Milwaukee Bucks vs New Orleans Pelicans: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

WSN Picks: Milwaukee Bucks defeat New Orleans Pelicans

How to Watch

What: Milwaukee Bucks at New Orleans Pelicans

Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

When: Tuesday, 4 February 2020, 7:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): TNT | ESPNR, 620 AM/103.3 FM WTMJ, ESPN 100.3FM

Milwaukee Bucks (Away)

Head Coach: Mike Budenholzer {All-Time 314-226 | ATL, MIL}

Season Record: 41-7

Projected Starting Five: (G) Eric Bledsoe – (G) Wesley Matthews – (F) Khris Middleton – (F) Giannis Antetokounmpo – (C) Brook Lopez

Top Performers:

  • (F) Giannis Antetokounmpo – 30.7 MPG | 30.0 PPG | 13.0 RPG | 5.0 APG
  • (F) Khris Middleton – 29.0 MPG | 20.2 PPG | 5.8 RPG | 4.0 APG
  • (G) Eric Bledsoe – 26.5 MPG | 15.5 PPG | 5.2 APG | 4.5 RPG

The Milwaukee Bucks stand far and away at the top of the Eastern Conference. With a record of 42-7, the Bucks are 9-1 in their last ten matches. They are 4.5 games ahead of the next team in the NBA and have a 19-4 record on the road.

Milwaukee is coming off of a drubbing of the Phoenix Suns in their last match. After a dominant first half against the young Phoenix outfit, the Bucks built too great of a lead for the Suns to overcome.

The New Orleans Pelicans are a rising team in the Western Conference. Their ability to get up and down the floor will greatly test the Bucks in transition. Milwaukee are the favorites on paper, but they’ll have their hands full with a versatile squad.

New Orleans Pelicans (Home)

Head Coach: Alvin Gentry {All-Time 500-582 | MIA, DET, LAC, PHX, NOP}

Projected Starting Five: (G) Lonzo Ball – (G) Jrue Holiday – (F) Brandon Ingram – (F) Zion Williamson – (C) Derrick Favors

Season Record: 20-30

Top Performers:

  • (F) Brandon Ingram – 34.2 MPG | 24.9 PPG | 6.3 RPG | 4.3 APG
  • (G) Jrue Holiday – 35.3 MPG | 20.0 PPG | 6.4 APG | 4.8 RPG
  • (F) Zion Williamson – 25.0 MPG | 19.2 PPG | 7.8 RPG | .656 eFG%

The New Orleans Pelicans have found a positive point in their season. After a difficult start, New Orleans has been reinvigorated by the return of Zion Williamson. Despite a 20-30 record, they are 6-4 in their last ten games.

The Pelicans are coming off of a disappointing loss to the Houston Rockets. While New Orleans was able to get their own offense going, they crumbled in the fourth quarter and failed to take down a vulnerable team.

New Orleans will have to show they have the maturity needed to close out an opponent when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks are strong all over the court. New Orleans will have to show an all-around game that overcomes expectations.

What’s At Stake?

The New Orleans Pelicans and the Milwaukee Bucks have a very one-sided regular-season series. In 38 meetings, the Pelicans lead the Bucks 26-12.

A win for the Milwaukee Bucks would only reinforce their lead at the top of the NBA.

A win for the New Orleans Pelicans would bring them level with the Phoenix Suns at eleventh in the Western Conference.

Questions to answer

Can the Milwaukee Bucks handle the Pels youthful versatility?

Can the New Orleans Pelicans overcome the Bucks’ strength?

We are going to compare the Milwaukee Bucks and the New Orleans Pelicans in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

MIL: Will Their Shooting Maintain?

This is a common question for the Bucks. Due to their insider threat, they have an incredible outside threat as a secondary option. Giannis opens up the paint for their shooters, Middleton, Lopez, and Korver.

Over the course of the Bucks’ last eight games, they are converting on 14.3 three-pointers per game. On top of that, they are shooting 40.6% from three-point range over those eight games.

Giannis creates incredible opportunities for his teammates. Six players on the Bucks shoot higher than the league average from deep, with George Hill leading the Bucks at an incredible 51.1% from three on 3.0 attempts per game.

NOP: Can the Pelicans Protect the Paint?

The New Orleans Pelicans have a big task ahead of them when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks. The top team in the NBA, the Pelicans will have an issue as they’ll need to protect the rim against one of the NBA’s fiercest attacking teams.

The Milwaukee Bucks manufacture easy baskets. Scoring 51.2 points in the paint per game, accounting for almost half of their scoring input. Unfortunately for the Pelicans, they are one of the leagues worst at defending at the rim, allowing 52.7 points in the paint per game.

It’s not so easy for the Pelicans as they’ll have to pick their poison. Stop players at the rim, or make themselves vulnerable to the kick-out. The likes of Jaxson Hayes and Derrick Favors will be put to the test in this match.

