We have two teams coming off a win into this matchup where anything but a convincing victory by the Bucks would be a surprise. Is it really that simple, or is there more hiding behind the numbers, let’s find out.
Pacers Betting Preview:
The Indiana Pacers have playoff ambitions this season, and while they are dealing with some injuries to start the season, they did start on a solid note. Losing the first two games was bad but beating Miami on the 2nd night of a back-to-back was an impressive win for the Pacers. Rick Carlisle is a very capable coach, and he should steer this ship into playoff waters, especially if the Pacers continue playing great at home. They will need to post a very impressive home record if they want to reach the postseason, and matchups like tonight’s against the Bucks are precisely the type of match they need to win at home. Caris Levert remains out, but his scoring output is not missed so far, with the Pacers scoring over 100 points in every match. Their defense has been lackluster in their first two games, but it looked much better against Miami. They will need to replicate that effort if they want to defeat the Bucks, who look very dangerous.
Bucks Betting Preview:
The Milwaukee Bucks are currently on cloud nine. The team is playing with a lot of confidence, befitting the defending champions, yet Miami’s thumping proved they can’t take nights off. The NBA league is a place where wins are earned, and that is why the Bucks came out much better against San Antonio on the road to winning that match. Another match on the road awaits them in Indianapolis, and it will be a tough one. The Bucks are currently 2-1 on the season, and they need to be ready for a proper battle if they hope to improve to 2-1.
Roster-wise, they have a much more talented one than Indiana, and it will only come down to the level of commitment they show on the court. Lopez and DiVincenzo are out, with Portis and Holiday game-time decisions. Holiday is a big one for this matchup as his intensity and defense could prove key against a very good Indiana team at home. Realistically, Milwaukee should win even without them, but it’s much more likely if Holiday plays.
Antetokoumpo – Turner / Sabonis
Giannis is playing center for the Bucks while Lopez remains out, and while that is nothing new, the way they use Giannis nowadays is different than before. The Greek player had an epiphany in last year’s playoffs, and his dominance in a similar manner is continuing this season. What Sabonis and Turner can do against him will directly determine the winner of the match. The Pacers duo is capable of limiting Giannis, but even that might not prove enough.
Middleton – Holiday
Khris Middleton was the x-factor for the Bucks so many times last season, and he will be once again. The shooting guard is playing PF right now, but most of his damage comes from his jump shot as he doesn’t really drive to the basket. Middleton should have plenty of room to hover around the midrange in this game with the focus on Giannis in the paint, and if he can hit most of those shots, Milwaukee will be good.
Pacers – Bucks – betting lines
Milwaukee is favored by 3,5 in this matchup, and that seems entirely accurate. The Bucks are the better team and should win this match on most nights. They did play poorly in Miami the other night, but after that loss, the Bucks should be more focused on the goal, which is winning matches. They usually bested Indian reasonably easily in the past few matches, even blowing out the Pacers last year in Indiana. The over/under is set at 229,5, and while that line seems rather high, Indiana usually plays high-scoring games. Last year this matchup resulted in an over, so it’s not hard to see why people expect another shootout tonight.
Free Betting Pick
I really like Milwaukee to cover -3,5. They are the better team, and even if Holiday does not play, I still see them winning this match. Last year the Bucks demolished the Pacers with three-point shooting, and with Giannis down low, there should be plenty of balls for Connaughton and Allen.
When it comes to the over/under, I guess the over is likely as I don’t see the Pacers slowing down Milwaukee too much. The question remains whether the Pacers can keep up with Milwaukee. I’m leaning over, but I like Milwaukee as a team better.