Bucks vs. Hornets NBA expert prediction and odds for Thursday, Feb. 29 (Milwaukee's defense dominates Charlotte)

NBA betting preview, prediction and best bet for Bucks-Hornets. 

Feb 27, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (0) talks to a referee.
Feb 27, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (0) talks to a referee. / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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Heading into the All-Star break, Milwaukee’s struggles since making a head-coaching change garnered a lot of headlines as the Bucks went 3-7 under Doc Rivers. Milwaukee has started the second half hot, though, with three consecutive wins - two on the road - and will look to keep that momentum in its third matchup with Charlotte in less than three weeks.

These two teams played on Tuesday, with Milwaukee cruising to a 38-point win. The Hornets have still won five of their last seven. Can they hang as double-digit underdogs Thursday night at Spectrum Center? 

Here’s the betting preview for the matchup with a best bet. 

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Bucks vs. Hornets odds, spread and total

Bucks vs. Hornets how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, Feb. 29
  • Game time: 7 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Spectrum Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports
  • Bucks record: 38-21
  • Hornets record: 15-43 

Bucks vs. Hornets injury report

Milwaukee Bucks

  • Andre Jackson Jr. (illness): questionable
  • Marjon Beauchamp (illness): probable
  • Khris Middleton (ankle): out
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee): probable

Charlotte Hornets

  • No injuries to report

Bucks vs. Hornets key players to watch

Bucks

Damian Lillard: The eight-time NBA All-Star was held under 20 points in three of the final six games leading up to the All-Star Break but has come back on fire. In three games since the break, Lillard has scored 68 points and has shot 16-of-29 over the last two contests. Lillard flirted with a triple-double in all three games, averaging 22.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 8.6 assists in that stretch. 

Hornets

Brandon Miller: Charlotte is in full-on rebuild mode and Miller, the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, is a key piece of the Hornets' future. The Alabama product is averaging 16.5 points per game. He started February (20 points per game this month) hot but has been held under 18 points in four straight games since the All-Star Break and is shooting just 24-of-62 from the field in that stretch. 

Bucks vs. Hornets prediction and pick

The Bucks’ confidence is at an all-time high since Rivers was named the new head coach and Milwaukee should have no problem bullying Charlotte for the second time in three days and third time this month. 

Milwaukee held Charlotte under 90 points in both meetings and the Hornets’ offense, which is No. 28 in scoring (107.7 points per game) and efficiency, hasn’t been able to buy a bucket. In the two matchups this month, the Bucks held the Hornets to just 35.6% shooting (57-of-160) from the field and just 26% (18-of-69) from 3-point range. 

Those numbers reflect season-long struggles from Charlotte (No. 27 in shooting percentage and made field goals per game) and Milwaukee’s defense can take advantage. The Bucks have held opponents to 39.5% shooting over the last three games and rank 10th in the NBA in overall net ranking over the last 10 games. 

Charlotte’s going to miss its shots, but the Hornets also haven’t been able to create second-chance opportunities, grabbing just 13 offensive rebounds in the last two meetings with Milwaukee. The Bucks are No. 2 in the NBA in defensive rebounds per game (34.9) and Charlotte is 24th in the NBA in second-chance points. Milwaukee’s defense sets the tone - take Charlotte to go under its team total. 


Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.