Playoff Round 1 - Bucks vs. Pistons Prediction and Betting Odds 2019
April 11, 2019
Milwaukee Bucks (60-22)
No one is entering the 2019 playoffs with expectations higher than the Milwaukee Bucks. First-year head coach Mike Budenholzer has had the team clicking for the majority of the season while turning them into the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense in the NBA.
They will enter the postseason playing well having seven of their last ten games. They lost their regular season finale but also rested a lot of guys. Offensively, they haven’t missed a beat down the stretch averaging 120.3 points/game. But their defense has slipped a little (107.3 rating; 8th in the NBA).
With the expectations that the Bucks came into the season with and with how they have played, anything short of a trip to the NBA Finals would be considered a letdown. Barring an injury to Giannis Antetokounmpo, it is hard imagining anyone stopping them.
Detroit Pistons (41-41)
When the Detroit Pistons were fortunate enough to hire Dwane Case a sense of optimism returned to the beleaguered franchise. Casey did a great job in Toronto and was even named Coach of the Year, but the Raptors fired him when he failed to guide the team past LeBron James and the Cavaliers for the third time.
His addition gave fans hope and certainly raised expectations for the 2018-19 season. While they still have a lot of room for growth and improvement, Casey did guide them to just their second playoff berth in a decade.
However, getting there and winning a game (or series) are two different things. The Pistons are not a bad defensive team (108.8 rating; 12th in the NBA). But they are not a great offensive team averaging around 107 points/game.
Blake Griffin has had some issues with his knee. If they persist or cause him to miss a game or two, it could be a quick exit for the Pistons.
Prediction: The Milwaukee Bucks are the best team in the Eastern Conference. The Detroit Pistons are a team that is legitimately happy just to qualify for the playoffs. Between these two teams, the talent gulf is way too big for the Pistons to even score an upset in one game.
Milwaukee wins the series, 4-0.