Despite a slew of injuries, the Cleveland Cavaliers have managed to keep pace with the Milwaukee Bucks atop the NBA’s Central Division. Another opportunity to close the gap on the first-place Bucks will come Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET) when the teams meet at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.
Milwaukee is a 5-point favorite and the projected total is 238.
What should bettors expect? Read on as we break down both teams and assess the Bucks vs Cavaliers NBA odds.
Bucks vs Cavaliers Betting Trends
The Milwaukee Bucks are 16-24 ATS, including 8-9 away from home. Milwaukee has gone Over the total in 25 of its 40 NBA games, the highest rate in the NBA at 62.5%. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers are 19-17-2 ATS, including 11-10-1 at home. The Cavaliers’ record against the Over/Under is 18-19-1.
Be sure to keep these trends in mind when analyzing the Bucks vs Cavaliers NBA odds.
Dame Time Arrives in Milwaukee
Winners of three straight, the Bucks own the second-best record in the Eastern Conference at 28-12. The Bucks are coming off a dramatic 143-142 overtime victory over Sacramento on Sunday in which Damian Lillard nailed a 32-footer at the buzzer to win it.
Lillard’s first buzzer-beater since joining Milwaukee in the offseason was also the 2,500th 3-pointer of his career and capped a 29-point night. Giannis Antetokounmpo added a triple-double with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, his fifth this season. Notably, Milwaukee (-4) did not cover.
Oddsmakers remain bullish on the Bucks, and with good reason. They have one of the NBA’s most star-studded dupos in Lillard and Antetokounmpo, along with a proven supporting cast.
The Bucks own the second-best odds in the East at +200 and have +475 odds to win the NBA championship.At the moment, only Boston (+320) and Denver (+450) have shorter odds.
Antetokounmpo is averaging 31.2 points and Lillard 25.2. They’re accounting for 45.1% of the Bucks’ scoring, and that doesn’t even really begin to encapsulate their value to the Bucks’ hopes in the NBA playoff bracket. One of the two has led the Bucks in scoring in 38 of their 42 games this season.
Milwaukee is ranked second in the NBA in scoring (125.0), third in shooting efficiency (50.2%) and 11th in assist rate (26.8). It also has the league’s seventh-best point differential at plus-5.0.
The Bucks have been especially profitable for bettors, going Over the total in a league high 62.5% of their games. That includes a mark of 10-7 against the Over/Under on the road. That’s important to remember when assessing the Bucks vs Cavaliers NBA odds.
Riding the Wave with Mitchell
The Cavaliers have reeled off a season-high five straight wins to improve to 23-15 and tighten the gap with Milwaukee atop the Central Division NBA standings. They’re coming off a 109-91 victory over Chicago on Monday in which Donovan Mitchell poured in 34 points to help them cover as 4-point favorites.
Cleveland remains without two of its of most impactful players in Darius Garland (jaw) and Evan Mobley (knee) due to NBA injuries.
Garland, who has been out since Dec. 14 after suffering a broken jaw, is reportedly hoping to return before the end of January. As for Mobley, he’s expected to miss between two to four more weeks while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Mitchell continues to carry the load in the absence of both NBA players, averaging a team-high 28.1 points to go with 5.8 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 1.9 steals.
Cleveland currently owns the sixth-best odds in the East at +2500 but is a +6000 longshot to win the NBA title. At 60/1 the Cavaliers find themselves behind the likes of the Lakers (+2500) and Warriors (+5000), aging and underperforming NBA teams with big-name players.
The Cavaliers have been especially tough on the defensive end, ranking third in opponent’s scoring (110.7) and eighth in rebounding rate (44.9). As such, they’re 3-6-1 against the Over/Under over their last 10 games and 18-19-1 overall.
Handicapping the Game
Milwaukee has already bested Cleveland once this NBA season, 119-111 on Dec. 29. Antetokounmpo and Lillard combined for 65 points as the Bucks shot 51.2%, including 12 of 29 from 3-point range, to cover at 5-point favorites. Cleveland is 5-1 since then, although each of those wins came against teams with losing records.
Without Garland and Mobley, the onus remains on Mitchell to lead Cleveland on the offensive end. It’s a lot to ask, especially against legitimate title contenders like Milwaukee. However, Mitchell seems to embrace the responsibilities that come with being a perennial All-Star.
Despite their success in the standings, the Bucks have failed to cover in seven of their last eight games and are just 16-24 ATS on the season.