The Los Angeles Lakers (11-4, 7-0 away) and the Milwaukee Bucks (9-5, 6-1 home) get together Thursday night for a Western versus Eastern Conference showdown. The Lakers will try and stay perfect on the road, while the Bucks look to win their seventh home game in eight tries.
Thursday’s tipoff is at 7:30 pm ET inside Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI. Los Angeles is a one-point favorite in the cross-conference showdown, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles sits atop the Western Conference standings and are the reigning NBA champions. The Lakers are coming off a rare loss, falling 115-113 to the Golden State Warriors at home on Monday. Thursday’s game is the first of seven road games for the Lakers in a row.
The Lakers average 115.3 points per game behind a 48.8% shooting effort from the field. On the defensive end, the Lakers surrender 105.1 points per game, tied for the third-lowest in the league.
LeBron James (23.7 ppg) and Anthony Davis (21.3 ppg) pace the Lakers offense that ranks sixth in scoring. The two all-stars combined for 36 points in the Warriors’ loss, but Dennis Schroder led the Lakers in scoring with 25.
Over their last five games, the Lakers are 4-1 against the spread and 8-7 against the spread this season. Los Angeles is 5-2 against the spread on the road, but just 1-5 ATS in their last six games against the Bucks.
What to Know – Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee is a half-game back of the Philadelphia 76ers for first place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Bucks also fell in a two-point loss in their previous outing, dropping a 125-123 road contest to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Bucks score 120.4 points per game, second in the league, on 48.5% shooting from the floor. Milwaukee’s defense allows opponents to score 110.6 points and are fourth in the NBA, averaging 47.6 rebounds per game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo averages a team-high 27.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game for the Bucks. The forward poured in 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the defeat to the Nets.
Forward Khris Middleton is off to a hot start this season, averaging a career-high 22.1 points per game through the first 14 games. Guard Jrue Holiday chips in 15.7 points in his first season in a Bucks’ uniform.
Milwaukee is 6-8 against the spread this season, including 2-4 over their last six games. At home, the Bucks are 4-3 ATS and 1-8 against Western Conference foes in their previous nine tries.
The Pick is In
Many thought these two teams would meet up in the NBA Finals last season, but the Bucks were upset by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Milwaukee is healthy entering the marquee matchup, while the Lakers have a few players listed as either questionable or probable against the Bucks.
One of these teams will suffer their second loss in a row for the first time this season, and we will ride with James and the defending champions on the road.
The Pick: Los Angeles Lakers -1