- Struggling New York Knicks are 9.5-point road underdogs vs the Milwaukee Bucks Friday night
- Milwaukee’s three-game winning streak was snapped with a blowout loss to the Cavaliers
- Find the odds, betting analysis, and prediction below
The New York Knicks are trying to salvage something on this three-game trek that’s seen them lose already in Cleveland and Miami.
It won’t be easy Friday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, who are coming off an ugly beating of their own last time out.
It all gets underway at 10pm ET at Fiserv Forum, and can be seen live on ESPN.
Milwaukee, in a three-way tie for most home wins in the conference (17), is a heavy 9.5-point favorite.
New Yorkers: here’s your chance to try out New York sports betting, which has just recently launched in the state.
Knicks vs Bucks Odds
|New York Knicks||+9.5 (-110)||+340||Ov 215.5 (-110)|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-9.5 (-110)||-455||Un 215.5 (-110)|
Odds as of January 27th at BetMGM
The defending champs are in fifth in the East at 30-20, though just two games behind the top-seeded Heat. New York is 23-26 on the season, on the fringes of the play-in, just a half game behind the 10th-seeded Wizards.
They’re also 11th in the latest NBA Eastern Conference playoff odds.
Bucks’ Win Streak Ends
Milwaukee’s three-game win streak came to a screeching halt in Cleveland Wednesday, falling 115-99.
After building a 9-point lead after a quarter, the wheels fell off, as the Cavaliers outscored the Bucks 69-42 over the next two quarters to put the game on ice.
19 turnovers by the Bucks.
19 3-pointers for the Cavaliers.
— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) January 27, 2022
Milwaukee was outgunned from beyond the arc, shooting just 9-for-32 from the three-point range, while allowing Cleveland to drill 19-of-42, a crisp 45.2% clip.
Despite the loss, Giannis Antetokounmpo continued to perform like one of the betting favorites in the 2022 NBA MVP odds, leading the way with 26 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
Giannis Antetokounmpo score 26 points Highlights vs Cleveland Cavaliers! January 26, 2022 pic.twitter.com/Atc5YWp5Hc
— NBA BASKETBALL (@DejoseMark) January 27, 2022
Khris Middleton chipped in with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Bobby Portis was a third starter to go for 20+, finishing with 22 points and seven boards.
That was most of their scoring, however, as only four players scored in double digits, and Cleveland dominated bench scoring, outscoring the Bucks 57-15.
Knicks Recent Struggles
Including their winless road trip, the Knicks have a single win in their last six games, and they’re struggling to generate enough offense.
They were blasted 110-96 against the Heat, falling behind 30-16 in the first quarter and never really recovering. The Knicks’ top players were noticeably quiet: Julius Randle had 11 points, six rebounds and three assists, while RJ Barrett had 17 points and three rebounds.
— Bally Sports Sun: HEAT (@BallyHEAT) January 27, 2022
It’s the fourth time in the last six games New York has failed to break 100 points. On the season, the Knicks are 27th in scoring, churning out just 103.8 points per game on 43.5% from the field, also 27th.
Those struggles could be exploited against a Bucks team that ranks top-5 in both field goal and three-point shooting defense.
"If they take away what we do well, then you have to do something else….have to be able to adapt…we have the weapons, let's be honest…it shouldn't be a problem for us to score": Evan Fournier on the Knicks offense; also describes what he thinks would have worked v. Miami pic.twitter.com/AxFDSPrYVD
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) January 27, 2022
Defensively, the Knicks do boast the fifth-ranked scoring defense, surrendering 104.4 per night. They’ll need to come up big against the Bucks, who average 111.8 points per game, which ranks fifth-best.
Knicks vs Bucks Prediction
This is the fourth and final meeting between these teams this season. New York took the first game 113-98 in Milwaukee, a game that moved them to 6-3 on the year.
Milwaukee has since dominated in the last two at MSG, winning 112-100 on Nov 10, and 112-98 on Dec 12.
The Bucks are just 21-29 against the spread this year, and coupled with New York’s inconsistency, there’s a bit of concern picking Milwaukee to win in double digits. However, the public money is heavily concentrated on the Bucks to cover in the NBA betting trends.
The total seems to be the right avenue to direct your wager. All three previous results between these two teams has gone under the projected number for Friday.
On the season, only 19 of Milwaukee’s 50 games have hit the over. Only 21 of New York’s 49 games have crossed the over.
The pick: Under 215.5 (-110)