New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds -- 11/05/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Where to watch: ESPN, Bally Sports Wisconsin, MSG

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: NL
BetMGM: Bucks -5
Caesars: NL

Season record
Knicks: 5-3
Bucks: 4-4

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Knicks - Bucks preview and analysis


Recent form
Knicks: lost two straight, lost 111-98 at Pacers on Wednesday
Bucks: lost three of four, won 117-89 at Pistons on Tuesday

The Milwaukee Bucks will continue to try and keep their heads above water without some key contributors when they host the New York Knicks on Friday.

The defending NBA champions have lost three of four and hovered around .500 without starting point guard Jrue Holiday (ankle), center Brook Lopez (back), and now second-leading scorer Khris Middleton (COVID).

But the Bucks are coming off a 28-point win over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday following consecutive double-digit losses. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 28 points to go with eight rebounds and nine assists in the win; Milwaukee had five players score in double figures with Pat Connaughton and Jordan Nwora with 16 points each.

"Thank God we won a game," Antetokounmpo said with a grin. "I was worried we were going to start tanking for the No. 1 pick."

I’d imagine the man was being sarcastic, and hilarious in his own right, but you know there was some random Bucks fans in the bowels of Milwaukee that was ready for the tanking of all tankings and was ready for the bunker.

In any event, it was a much-needed win for the Bucks without those big names. The good news is Holiday is going to be listed as probable, according to reports, and could return for this matchup. Lopez and Middleton will still be out, but Holiday will be welcomed at both ends of the court.

And hopefully that’s all the Bucks need to get this turnaround in order when they welcome the Knicks to town fresh off consecutive losses. New York is coming off a 13-point loss to the Indiana Pacers on the road where every starter dominated for Indiana.

Myles Turner went 7 of 10 from 3-point range and had 25 points to go with 13 rebounds and was a matchup nightmare for Mitchell Robinson. RJ Barrett had a team-high 23 points to continue his hot run, but Julius Randle had only 18 points on six made shots, while grabbing 14 rebounds.

"We have to do three things to put ourselves in position to win," Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We have to defend, rebound and keep our turnovers down. We did one of three. Our turnovers were down (10 turnovers). Our defense wasn't there. The rebounding wasn't there. We have to fix that part."

The welcomed offense from Barrett has worked out wonders lately. If he can continue this emergence, the Knicks have to feel good after how last season ended for them. But this is the true love of November basketball: Overreactions are the best thing ever.

Prediction


Holiday’s return could be huge against the likes of Kemba Walker, but don’t be shocked to see Holiday take the assignment of Barrett while Grayson Allen tries to slow down Walker. That sounds horrendous as is, but you need to find any reason to slow Barrett down. Bobby Portis and Giannis have a lot to deal with at the other end. This seems like a good time for the Knicks to bounce back. Knicks by 6

Betting trends


The Knicks are 2-2 ATS on the road this season.

The Knicks are 6-6 ATS coming off an upset loss over the past three seasons.

The Knicks are 29-46 straight up as money line plays over the past three seasons on the road.

Milwaukee is 65-17 at home straight up in its last 82.

The Bucks have won 16 of their last 17 November games.

Projected starting lineup


Knicks:
PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Evan Fournier
SF:
RJ Barrett
PF:
Julius Randle
C:
Mitchell Robinson

Bucks:
PG: George Hill
SG: Grayson Allen
SF:
Pat Connaughton
PF:
Bobby Portis
C:
Giannis Antetokounmpo

Key injuries


Knicks: None

Bucks: PG Jrue Holiday (ankle, probable), SF Khris Middleton (COVID, out), C Brook Lopez (back, out), SG Donte DiVincenzo (ankle, questionable)

Statistical leaders


Knicks:
Points: Julius Randle -- 20.6
Rebounds: Julius Randle -- 11.2
Assists: Julius Randle -- 5.9
Blocks: Mitchell Robinson -- 1.4
Steals: Kemba Walker -- 1.4

Bucks:
Points: Giannis Antetokounmpo -- 27.4
Rebounds: Giannis Antetokounmpo -- 10.8
Assists: Giannis Antetokounmpo-- 6.4
Blocks: Giannis Antetokounmpo -- 2.0
Steals: Khris Middleton -- 2.0

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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