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Mavericks Odds: How motivated will the Bucks be to win this game?

The Mavs could benefit from some late-season seeding shenanigans

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It’s tough to compete when you allow a team to shoot over 50% from 3 on 33 attempts. That’s exactly what the Mavs did against the Wizards and it’s the primary reason we got ran off the floor. In today’s matinee game, we face a different type of threat. This particular threat can take a single dribble after crossing half-court and dunk the basketball. This threat can get into the paint at will and poses the type of matchup problems Shaq did in his prime. You want to foul him? He’s shooting over 72% from the charity stripe. Want to pack the paint? He recently hit a step-back three in a late-game situation. You can’t gameplay for Giannis, you have to pick your poison and hope you can execute better than the Bucks can down the stretch.

Admittedly, the Bucks have yet to look like the juggernaut we expected coming into the season despite another MVP-worthy season from Giannis. Most of that can be attributed to a thin roster and a defense that has had to get by without it’s anchor Brook Lopez. With Lopez back and the playoffs approaching, this is the exact time in the season you can get expect the Bucks to ramp up the effort level and try to peak as a team at the right time.

Odds

Mavericks +5 (-110)

Moneyline +170

It’s probably in the Bucks's best interest to lose this game. The 2 seed likely means a first-round matchup with the Brooklyn Nets. There’s a non-zero chance Ben Simmons makes a return to the court. Even without him, the Bucks know firsthand what a healthy Kevin Durant is capable of. Fall to the 3rd seed and you’re looking at Toronto or Chicago. No disrespect to either team but we all know what the preferred route would be.

If the Bucks are intent on winning this game, Dallas will have their hands full. Our defenders are the bugs and Giannis is the windshield. Even if you manage to contain him, the rest of the Bucks rank 5th in the league in 3 point FG%. The key to this game will be whether the Mavs can dominate the non-Giannis minutes. Do that and you have a chance. Short of that. Our role players will have to have one of THOSE nights.

Advice: Stay away. If the Bucks are motivated, it’s tough to feel confident the Mavs can pull out a win.

Over/Under 228

Advice: take the over. The Bucks could easily break 125 against us.

Two team Parlay

Mavs/Magic +590

Advice: Julius Randle’s season is officially over and so should NY’s motivation to win another game.