Milwaukee (54-12) vs Houston (41-24)
When: Sunday, August 2nd, 2020
Where: The Arena,
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ABC
Opening Odds: Milwaukee -4/241.5
With one game in the books, the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets will be a little more comfortable for their matchup on Sunday night from Kissimmee, Florida. The Bucks were not at full strength on Friday, but got by the Boston Celtics 119-112 as 4.5-point favorites to open the NBA restart. Guards Eric Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton were not in action as they continue to get ready after testing positive for COVID-19 before the teams entered the bubble. The Rockets opened the restart with a 153-149 overtime victory against the Dallas Mavericks after trailing by 14 points in the fourth quarter. The guard combo of James Harden and Russell Westbrook excelled in the win. The defense for Houston was lousy for most of the night, allowing Dallas to post 42 and 43-point quarters in the first half. The Bucks have covered the spread in five of the past six meetings including a 117-111 win at Houston back in October.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers on Friday with 36 points on 14-of-20 shooting in the win over Boston. He also grabbed 15 rebounds in just 32 minutes on the floor. Khris Middleton recorded 18 points, while center Brook Lopez contributed 10 and blocked six shots. The under is 7-3 in the Bucks’ last 10 games, though, the total hit the over on Friday as are many of these NBA games early-on in the restart. The Bucks could have already wrapped-up the No. 1 seed by tipoff time.
Harden poured in 49 points to go along with nine rebounds and eight assists in the overtime win over the Mavericks on Friday. Westbrook looked very healthy, as he was just shy of a triple-double with 31 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. The Rockets used a short rotation to beat the Mavs, playing just eight players. Houston also knocked down 19 three-pointers on 48 attempts. Houston will begin the day just a half-game behind the Utah Jazz for the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference.
The Rockets have a little bit more to play for with Milwaukee all but wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the East. Houston’s offense looked terrific on Friday, but their defense needs to tighten-up a bit. I think it will in this contest. Take the points.
Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today. He is 74-59-3 on the season.
Pick: Rockets +4