06 Jan

2024 NBA picks, January 4 best bets from proven model

The Milwaukee Bucks visit the San Antonio Spurs for a nationally televised showdown on Thursday. Frost Bank Center hosts the matchup in San Antonio, and the Spurs will look to improve on a 5-28 overall record and a 2-14 mark at home. No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama leads San Antonio, and the Spurs aim to return the favor after a road loss in Milwaukee on Dec. 19. The Bucks (24-10) arrive on the second night of a back-to-back after facing the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, and Milwaukee is the No. 2 seed in the East. Jae Crowder (adductor) is out for the Bucks, while Zach Collins (ankle) is out for the Spurs.

For this game, SportsLine consensus lists Milwaukee as a 10.5-point favorite, 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 248.5 in the latest Bucks vs. Spurs odds. Before you make any Spurs 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 11 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 106-59 roll on all top-rated NBA picks dating back to last season, returning well over $4,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

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

Bucks vs. Spurs spread: Bucks -10.5
Bucks vs. Spurs over/under: 248.5 points
Bucks vs. Spurs money line: Bucks -545, Spurs +401
MIL: The Bucks are 3-1 against the spread with no rest
SAS: The Spurs are 6-10 against the spread in home games
Bucks vs. Spurs picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Bucks can cover
The Bucks have the clear edge on offense in this matchup. In the first meeting, Milwaukee scored 1.2 points per possession with 34 assists and only six turnovers, and that mirrors the team’s overall success on offense this season. The Bucks are in the top five of the NBA in offensive efficiency, and Milwaukee also ranks in the top five in free throw attempts, field goal percentage, and 2-point percentage. The Bucks are also prolific from 3-point distance, ranking in the top quartile of the NBA in 3-pointers per game and 3-point accuracy, and San Antonio’s offense is floundering on the whole.

In the first matchup, the Spurs scored only 1.08 points per possession against the Bucks, and San Antonio is second-worst in the NBA in offensive efficiency, putting up only 107.1 points per 100 possessions. San Antonio ranks in the bottom five in field goal percentage (45.4%) and 3-point percentage (34.2%), and the Spurs also struggle to boost efficiency in other ways. The Spurs are second-worst in averaging only 19.5 free throw attempts per game, and San Antonio is solidly in the bottom five in turnover prevention (15.4 per game), offensive rebound rate (25.9%), and second-chance points (12.5 per game). See which team to pick here.

Why the Spurs can cover
The Spurs are led by a dynamic rookie in Wembanyama. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft has scored 20 points or more in three consecutive games, and Wembanyama is averaging 18.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 3.1 blocked shots per game. That leads the NBA in blocked shots, and Wembanyama also leads the league in defensive rebound percentage (30.1%). Wembanyama has also been flying high across the last 15 games, averaging 19.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 3.7 blocked shots.

Wembanyama keys a San Antonio offense which has three players averaging at least 18 points per game. The Spurs are also in the top five of the league with 29.0 assists per game, and San Antonio is in the top 10 with 44.6 fast break points per game. San Antonio is also facing a Milwaukee defense that is not dominant overall. The Bucks are in the bottom five of the league in turnover creation and steals, and Milwaukee is also below-average in defensive rebound rate. See which team to pick here.

How to make Spurs vs. Bucks picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Under on the point total, projecting 245 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60% of simulations. You can only see the model’s pick at SportsLine.

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