Bucks vs. Trail Blazers NBA expert prediction and odds for Wednesday, Jan. 31 (Take Portland with the points)

NBA betting preview, prediction and best bet for Bucks-Trail Blazers
Dec 19, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA;  Portland Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson (00), left, is congratulated by teammates.
Dec 19, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson (00), left, is congratulated by teammates. / Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Doc Rivers’ first game as head coach of the Bucks didn’t go as planned on Monday as Milwaukee bowed to the defending champion Denver Nuggets, 113-107. Milwaukee has won four of six and still holds a 1.5-game lead over the surging New York Knicks for the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks are still 4.5 games back of Boston for the No. 1 seed as a five-game road trip continues Wednesday night in Portland.

The Trail Blazers are coming off a 130-104 win over the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers. Do they have another outright win as an underdog under their belt? 

Here’s the betting preview of Wednesday’s cross-conference clash with a best bet.

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Bucks vs. Trail Blazers odds, spread and total

Bucks vs. Trail Blazers how to watch

  • Date: Wednesday, Jan. 31
  • Game time: 10 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Moda Center
  • How to watch (TV): ESPN
  • Bucks record: 32-15
  • Trail Blazers record: 14-33

Bucks vs. Trail Blazers injury reports

Milwaukee Bucks injury report

  • No injuries to report

Portland Trail Blazers injury report

  • Shaedon Sharpe (abdomen): out

Bucks vs. Trail Blazers key players to watch


Brook Lopez: The 7-foot-1 veteran center is averaging 13.1 points per game this season to go with 5.5 rebounds. Lopez is heating up from deep, though, going 11-of-18 from beyond the arc over the last two games and 15-of-24 from the field overall. 

Trail Blazers

Jerami Grant: The 6-foot-7 forward has been a bright spot for the Trail Blazers this season. He is 40th in the NBA in scoring at 21.3 points per game while shooting a career-high 40.5% from beyond the arc. Grant was held to just 4 points in 10 minutes against the Spurs on Friday but has bounced back with two stellar games, scoring 51 points combined thanks to his ability to get to the free-throw line (25-of-29). He’s grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out 5 assists in that span, too. 

Bucks vs. Trail Blazers prediction and pick

It’s tough to get a grasp of this Milwaukee club and its season-long metrics now that Rivers is on the bench, implementing a new system. 

For better or worse, Portland has had the same head coach all season in Chauncey Billups and the Trail Blazers have been playing better of late, covering in six of their last nine games. Portland has scored 130-plus points in two of its last four games and will face a Milwaukee defense that is rated No. 19 in the NBA.

Portland has the size to compete in this matchup thanks to Deandre Ayton, who is averaging 14.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in seven games since returning from injury. 

Milwaukee is going through a transition with the change of head coach. Plus, the Bucks have struggled all season long as road favorites (7-11 ATS) and without a rest advantage (7-15-1). The Bucks are also 3-8 ATS in non-conference matchups and Portland is 9-6 in that spot. Take the points. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.