Milwaukee Bucks vs Orlando Magic. Shape of the teams

Milwaukee Bucks vs Orlando Magic takes place in the Fiserv Forum arena. After winning five straight the Bucks will be looking to push that to six.

The Bucks are finally starting to look like the NBA final contending team we thought they could be before the season started, and as of now, they even find themselves tied for first in the league in defensive efficiency.

Orlando may have played pretty well so far this season, but we have to agree with the bookmaker’s odds and give a clear advantage to the Bucks. The Magic may be 16-10 on the season, but they’ve lost three straight games in a row and still have no answer for Giannis Antetokounmpo or Lillard.

The only thing that could give the Magic a shot is if Giannis is out for their game on Thursday, as he is listed as day-to-day with that right foot sprain from the San Antonio Spurs game.

Odds via Tonybet

Milwaukee Bucks vs Orlando Magic  December 21, 8:00 p.m ET
Bucks odds  -333
Magic odds +260
Bucks spread -8.5  -109
Magic spread +8.5 +114

Unfortunately for Magic fans, even without Giannis, Damian Lillard alone could put away the young Magic roster – especially with his great recent play. Just take a look at his last two games, where he scored 40 points on 58.3% shooting from three on Tuesday and 39 points on 57.9% true shooting on Sunday.

That being said, we still need to give some credit to the Orlando Magic, especially considering two of their last three losses came to the stunning Boston Celtics. They’re simply a young team and still need some time to develop and learn how to play against contending teams, and they will certainly get there.

Unfortunately, though, as of now, this NBA matchup is likely going to play out super similarly to the Magics’ contests against the Celtics last week. The young guys on the Orlando squad can certainly play, but they aren’t one of the dominant forces in the East.

Milwaukee Bucks vs Orlando Magic Odds, Prediction

Even if Giannis is unable to play on Thursday against the Orlando Magic, the combination of Damian Lillard, Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, and Bobby Portis should be enough to take home a dub.

And if the Greek Freak does manage to play, well, that’s just adding insult to injury.

The Bucks should be able to easily win by a margin of 6-10 points with no real sweat unless Paolo Banchero goes off – which is unlikely after his 10-point showing last game. 

However, he did show up big in their December 17th matchup against the Celtics, proving he can score against strong defences. 

It will really be a question of whether Banchero can beat Lillard and if Franz Wagner can match up well with Middleton. Which will likely prove too large a challenge for the 21 and 22 year old. 

Damian Lillard specifically has really picked up the intensity on the defensive end of things and should be able to shade Banchero into the wall of Lopez or Giannis.

We also really can’t understate how much an NBA roster’s momentum can influence games, especially following winning or losing streaks. In Milwaukee’s case, they are coming fresh off five consecutive wins and have won eight of their last 10 games.

Expect the Bucks to come out strong out of the gate and get a lead that they will maintain throughout the entire game. If Giannis plays, he will likely bully Orlando inside while Lillard torches them from beyond the arch. 

But even if he doesn’t play, Milwaukee’s roster isn’t so fragile as to fall apart without him.

Milwaukee Bucks vs Orlando Magic Player Pick and Betting Tip

Milwaukee Bucks fans are most likely over the moon watching Lillard finally play the way we all hoped he would before the season even began. He is finally getting back to the player we all knew and loved in Portland, which is evident from his last three games, where he has averaged 37.3 points.

These points have also come with incredible efficiency, showcasing a true shooting percentage of over 50% three nights in a row. He even shot a crazy 58.3% from three against San Antonio while dropping 40.

Lillard is simply playing winning basketball right now, taking smart shots, limiting turnovers, and dishing out over 7 assists per game.

While Paolo Banchero isn’t a bad defender by any means, this is Damian “Dame Time” Lillard we are talking about, and when he is feeling it, there isn’t a defender in the league who can keep up.

He will likely also take quite a few more shots if Giannis does happen to be out, which should easily push his scoring well past 30 points.

Overall, considering Lillard’s recent success, Giannis’s potential absence, and his insane shooting percentage as of late, 28.5 points isn’t unrealistic at all.

Disclaimer: Odds are accurate at the time of posting and subject to change. Please verify the latest odds on our platform before betting.

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