Donovan Mitchell during a stoppage in play

Dec 19, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) stands on the court in the second quarter against the Utah Jazz at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

  • Cleveland is laying 2 points to Milwaukee in the Bucks vs Cavaliers odds on Wednesday
  • Khris Middleton (knee) is doubtful to suit up for the Bucks
  • Check out the Bucks vs Cavaliers odds, injury updates and best bets below

Two of the top-three teams in the East square off on Wednesday as the Bucks (22-8, 8-5 away) travel to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers (21-11, 15-2 home).

Both squads enter play on multi-game winning streaks, but online sportsbooks are leaning towards the hotter of the two teams in the NBA odds.

Bucks vs Cavaliers Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Milwaukee Bucks +2 (-110) +110 OFF
Cleveland Cavaliers -2 (-110) -130 OFF

Odds as of December 20 at FanDuel. Claim the FanDuel Sportsbook promo code to bet on the Jazz vs Cavaliers game.

That of course would be Cleveland. The Cavaliers opened up as 2-point favorites, as they look for their fifth win in a row. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 pm ET at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, OH, a building where the Cavs have been lights out at all season.



Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Analysis

Cleveland is off to a 15-2 record in their own building, the best home mark of any team in the league. Speaking of the best in the league, that’s exactly what the Cavaliers defense is. That was on full display on Monday, as they completely neutralized the Jazz’s top-four rated offense.

Cleveland held Utah to a season-low 39% from the field, while forcing 14 turnovers in a 122-99 victory. Offensively, the shot a blistering 61% from the field, including 57.7% from three.

The Cavaliers are league’s number one defense per NET rating, and yield an NBA low 104.4 points per game. They hold enemy shooters to a 45% field goal percentage on average, while only five teams are better at defending the three-point line.

At the other end of the court they can hurt you from both inside and out. Donovan Mitchell is playing like a top NBA MVP odds candidate, while his backcourt partner Darius Garland is one the best playmakers in basketball.

Down low, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley have been excellent at scoring in the paint, as well as defending it. The Cavaliers lead the league in points in the paint allowed, while ranking above average in scoring in tight.

On the injury front, reserve forward Lamar Stevens (knee) is the only Cavs player with a tag, and he is doubtful to be in Wednesday’s NBA lineups.

Milwaukee Bucks Betting Analysis

Milwaukee meanwhile, comes in off back-to-back wins. They currently sit first in the Eastern Conference, a half game up on Boston. They too were in action on Monday, knocking off New Orleans on the road 128-119. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 42 points and 10 rebounds, while Jrue Holiday torched his old team for 18 points and 11 assists.

The victory was the Bucks’ 10th in their last 13 games, and it marked the third time in four outings they’ve exceeded 122 points. Not bad for an offense ranked in the bottom half of the league.

Defensively, Milwaukee held the Pelicans to 42% from the field, continuing their impressive defensive campaign. Only the Cavs have a better defensive rating than the Bucks, while Milwaukee ranks second in opponent field goal percentage as well.

It’s not all good news out of the Bucks camp though. Khris Middleton sat out his second straight game due to a knee injury, and is expected to miss Wednesday’s contest as well. That’s a big blow to the Milwaukee offense, as he’s typically their second option after Giannis, and one of the best three-point shooters on the team.

Bucks vs Cavaliers Prediction

Not only are Milwaukee and Cleveland two of the leading contenders in the NBA Championship odds, they’re also two of the top-eight teams against the spread.

The Cavaliers are especially good ATS at home, posting a 12-4-1 mark. The Bucks on the other hand, are 15-9-2 ATS as favorites, but just 5-6-2 against the spread as underdogs.

Milwaukee was victorious in a pair of early season home dates against the Cavaliers, but now that the scene has shifted to Cleveland, expect payback for the Cavs.

NBA NET Rating Ranks

Team Rank
Cleveland Cavaliers 1
Boston Celtics 2
Phoenix Suns 3
New Orleans Pelicans 4
Memphis Grizzlies 5
Milwaukee Bucks 6

They’re playing as well as anyone in the league at the moment, and have been absolutely dominant at home. The absence of Middleton is a major blow to Milwaukee’s offense, putting even more pressure on Giannis to score.

Speaking of Antetokounmpo, Cleveland is one of the few teams equipped to bother him down low. Both Mobley and Allen are fantastic rim protectors and their big bodies will likely reduce Giannis’ efficiency at the rim, and could force more outside shots for the Greek Freak. Exactly the thing you want him to avoid if you’re a Bucks backer.

Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -2 (-110)


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Chris Amberley

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