The Milwaukee Bucks had arguably the most exciting offseason of any team in the NBA, acquiring seven-time All-Star Damian Lillard in a blockbuster deal with the Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns.
The move for Lillard launched the Bucks to the top of the odds board to win the NBA Finals, but the team will need to make sure he meshes well with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton under new head coach Adrian Griffin.
Milwaukee was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round last season as the No. 1 seed, partially due to an injury to Antetokounmpo. Still, it was an awful finish for the team, and the second straight postseason where an injury derailed the team’s push for a title.
With Lillard in the fold, the Bucks are hoping that they’ll be able to withstand an injury to one of their stars – should it happen – in the 2023-24 season.
If you’re looking for more NBA futures, I shared 15 (!!) futures that I’m betting on in the 2023-24 season in the first edition of “Peter’s Points.”
Milwaukee will need some youngsters (Andre Jackson Jr., MarJon Beauchamp, TyTy Washington) or some veterans (Malik Beasley, Cameron Payne, Robin Lopez) to help fill the void left by several players departing in free agency and in the Lillard trade.
Joe Ingles, Wesley Matthews, Grayson Allen, Jevon Carter and Jrue Holiday are all no longer with the franchise.
Still, there is a renewed excitement that his Milwaukee team can get back to the Finals and contend for the next several seasons.
If you’re considering betting on the Bucks, check out Caesars Sportsbook and its new welcome offer, which you can sign up for with the link below:
Here’s a full breakdown of the Bucks’ odds in the futures market, how to bet on them and which players to target in the award markets this season:
Milwaukee Bucks NBA championship odds
The Bucks are the favorites to win the NBA Finals – along with the Boston Celtics. Oddsmakers have set the Bucks at +400 to win the title, with their odds making a major jump after the team acquired Lillard, a seven-time All-NBA selection.
Milwaukee Bucks key offseason moves
Players Added in free agency:
- Malik Beasley
- Robin Lopez
- Cameron Payne
- TyTy Washington Jr.
Players added via trade
- Damian Lillard (from Portland Trail Blazers)
Players picked in 2023 NBA Draft
- Andre Jackson Jr. (36th overall)
- Chris Livingston (58th overall)
Players Lost this offseason:
- Grayson Allen (traded to Phoenix Suns)
- Alex Antetokounmpo (waived)
- Jevon Carter (signed with Chicago Bulls)
- Jrue Holiday (traded to Portland Trail Blazers)
- Joe Ingles (signed with Orlando Magic)
- Wesley Matthews (signed with Atlanta Hawks)
Milwaukee Bucks win total prediction for 2023-24 season
The Bucks have the second-highest win total projection in the NBA behind the Celtics.
It makes sense given the star power at the top of the team’s roster, but Milwaukee will need to find the right mix of role players. If Jae Crowder, Beasley, Payne or others can make an impact, it’ll help mitigate the loss of some of the players that played big minutes for the Bucks last season.
At the end of the day, the team has a lot more offense with Lillard on the roster, but it will need to make up for the loss of Holiday’s elite defense.
Milwaukee Bucks playoff odds
At -20000, the Bucks are essentially a lock to make the playoffs.
Unless the team deals with a season-ending injury to a key player like Giannis, it would be shocking to see the Bucks miss the playoffs this season.
Milwaukee Bucks 2023-24 season outlook
It may be impossible to be low on the Bucks this season, but there are still a few questions on this roster.
What will the rotation look like under Griffin?
Last season, the team dealt a plethora of second-round picks for Crowder, only for him to fall out of the rotation and barely play in the final two playoff games for the team.
Losing Carter is pretty important given his two-way ability, but the team has options between Jackson Jr. (the No. 36 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft), Payne and Washington that can fill those minutes.
After Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis, the rest of the bench minutes are kind of up in the air. I think Milwaukee has the bodies to make it work, but the team better hope it does since it has very few resources left to execute another trade.
At the end of the day, as long as Antetokounmpo stays healthy, the Bucks will be a top three seed in the East. I think they have a shot to make the NBA Finals, but I personally need to see how the team gels before placing a futures bet on them to do so.
Milwaukee Bucks players to bet in award market
Bobby Portis – Sixth Man of the Year
In my Sixth Man of the Year preview for BetSided, I broke down why Portis makes a ton of sense to win this award:
Bobby Portis nearly averaged a double-double last season (14.1 points, 9.6 rebounds per game), and he was a finalist for Sixth Man of the Year in the 2022-23 campaign.
I think he’s a great bet at his current price given how thin the Milwaukee bench is following the Damian Lillard trade.
Portis should have a path to plenty of minutes, and he may make a few spot starts for Brook Lopez that will help increase his numbers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – MVP
I didn’t bet on Giannis Antetokounmpo to win the league’s MVP award, but he’s amongst the favorites for the award.
Giannis is worth a bet if you think the Bucks are going to win the East in the regular season again, but there should be some concern that Lillard being on the team eats into his MVP case.
Still, every season the two-time MVP puts up numbers that match up with anyone in the league, and that alone should keep him in the conversation for this award.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Find Peter Dewey’s NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp @peter2dewey.