Knicks vs. Bucks prediction: NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinals odds, pick, best bets

Knicks vs. Bucks prediction: NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinals odds, pick, best bets

The NBA In-Season Tournament has been great television. 

For once, the NBA made a wise decision to implement this tournament. 

Two semifinal spots have already been decided, with the Pelicans downing the Kings and the Pacers downing the Celtics (wow!) in the quarterfinals Monday. 

The final semifinal spots will be decided Tuesday, and I’m here to advocate that you should catch five points with the New York Knicks against the ever-dangerous Milwaukee Bucks

Knicks vs Bucks odds

(via BetMGM)

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Knicks +5.5 (-115) +165 o230.5 (-110)
Bucks -5.5 (-105) -200 u230.5 (-110)

Knicks vs. Bucks prediction

(7:30 p.m. ET, TNT)

I think the Knicks are the better all-around, more complete team.

The Bucks are top-heavy with Dame Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Their bench play has been lousy, and the defense has been arguably worse, with Milwaukee ranking 20th in the NBA in points per 100 possessions allowed (116.1). 

Meanwhile, the Knicks are deep, running eight deep from Jalen Brunson to Dante DiVincenzo. 

The Knicks also rank 11th in points per 100 positions (116.3) and fifth in points per 100 possessions allowed (110.5). They score and defend both in the starting five and off the bench, something the Bucks don’t do. 

Also – and even if this sounds funny – the vibes surrounding the Knicks are better than the ones surrounding the Bucks. 

I’m unsure if Adrian Griffin is as prepared for this starting coaching job as many expected. At least Tom Thibodeau is experienced and can out-coach a rookie head coach. 

From an on-the-court matchup perspective, the Knicks have enough 3-point shooting to stay in this game, ranking 11th in the league in 3-point attempt rate (37.1%) and eighth in 3-point shooting (38.1%).

Six Knicks who average at least 20 minutes per game are shooting 35% or better from deep, with Brunson draining 47% of his long balls on seven attempts per game.

Giannis Antetokounmpo tries to get past Julius Randle during a game on Nov. 3, 2023, in Milwaukee. AP

Meanwhile, the Bucks have just three guys who meet those requirements in Brook Lopez, Malik Beasley and Jae Crowder.

The Knicks should also eat in transition. They run the floor at the 10th-highest rate in the NBA, and the Bucks are 30th in transition frequency allowed and 23rd in added transition points per 100 possessions allowed (+3.2). 

I’m projecting a close, hard-fought game between an immensely talented but flawed Bucks team and a well-rounded Knicks team.

Betting on the NBA?

Our internal projections agree. Our Action PRO Model projects the Knicks as only 2.5-point road ‘dogs Tuesday night. 

So, I’ll grab the value and the points with New York, hoping the Knicks don’t get obliterated by Lillard-Antetokounmpo ball-screen sets. 

Knicks vs. Bucks pick

Knicks +5.5 (-115) at BetMGM | Play to +3.5 (-110)

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