The Milwaukee Bucks are rolling – and so are the Cleveland Cavaliers. But only one team will come away from Thursday’s meeting with its win streak still intact. Will the Bucks defeat Cleveland again? Or, will the Cavs end Milwaukee’s undefeated run?

Catch this game live on Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 8:30 AM, Manila time

Away: Milwaukee Bucks (28-12/9-8 Away)

Projected Starting Five:

  • Damian Lillard
  • Malik Beasley
  • Khris Middleton
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Brook Lopez

Damian Lillard made sure that the Bucks will leave home for a three-game road trip with a win when he drilled a game-winning 3-pointer in a 143-142 overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings last Monday. Before that, the Bucks wallopped the Boston Celtics (135-102) and thumped the Golden State Warriors (129-118). The Bucks are in fine form and spell danger for the Cavs, whom Milwaukee took down on Dec. 30 on the road, 119-111. 

Lillard had good memories of that game, as he went off for 31 points on 9/16 shooting from the field versus the Cavs, while Giannis Antetokounmpo paced the Bucks with 34 points on 14/22 shooting. Milwaukee’s offense is a juggernaut with Lillard and Antetokounmpo leading the attack, as the Bucks are third in the league with a 119.9 adjusted offensive rating and No. 1 overall with a 58.2 eFG%. Their defense needs some more work, but the Bucks; offense almost always more than compensates for that. They are seventh in the NBA with a +5.0 average scoring margin.


Home: Cleveland Cavaliers (23-15/14-8 Home)

Projected Starting Five:

  • Donovan Mitchell
  • Max Strus
  • Isaac Okoro
  • Dean Wade
  • Jarrett Allen

Sure, the Bucks have a good win streak going for them, but that’s still not better than the success the Cavs are having of late. Cleveland will enter Thursday’s rematch against the Bucks on a five-game win streak. Granted that four of those wins came at the expense of the lowly Washington Wizards, San Antonio Spurs, and Brooklyn Nets, that’s still serious momentum for Cleveland, which is coming off a 109-91 home win against the Chicago Bills last Tuesday. 

Cleveland’s defense has been extra-suffocating of late. Over their last five outings, they have limited their opponents to an average of 99.8 points — the best in the league in that span.  And it’s not just a fluke run for Cleveland’s defense because it’s been stout for most of the season. The Cavs are fourth in the NBA with a 112.1 adjusted defensive rating and third with only 110.7 points allowed per contest. Cleveland is 4-1 against the spread in its last five home games versus the Bucks, dating back to 2022.


Spread: The Bucks (-4.0) cover the spread.

Over/Under: The total (238.0) hits the Under.