Many stars of the NBA will be in the spotlight on Tuesday when the Milwaukee Bucks travel to take on the Los Angeles Lakers.
Both teams have been seeing varying levels of success this season. The Bucks are in a tight battle for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, entering the game with a 34-21 record.
Meanwhile, the Lakers are merely fighting for a play-in spot due to their sub-.500 record of 26-28.
Regardless of how things have gone so far, both teams are inside the top 10 of BetMGM’s 2021-22 NBA Championship odds. Los Angeles currently sits at +1800 odds, while Milwaukee is presently listed at +650.
Nevertheless, this matchup between the last two NBA Champions should be an entertaining one no matter who wins.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Los Angeles Lakers Matchup Info and Betting Odds
- Game Matchup: Milwaukee Bucks (34-21, 2nd in Eastern Conference) vs Los Angeles Lakers (26-28, 9th in Western Conference)
- Venue & Location: crypto.com Arena (Los Angeles, California)
- Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
- TV: TNT
- Spread: Milwaukee Bucks -4.5 (-110), Los Angeles Lakers +4.5 (-110)
- Total: OVER 230.5 (-110), UNDER 230.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Milwaukee Bucks -190, Los Angeles Lakers +155
Odds are via BetMGM.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Los Angeles Lakers Betting Outlook
Lakers Look to Get Back on Track
It goes without saying that the Lakers have disappointed a lot of people this season. Fans expected them to be a championship contender — especially with the addition of Russell Westbrook — but that hasn’t been the case.
One of the big things that have hurt the Lakers this season has been the health of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The two superstars have missed a combined 38 games so far, which has made it difficult to get a hot streak going. Fortunately, both men appear to be healthy now and that will be the key to turning Los Angeles’ season around.
James returned to the Lakers’ lineup in vintage ‘King’ fashion on Saturday following a five-game absence. He had 29 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the triple-double in the 122-115 overtime victory over the New York Knicks.
The outing also marked his 19th consecutive game with at least 19 points, which is a streak that the Lakers would like to see continue for as long as possible.
Meanwhile, Davis looks like a completely different player since returning from his own lengthy injury. He’s averaged 28.8 PTS/13.5 REB/2.8 AST in his last four games and has also put on a defensive clinic in the process. He’ll need a repeat performance tonight if Los Angeles wants to minimize Giannis Antetokounmpo’s impact.
The Lakers can also increase their chances of getting a win if Malik Monk continues to be the offensive spark plug that he has been. He’s scored 20+ points in three of his last four games and has been the answer for Los Angeles at the point guard position following Westbrook’s frustrating struggles.
Speaking of which, it’ll be interesting to see how Westbrook to being benched during the overtime portion of the game against the Knicks. He’s shot 11-for-40 from the field over his last three outings, scoring 20 or fewer points in four straight.
The Lakers will be without both Carmelo Anthony (hamstring) and Kendrick Nunn (knee) on Tuesday. Veteran center Dwight Howard (back) is listed as questionable, so we’ll see if he can suit up by game time.
Bucks Look to Cement Eastern Conference Positioning
The Eastern Conference playoff picture is one of the tightest we’ve seen in some time. Only two games separate first and fifth place, while five games separate the top spot to eighth place. Needless to say, it’s anyone’s battle.
A win over the Lakers on Tuesday would certainly help the Bucks cement their spot in the standings. To do so, they’re going to need their own star players to show up.
Fortunately, Giannis Antetokounmpo is in the midst of another MVP-caliber season. He’s been on a completely different level this season, averaging 31.2 PTS/10.9 REB/6.3 AST in 16 games since the calendar flipped to 2022.
He dropped 47 points against the Lakers when the two teams met back in November, so only time will tell if he has an encore somewhere in him.
Newly-named NBA All-Star Khris Middleton is also needed if the Bucks want to thwart the Lakers. The 30-year-old is in a bit of a cold spell lately, averaging 13.3 points over his last four games. Milwaukee is on a three-game win streak and has won seven of the last nine games, so Middleton’s production hasn’t hurt his team too badly.
Still, it would be preferred if he could bounce back to his usual self, especially with the Lakers looking better than they have in a while.
George Hill (neck) and Brook Lopez (back) will likely miss tonight’s contest due to their respective injuries. The good news is that Grayson Allen (hip) is probable to face the Lakers and should provide Milwaukee with some perimeter shooting support.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Los Angeles Lakers Prediction and Best Bets
Milwaukee Bucks 118, Los Angeles Lakers 114 (OVER 230.5)
This is a game that could truly go either way, especially if the Lakers are finally ready to match preseason expectations. Having said that, this feels like a game where the Bucks will squeak out the win.
It’ll likely be a high-scoring affair with the way that Antetokounmpo, James and Davis have been playing. However, Milwaukee is the deeper team and Westbrook’s unpredictable play this season makes it tough to have total confidence in Los Angeles.