Two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference clash when the Philadelphia Sixers visit the Milwaukee Bucks in a potential playoff preview on Sunday. The Sixers are 3-0 since Joel Embiid came back after missing nearly a month with a sore left knee and the Bucks have won four of their last five games.
Sunday, March 17 at 3:30 PM ET
*All odds and betting info courtesy of OddsShark and originally posted by Bovada
- Philadelphia Sixers vs. Milwaukee Bucks (-6.5 at -110)
- Over/Under: 231 at -110
Jimmy Butler had 22 points, seven assists and six rebounds and Joel Embiid added 21 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Sixers to a 123-114 home win against the Kings last Friday. Philadelphia tied Indiana for third place in the Eastern Conference, just 1.5 games over Boston and this visit to Milwaukee will be a big test for them. The Sixers went just 7-for-24 (29.2 percent) from beyond the arc but they outrebounded the Kings 49-40.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points, 16 rebounds and 9 assists, an assist shy of a triple-double to help the Bucks tie a franchise record for a second half comeback in their epic 113-98 road win against the Heat last Friday. The Bucks were trailing 62-42 at halftime and they became the first team in NBA history to erase a 20-point deficit at the break and win by at least 15 points.
Milwaukee rallied from as many as 23 down and they made five 3-pointers in the third quarter, as many as Heat made field goals. Khris Middleton and Ersan Ilyasova had 10 points apiece in the quarter and the Heat shot 5-for-20 and got outrebounded 16-8, as the lead was down to one going into the fourth.
Sixers vs. Bucks Trends and Prediction
The Under is:
- 6-0 in Philadelphia’s last six road games against a team with a winning home record
- 7-1 in Philadelphia’s last eight games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
- 17-5 in Philadelphia’s last 22 games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
- 19-7 in Philadelphia’s last 26 overall
- 6-0 in Milwaukee’s last six games against a team with a winning percentage above .600
- 7-1 in Milwaukee’s last eight games against Eastern Conference opponents
- 7-3 in Milwaukee’s last 10 home games
These two teams met on October 24 and the Bucks won 123-108 at home, behind a triple-double of 32 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists from Giannis Antetokounmpo and 25 points from Khris Middleton. Joel Embiid exploded for 30 points, 19 rebounds and six assists and Ben Simmons had a triple-double (14 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists) but both teams made significant changes to their rosters since, improving their chances to win the East.
The Sixers can win this game if they slow Giannis Antetokounmpo down and close out on the Bucks’ shooters. Antetokounmpo will be the best player on the court so it’s easier said than done but discipline and hustle can help and they also have playmakers that can make this game interesting.
The Bucks lead the NBA with 49.4 rebounds per game and winning the battle of the boards and forcing the Sixers to make mistakes could be the difference.
Both teams play at a fast pace and have very efficient offenses but the Bucks are the best team in the league for a reason and they can slow down the tempo and play great defense, they rank ninth in the NBA, allowing 108.3 points per game and the new-look Sixers haven’t faced an opponent like this.
This won’t be a low-scoring game but both teams will step up their effort on defense and make this contest go Under.
Pick: Under 231