The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks will meet Saturday night at Barclays Center in Game 7 to determine the winner of their second-round series. Through six games that have been highlighted by injuries and historic performances, anything can happen in the elimination contest.

The betting odds suggest that neither team has a clear edge. The point spread is a pick’em at various sportsbooks, according to OddsShark.

Brooklyn has home-court advantage, and the road team is 0-6 in the series. Milwaukee has the health advantage, which has been the biggest factor in the Bucks forcing a Game 7.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday have all managed to avoid injuries this postseason. The Nets haven’t been as fortunate with two of their three best players getting hurt this series. 

Less than a minute into Game 1, James Harden aggravated a hamstring injury that cost him several weeks in the regular season. A clearly limited Harden returned in Game 5, the first playoff game that Kyrie Irving missed because of a sprained ankle.

Irving didn’t travel with Brooklyn to Milwaukee for what turned out to be a Game 6 loss. The point guard’s Game 7 status is not yet known, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier in the week that the Nets were preparing to be without  Irving for the rest of the series.

Even if Irving returns, he could be a shell of his healthy self. That was the case with Harden in Game 5 as he mostly stayed on the perimeter and missed nine of his 10 field-goal attempts. Harden was more active during his 16-point Game 6 performance, indicating that he could play an even bigger role in Saturday's winner-take-all contest.

 

 

 

If Harden can come anywhere close to matching his regular-season production, Kevin Durant might be able to take care of the rest. Arguably the best basketball player in the world, Durant carried Brooklyn to a Game 5 victory over Milwaukee in one of the greatest playoff performances of all time. The two-time NBA Finals MVP could have another legendary game in him.

Durant is averaging 36.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game at home this series. He’s shooting 60.6% from the field while being Brooklyn’s best defensive player.

When Durant is close to his best, the Bucks have trouble competing with the Nets offensively. Milwaukee is scoring just 102.0 points per 100 possessions this series, a number that would’ve ranked dead last among all NBA teams in the regular season.

Antetokounmpo has put up big numbers against Brooklyn with 30.5 points per game on 57.1% shooting. The two-time NBA MVP has also missed 60% of his free throws and struggled to create any kind of offense when the game is close in the fourth quarter.

Middleton was terrific in Game 6, scoring 38 points on 16 field-goal attempts. The Bucks forward is shooting 32.3% from the field in Brooklyn this series.

It’s been a surprisingly low-scoring series because of Milwaukee’s struggles on offense. That should continue Saturday. The betting total is 215.5.

Antetokounmpo has been the NBA’s best player over the last three regular seasons. There is still no comparison between him and Durant when it comes to the playoffs, and that could be the difference in Game 7.

Prediction: Brooklyn over Milwaukee, 107-100