NBA 2022/23, on Wednesday, 01.02.2023
In today’s NBA tips, the duel between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Charlotte Hornets represents a match-up that already existed a few weeks ago and in which I had placed my money on the guests in white foresight at the time.
This time, however, there are two players involved who were not there last time and who will now tempt me into a Bucks Hornets tip where I switch sides compared to the last duel.
The Bucks are obviously putting their foot on the accelerator – and that’s exactly what I focused on before the duel against the Hornets, who are currently putting in mixed performances.
Khris Middleton has finally been back for four games! With their superstar in the starting five, the Green and Whites not only managed to win all those games, but also to move up to third place in the Eastern Conference.
Last Thursday, they played the Nuggets, but unfortunately, this top-class NBA match-up did not provide any information about Milwaukee’s actual title chances, as basketball icon Nikola Jokic was absent on the other side.
Consequently, the Bucks earned an expected victory over a Nuggets team that was weakened by replacements and also managed to score a strong 125 points per 100 possessions over the period of the last three NBA games.
Giannis Antetokounmpo alone was able to sink 50 points in Sunday’s win over the Pelicans, putting his full skill set on display. No question, the Greek is recommending himself for another MVP title with his current performances.
Although the hoped-for “showdown of the giants” did not take place against Denver – as already mentioned – this subsequent triumph over the Pels is also meaningful.
Because New Orleans is a physically robust team that you usually can’t just brush aside with 135-110.
The Bucks’ problem is that they’re not quite as competitive without their superstars. In that case, I’d rather put my money on the opponent in question anyway.
For example, Milwaukee lost its last doubleheader so far a week ago against the Heat without Antetokounmpo and Middleton in the starting five – and they also suffered a tough loss to their upcoming opponent shorthanded.
In the first week of January, Milwaukee lost to the Hornets by a completely surprising 109:138. Bookmakers like Bet365 even offered betting odds of around 5.00 for this minor sensation.
However, the bookmakers placed too much hope in the bench players of the Green and Whites in the last encounter and underestimated the Hornets’ playmaking potential.
Charlotte is equipped with a lot of talent in Lamelo Ball and Terry Rozier – even if the season’s record of 15 wins to 36 losses doesn’t seem to reflect that.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo in top form, however, the starting position of this game changes 180 degrees – especially if The Greek Freak performs as he did against the Pelicans on Sunday.
Because against such a powerful centre, the Hornets have no means of holding out for long.
The memory of the nasty surprise the Bucks got the last time they met the Hornets made me a little sceptical at first, looking at the odds available for the rematch.
This time, for example, Milwaukee is even more heavily favoured with odds averaging just 1.10 than was already the case shortly after New Year’s Day.
However, the bookmakers have probably also realised that this match will actually result in a clear success for the Green and Whites.
The starting five is a completely different one and the humiliation suffered in the first week of January provides Milwaukee with further incentive to make an example of the recalcitrant Hornets.
Conclusion: Without Antetokounmpo, this would certainly be a much more even affair tonight than the bookies would assume and thus reason enough to put my money on the visitors.
However, the Greek is now fit for duty and at 100%, while the recently recovered Khris Middleton represents another huge boost for the Green and Whites compared to last season’s clash with Charlotte.
The Hornets’ guards simply don’t get a player like Antetokounmpo, which is why – should the Greek go for it – he can do whatever he wants against this defence tonight.
My Bucks Hornets pick: The home side is no match for this line-up