The most one-sided series in the NBA playoffs continues on Wednesday night when the Detroit Pistons – minus Blake Griffin – visit Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Deer are to be feared for underdog bettors who saw the Bucks easily cover as 15-point favourites in Game 1.
Detroit will have to make do once again without Griffin as the club’s lone All Star is out for the remainder of the series with a knee injury.
NBA Playoffs Point Spread and Betting Analysis
It’s hard to find a silver lining for Detroit backers these days. Making the playoffs is definitely a step in the right direction for the franchise, but it’ll be an upset if the team is able to win a game against the Bucks, let alone the four it would require to advance to the next round.
Sports Interaction lists the odds at -125 for the Pistons to bow out in four games and +150 for the Bucks to take the series in five.
Detroit lost by 35 points and trailed by as many as 41 during Game 1. The Bucks jumped out to a 20-4 lead early in the first quarter and never looked back. The Pistons are now 0-4-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last five games against Milwaukee.
The Bucks, meanwhile, covered the spread for just the third time in their last 11 post-season games. Of course, the playoff performances in the past were without coach Mike Budenholzer on the sidelines.
The former Atlanta Hawks bench boss is the favourite to win the Coach of the Year after guiding Milwaukee to an NBA-best 60-22 record this season. More importantly, the Bucks finished with a league high 47 ATS wins during the regular season.
About 80 percent of bettors are backing the Bucks to cover as 15-point chalk in Game 2 while 79 percent expect the score to exceed the 212-point total.
The Pistons are now 2-5 straight up and against the spread in games without Griffin in the lineup. Even more alarming for bettors: the under is 6-1 in games without Griffin. Detroit averaged 107 points per game on the season, but just 99.2 per game when Blake is in street clothes.
The Bucks should be well-rested for Game 2. The early blowout in Game 1 allowed Coach Bud to rest his starters and key players off the bench. Antetokounmpo played fewer than 24 minutes and the rest of the starting five sat the majority of the second half.