Enter Our $3K Conf. Champ. Contest
The more entries, the higher the prize!
Betting Odds: Milwaukee Bucks at Washington Wizards
- Spread: Bucks -1.5
- Over/Under: 226.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
Update at 5:45 p.m. ET: Giannis has been ruled out tonight. Eric Bledsoe, D.J. Wilson and Ersan Ilyasova are available to play.
Right around noon ET on Friday, the Bucks released their injury report, which included several players: Giannis Antetokounmpo (quad, hip) was downgraded to doubtful, Eric Bledsoe (hamstring) and D.J. Wilson (hip) are both questionable while Ersan Ilyasova (quad) is probable.
Giannis is obviously the big news here, and the betting market almost immediately reacted to the news. This game opened at Bucks -7.5 on the road and now sits at -2.
According to Sports Insights, bettors hammered the Wizards right after the news, immediately forcing it down to Bucks -2.5.
As you can see, it did move back to Bucks -3 briefly before another Steam Move pushed it to its current number of -2.
The over/under has seen similar movement, with the under getting hit hard after the Giannis news, pushing it from 231 at open to 226.5 as of writing (see live odds here).
The line movement indicates Giannis is worth about 5.5 points to the spread, which is about what you’d expect from the current MVP frontrunner.
His on/off court numbers are a little odd, however. Per Cleaning the Glass, the Bucks have been “just” 2.8 points per 100 possessions better with him on vs. off this season — in the 65th percentile of players.
For reference, he was in the 91st percentile last season with a +9.4 on/off differential.
That might suggest that the Bucks are deep enough to overcome Giannis’ absence for a single game — although, as we covered above, much of the rest of the team is also on the injury report.
The majority of bets (66%) and money (56%) are still on the Bucks, likely because the Wizards have been the most disappointing team to wager on this season. Washington’s 17-25 against-the-spread record is worst in the league, and they’re just 7-13 ATS as underdogs.
Here’s the fantasy news blurb from our FantasyLabs page:
Khris Middleton has seen a massive 9.1% usage bump with Antetokounmpo off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.29 DraftKings points per minute.
He should become a cash-game staple if Antetokounmpo is ultimately ruled out against a Wizards team that ranks 27th in defensive efficiency.
Malcolm Brogdon would also see a bump with Antetokounmpo out of the lineup. He’s averaged a FantasyLabs’ Plus/Minus of +3.1 on DraftKings in two games without his star teammate this season.
Right now, three Bucks players — Ilyasova, Brogdon and Middleton — lead the entire slate in Projected Plus/Minus (our proprietary metric indicating daily fantasy value). Of course, we’ll still have to monitor the statuses of the questionable players, so follow our twitter feed and check our NBA models for instant updates on projections.
One other place to get action on this news — especially if you missed the spread and total before they moved — is in the props market. Middleton has a points over/under of 20.5 currently, and we’re projecting him above 23.
According to our NBA On/Off tool, he’s averaging 28.0 points per 36 minutes with Giannis off the court this year and 30.3 when both Giannis and Bledsoe are absent.