MIL: Win the Battle on the Glass

The Milwaukee Bucks are able to initiate their terrifying fast-break offense due to their ability to control the glass. The Pelicans are ranked seventh in the league in rebounds per game, so they’ll have a need to put in some extra effort.

Taking on the likes of Favors, Williamson, and Ingram on the boards is a tough task for any team. But the fact that guards Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball average a combined 12.1 rebounds per game suggest the Bucks’ backcourt will have their own issues.

Ranked number one in the league in rebounding, the Bucks usually control the glass. But if they can’t deal with the versatility of the Pelicans on the boards, the odds may quickly shift out of Milwaukee’s favor.

NOP: Can the Pelicans Set the Pace?

If the New Orleans Pelicans want to stand a chance, they have to beat the Milwaukee Bucks at their own game. While they don’t have a physical presence the likes of Antetokounmpo on their team, the Pelicans are talented at creating their own baskets.

The Pelicans will have to run with the Bucks to win this match. Ranking fifth in the NBA in fast-break points per game (15.4), the Pelicans lead a fast-paced offense. The combination of Lonzo Ball and Jrue Holiday makes for a passing duo that can beat any defense down the court.

They’ll have to prove they can defend the break as well as they can run it though. The Bucks are second in the league in fast-break points themselves (18.8). If the Pelicans can determine the pace of the game, it’ll be theirs to lose.

Milwaukee Bucks Roster Notes

(F) Giannis Antetokounmpo – 1 Feb 2020 – Day To Day (Left Hamstring) – Antetokounmpo is questionable for Sunday’s (Feb. 2) game against the Suns.

(G) George Hill – 1 Feb 2020 – Out (Hamstring) – Hill is out for Sunday’s (Feb. 2) game against the Suns.

(G) Frank Mason III – 1 Feb 2020 – Out (Abdominal) – Mason is out for Sunday’s (Feb. 2) game against the Suns.

New Orleans Pelicans Roster Notes

(F) Kenrich Williams – 1 Feb 2020 – Out (Back) – Williams is out for Sunday’s (Feb. 2) game against the Rockets.

(F) Darius Miller – 23 Oct 2019 – Out (Achilles) – Miller is not expected to play this season as he recovers from a ruptured right Achilles tendon, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Head-to-Head: (F) Giannis Antetokounmpo vs (F) Zion Williamson

This is the matchup the NBA world has been waiting to see. There are few players that are a physical match for Antetokounmpo, but Zion Williamson might be the exception. Can the MVP’s experience overcome the zealous rookie sensation?

(F) Giannis Antetokounmpo (6-11, 242lb (211cm, 109kg) | Greece | 6 Years)



Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 25 MIL 44 30.7 30.0 13.0 5.7 .553 .318


What is left to say about the Greek Freak? He has surpassed all expectations and grown into one of the NBA’s biggest stars in history. He’s scored 28 points or more in his last seven games. The Freak looks unstoppable.

He’ll be checked by Zion on more than one occasion throughout this game. Antetokounmpo will have to put up with the rookie’s incredible strength. In order to punish him, Antetokounmpo will have to keep the Pelicans honest from range.

(F) Zion Williamson (6-6, 285lb (198cm, 129kg) | Duke | Rookie)



Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 19 NOP 6 25.0 19.2 7.8 1.8 .625 .667


He’s only played in six games at this point in the season, but Zion Williamson has been drawing eyes with every passing minute. Initially, on a minutes restriction, he’s coming off of a 33 minute night where he was excellent in the paint.

Asking a rookie to manage a player the caliber of Giannis Antetokounmpo will always be too much. However the springy forward certainly has the strength to match the reigning MVP. Zion will have to reign in his defensive tendencies in order to not commit too many fouls, in order to benefit his team on the court.

Milwaukee Bucks at New Orleans Pelicans Predictions and Odds

Why the Milwaukee Bucks Will Win

The Milwaukee Bucks are the odds on favorite to take this game. They are more dangerous across the board and don’t show a facet of their game where they are considerably weaker than the Pelicans.

Why the New Orleans Pelicans Will Win

Sometimes it is as simple as getting out and running. The Pelicans are dangerous on the break. If they can manufacture easy baskets in transition, they have a chance to take down the NBA’s top-ranked team.

WSN’s Pick

Nothing suggests that the role of the Milwaukee Bucks will be slowed. New Orleans doesn’t have anyone in the paint that can stop the Greek Freak, and their perimeter game is too inconsistent to overcome the Bucks’ defense. Milwaukee should walk away with an easy win.

WSN Picks: Milwaukee Bucks defeat New Orleans Pelicans

For more NBA odds visit DraftKings Sportsbook, 888Sport NJ, or William Hill NJ. If you’re just getting started with sports betting then check out our guide on how to bet on the NBA, including the helpful video! Good Luck!

Money Line

Sportsbook Bucks Pelicans
SugarHouse NJ -250 +205
DraftKings -250 +205
888Sport NJ -250 +205

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