Nets vs Bucks NBA Odds, Picks and Predictions May 2

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Updated: May 2, 2021

The distinct smell of playoffs will be in the air inside the Fiserv Forum, when the Milwaukee Bucks host the Brooklyn Nets Sunday for the first of a pair of matchups.

The Nets and Bucks currently sit No. 1 and No. 3 in the Eastern Conference standings, respectively, and with a little over two weeks left in the regular season, this two-game set (Game 2 Tuesday) will serve as a postseason dress rehearsal for both sides. Milwaukee is a short NBA betting favorite at home for today’s matinee.

Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for Nets vs. Bucks on May 2, with tip-off set for 3:30 p.m. ET.

Nets vs Bucks odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Compare NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Milwaukee opened as a 3.5-point home favorite but some books are quickly ticking down with action on the Nets, sitting as low as Bucks -1.5. The total opened at 240.5 points and has climbed as high as 243.5. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Nets at Bucks betting preview

Injuries

Nets: James Harden G (Out), Nicolas Claxton F (Out), Bruce Brown G (Probable).
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo F (Probable).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Nets are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 games vs. a team with a winning record. Find more NBA betting trends for Nets vs. Bucks.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

The Nets had a four-game winning streak snapped in a home loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, getting blasted 128-109 and allowing Portland to hit 52 percent from the field, including getting buried under 16-of-36 shooting from beyond the arc.

Brooklyn, who was outscored 69-52 in the second half of Friday’s game, will have a much sharper approach to Sunday’s outing and will have standout Kevin Durant in the lineup after the 6-foot-10 forward sat out the meeting with the Blazers for rest purposes.

Durant makes all the difference, having led the Nets to three wins and covers in his three games back from a hamstring injury that forced him in and out of action for a month and a half. He dropped 33 points in 28 minutes off the bench in the win over Phoenix last weekend and torched Indiana for 42 points on Thursday.

Milwaukee enters Sunday off an up-and-down road trip in which it split its four away games with some head-scratching results. The Bucks were stunned by the lowly Houston Rockets on Thursday, losing 143-136 as -1,200 moneyline favorites, then knocked off the Chicago Bulls without star Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle) as short road chalk Friday.

The key assignment for Milwaukee will be stopping Brooklyn’s stars, Durant and Kyrie Irving. Those two can create their own offense in isolation, either getting to the hoop, hitting pull-ups or finding cutters as the defense collapses on them. The Bucks, while sound in team defense against standard halfcourt sets, have had issues guarding one-on-one and will have their rim protectors stretched outside the key by the Nets’ spaced attack.

Brooklyn is 12-7 ATS as an underdog this season and catching points with Durant in the lineup for just the third time. One of those games was a 125-123 victory over Milwaukee as a 4-point home pup on January 18, in which Durant dropped 30 points on the Bucks.

PREDICTION: Brooklyn +3.5 (-110)

Covers NBA betting analysis

Over/Under pick

Nets head coach Steve Nash is very much utilizing this two-game set with the Bucks as postseason prep, trying to instill that playoff mentality while also cooking up some cohesion, which has been hard to come by with so many staples coming in and out of the lineup.

However, we have seen some playoff-inspired defense from Brooklyn in recent games. During the team’s four-game winning streak, the Nets limited opponents to under 110 points on 42.6 percent shooting. Even in the team’s 128-119 win over Phoenix on April 25, Brooklyn showed that it could get key defensive stops—with Irving and Durant leading those efforts.

Milwaukee is a stiff challenge, as the No. 1-ranked scoring attack in the NBA, but was spotty when it came to scoring on its four-game road swing. Outside of 136 points versus Houston, the Bucks posted scores of 104, 114 and 108 in those games (the former two with Giannis in the lineup) and stayed below the total in three of four.

With only 3.5 games separating these teams in the standings and Brooklyn desperately clinging to the No. 1 spot (half a game ahead of Philadelphia), expect the intensity and physicality to reach playoff peaks in the second half, keeping this final below the total.

PREDICTION: Under 242.5 (-110)

Player prop pick

Irving has switched roles from playmaker to shot-taker with Durant and James Harden in and out of the lineup this season.

The Nets guard scored 28 points with only three assists in the loss to Portland, but with Durant on the floor Sunday and the Bucks’ help defense quick to collapse, Irving will return to his role of distributor. In the win over Phoenix, he was incredible on both ends of the floor and dished out 12 assists to go along with 34 points.

On the season, Irving averages just over six assists a contest but has upped that to 7.6 in April. He will be able to break down the Bucks perimeter defenders in one-on-ones and rack up the assists with drive-and-kicks to Brooklyn’s sharpshooters, as well as find cutters to the rim.

PREDICTION: Kyrie Irving Over 6.5 assists (-105)

Nets vs Bucks betting card

  • Brooklyn +3.5 (-110)
  • Under 242.5 (-110)
  • Kyrie Irving Over 6.5 assists (-105)

Picks made on 5/02/2021 at 7:47 a.m. ET

NBA parlays

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