The Milwaukee Bucks (17-15) will try to snap the five-game winning streak of Minnesota when they welcome the Timberwolves (22-13) to BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 213.5 points with Milwaukee opening as a 2.5-point favorite. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 28, 2017, and it can be seen on Fox Sports Net Wisconsin.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Milwaukee Bucks ATS Preview
In the Timberwolves last contest, they barely escaped the Denver Nuggets, 128-125. Jimmy Butler was the top scorer from either team with 39 points on 10-for-20 shooting. The Timberwolves had a fantastically low turnover percentage of 5.5 (better than their season average of 11.8) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.589 (above their season average of 0.522).
The Bucks are trying to rebound after their 115-106 loss to the Chicago Bulls in their last contest. Giannis Antetokounmpo was the games leading scorer with 28 points on 11-for-17 shooting. Chicago had a turnover percentage of 5.0 (better than their season average of 12.1). Milwaukee, meanwhile, did a great job of making free throws (18-24; 75.0 percent).
Half-court execution will be critical when two of the NBA’s slowest-paced teams clash. Milwaukee ranks 23rd in possessions per game (97.2) and Minnesota is 21st (98.3). Additionally, the Timberwolves fourth-ranked offense (offensive efficiency of 110.9) will attempt to take advantage of the Bucks 23rd-ranked defense (defensive efficiency of 108.1).
Both of these teams have typically gone over the projected point total. Minnesota games have gone over 55.9 percent of the time, while games involving Milwaukee have gone over 65.6 percent of the time. The Timberwolves have the superior straight up (SU) record (22-13 vs. 17-15) and a narrow edge against the spread (ATS) (15-17-2 vs. 13-14-5).
Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Timberwolves, it’s been Butler, who has averaged 25.4 points, 4.2 assists and 1.8 steals, while the Bucks have gotten solid contributions from Eric Bledsoe (19.4 points, 5.2 assists and 1.2 steals).
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after splitting two games last season. In the most recent matchup, the Bucks won 102-95. The Bucks played a perfect game. They had a superb turnover percentage of 9.1 and a solid free throw rate of 0.250. The Timberwolves were 11.7 and 0.198, respectively, for those same stats.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Milwaukee Bucks ATS Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Timberwolves, ATS Winner – Timberwolves, O/U – Over
- The Bucks rank seventh in points in the paint per game (46.4) while the Timberwolves rank 23rd in points allowed in the paint per game (45.5).
- Minnesota ranks 21st in rebounds per game (41.7) while Milwaukee ranks last (38.6).
- Milwaukee ranks first in points off turnovers allowed per game (14.4) while Minnesota ranks 15th (16.6).
- Milwaukee ranks 24th in three pointers attempted per game (25.1) while Minnesota ranks 28th (23.1).
- Minnesota is 10-6-1 ATS on the road, while Milwaukee is 6-8-3 ATS at home.
- The total has gone over in 11 of the Timberwolves 17 road games, while 10 of the Bucks 17 home games have gone over.
- In games where they hold opponents under 100 points, Milwaukee is 6-2 and Minnesota is 9-2.
- The Timberwolves are 20-8 when they reach 100 points, while the Bucks are 14-9.
- The Bucks rank 13th in assists allowed per game (22.0) while the Timberwolves rank 26th (24.5).
- Minnesota ranks sixth in second chance points per game (14.3) while Milwaukee ranks last (9.5).
- The Bucks rank first in fast break points allowed per game (6.8) while the Timberwolves rank 25th (13.5).
- The Timberwolves rank fourth in steals per game (8.8) while the Bucks rank ninth (8.3).
- Milwaukee ranks sixth in blocks per game (5.3) while Minnesota ranks 25th (4.0).
- Milwaukee is 2-1-2 ATS with 5 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Minnesota is 3-2 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Bucks average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 2.0, up from 0.7 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Timberwolves have scored an average of 116.8 points per game (7.9 above their season average) and allowed an average of 109.2 points per game (2.4 above their season average).