up, but just 1-2 against the spread.
It’s the hometown Cavaliers who are given the 1.5-point favorite’s position in this game. Cleveland is 6-0 ATS in the past six games against Milwaukee.
Bucks vs Cavaliers Odds
Odds as of January 20 at BetMGM Sportsbook. Claim the BetMGM Sportsbook promo code to bet on the NBA.
Cleveland was losing as 9-point home favorites in the NBA odds against Golden State. Currently, the total is off the board.
This game is being broadcast by NBA League Pass in the USA and Canada. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30pm ET at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
At +800, the Bucks are the fifth betting choice in the NBA championship odds. The Cavaliers are the 10th in this betting market at +2000.
Milwaukee vs Cleveland Injury Report
On Friday, the Cavaliers were playing again without all-star guard Donovan Mitchell (strained groin) for the second straight game. Cleveland also was sitting out guard Ricky Rubio as part of a maintenance plan since his comeback from knee surgery. In four games since returning, he’s averaging 5.3 points and 13.1 minutes. SG Dylan Windler (ankle) has been ruled out for this game.
Trying not to read too much into one game, but I am very glad the Cavs made the Donovan Mitchell trade.
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) January 21, 2023
Milwaukee is also dealing with key injuries. PF Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) is questionable for Saturday’s game. SF Khris Middleton (knee) has been ruled out for the game.
Cavaliers Suffer Embarrassing Setback
Sitting out Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, the Warriors filled the hoop up with 23 field goals from beyond the arc in stunning the Cavaliers on Friday. Golden State led by as much as 20 points.
Darius Garland was pacing the Cleveland offense, scoring 31 points and dishing out 10 assists. Replacing Mitchell in the NBA Starting lineups, Caris LeVert scored 22 points. Evan Mobley scored 17 points and Kevin Love was adding 12 points off the bench.
Mobley is one of three players averaging 14 points, 8 rebounds, two assists and 1.0 blocked shots while shooting above 50.0% from the field. Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers C Anthony Davis are the others.
Injuries Preventing Cohesion For Bucks
Milwaukee’s stellar record this season is worthy of commendation, considering the Bucks are rarely starting their top five on the court together. Two-time MVP Antetokounmpo, three-time All-Star Middleton and Jrue Holiday have played together in just five of Milwaukee’s 45 games.
Keep pushing, having fun and playing together 💪🏾💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/tchRMxPQrV
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) January 12, 2023
Milwaukee opened the season 5-0. Since then, the depleted Bucks lineup is just 20-16 SU. Averaging a career-high 31 points, Antetokounmpo was missing the past four games. Middleton was also missing for the first 20 games due to left wrist surgery. He returned December 2, but hurt his knee two weeks later.
Holiday is really carrying the Bucks at the moment. In wins over Toronto (35) and Indiana (37) on back-to-back days this week, he scored at least 35 points in each game.
Milwaukee vs Cleveland Prediction
This one might come down to which star is able to answer the bell. If Antetokounmpo plays, advantage Bucks. Should Mitchell be making his return, expect to see Cleveland rebounding from a terrible performance on Friday.
The Cavaliers are 4-2 SU and 3-3 ATS in the second game of back to backs this season. At home, Cleveland is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in that scenario. Milwaukee is 3-1-1 ATS over the club’s past five road games.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks +1.5 (+100)