2024 NBA picks, Jan. 17 best bets by proven model


2024 NBA picks, Jan. 17 best bets by proven model

The Cleveland Cavaliers welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Wednesday evening. Cleveland is 23-15 overall and 14-8 at home this season, with the Cavaliers also entering on a five-game winning streak. Milwaukee is 28-12 overall and 9-8 on the road. Darius Garland (jaw) and Evan Mobley (knee) are out for Cleveland, with Caris LeVert (wrist) listed as questionable. Jae Crowder returns to action for the Bucks, and Milwaukee lists no injuries for Wednesday’s game.

For this game, SportsLine consensus lists the Bucks as 4-point favorites, and tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 236.5 in the latest Bucks vs. Cavaliers odds. Before making any Cavaliers vs. Bucks picks, you need to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s advanced computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters Week 13 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 42-23 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning nearly $2,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Bucks vs. Cavs and just locked in its picks and NBA predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Now, here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Cavs vs. Bucks:

Bucks vs. Cavaliers spread: Bucks -4
Bucks vs. Cavaliers over/under: 236.5 points
Bucks vs. Cavaliers money line: Bucks -179, Cavaliers +150
MIL: The Bucks are 8-9 against the spread in road games
CLE: The Cavaliers are 10-10-1 against the spread in home games
Bucks vs. Cavaliers picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Bucks can cover
The Bucks lean on two of the best players in the NBA in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard. The pairing combined for 65 points in Milwaukee’s victory over Cleveland earlier this season, and Antetokounmpo is once again in the MVP race. Antetokounmpo is averaging 31.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game while shooting 60.8% from the field and providing strong defensive impact. In the last six games, Antetokounmpo is averaging 33.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 6.8 assists, and he is flanked by a fantastic shot creator in Lillard.

In his first season with the Bucks, Lillard is putting up 25.2 points and 6.8 assists per game, and he remains one of the league’s best pull-up shooting threats. With Antetokounmpo and Lillard at the forefront, the Bucks are No. 2 in the NBA in offensive efficiency, scoring more than 1.21 points per possession. The Bucks are second in the league in free throw creation, averaging 26.4 attempts per game, and Milwaukee is also in the top three of the NBA in field goal percentage (50.2%), 2-point percentage (58.7%), and 3-point percentage (38.3%) this season. See which team to pick here.

Why the Cavaliers can cover
Cleveland has the clear advantage over Milwaukee when it comes to defensive impact. The Cavaliers are in the top five of the NBA in defensive efficiency, giving up only 111.7 points per 100 possessions. Cleveland ranks in the top five of the league in opponent field goal percentage (45.9%) and opponent 2-point percentage (52.3%), and opponents are shooting only 35.6% from 3-point range against the Cavaliers. Cleveland is in the top three of the league in assists allowed (24.2 per game), and the Cavaliers are averaging 7.9 steals per contest.

From there, Milwaukee has clear defensive flaws, including the league’s worst mark in turnover creation (11.8 per game) and a bottom-five ranking in steals (6.5 per game). On offense, Cleveland is clearly led by Donovan Mitchell, who is averaging 30.1 points per game in the last eight outings and 28.1 points per game for the season. The Cavaliers are shooting 55.7% on 2-point attempts, and Cleveland is firmly in the top 10 of the league in offensive rebound rate (30.1%) and second-chance points (16.2 per game). See which team to pick here.

How to make Cavaliers vs. Bucks picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the total. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time. You can only see the model’s picks at SportsLine.

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