It has been challenging betting games involving both the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks of late due to uncertain injury status to the likes of the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo and Hawks' Trae Young and Danilo Gallinari, and all three were listed as questionable for Milwaukee's visit to Atlanta on Thursday night – so is Milwaukee's Donte DiVincenzo. The Hawks are 5.5-point underdogs on the William Hill Sportsbook NBA odds. Update: Giannis and Young will play, but the other two will not.
Giannis (28.8 ppg, third in NBA) has missed the past six games with a knee issue but did practice in full Tuesday. Yet, the team held him out of Wednesday's matinee at Minnesota – perhaps saving the Freak for this game and the Bucks figuring they could beat the Timberwolves regardless. They did easily, 130-105, behind Khris Middleton's 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in just three quarters.
That improved the Bucks to 3-3 without the Freak in this stretch. Through two games of this road trip, the Bucks have outscored their opponents by an average of 31.0 points per game.
Young (25.4 ppg, 14th in NBA), a major All-Star snub this year, looked like he would play Tuesday in Tampa against Toronto but was ruled out at the last minute, missing his second in a row with a left calf issue. Gallinari missed it with a right foot injury, and John Collins, De'Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Tony Snell were also out. Atlanta still won its third in a row, 108-103. Collins, Hunter, Reddish and Snell remain out Thursday.
The NBA updates its official injury report at 5:30 p.m. ET so that may be when the status of Giannis, DiVincenzo, Young and Gallinari are known. DiVincenzo was a new addition to the injury report. He started Wednesday and had seven points, six rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes but apparently has right toe soreness.
The Bucks have won their last five games over the Hawks and 11 of their last 12. The teams met on Jan. 24 in Milwaukee and the Bucks rolled 129-115 – leading wire-to-wire. Antetokounmpo had 27 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. Hunter led Atlanta with a career-high 33 points and Collins had 30. Young and Clint Capela were out.
However, Atlanta enters this game having won seven in a row overall vs. Eastern Conference teams. The Hawks have covered the spread in 11 of the past 16 in this series.
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