Philadelphia 76ers vs. Milwaukee Bucks Pick
Philadelphia 76ers (44-25 SU, 32-37 ATS) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (52-17 SU, 41-25-3 ATS)
When: Sunday, March 17th, 2019 – 3:30 PM ET
Where: Fiserv Forum – Milwaukee, WI
Point Spread: PHI +6.5 / MIL -6.5 (5Dimes)
Power Rankings: Milwaukee -9
Takeaways From Philadelphia and Milwaukee’s Most Recent Games
The 76ers are riding a three-game win streak capped off by a win at home against the Sacramento Kings on Friday. Closing as a 10.5-point favorite, the Sixers failed to cover for the second consecutive game when they defeated the Kings by a score of 123-114.
The Bucks come into the match-up on a two-game winning streak. Most recently, the Deer defeated the Heat on Friday in Miami by a score of 113-98. In doing so, the Bucks were able to foster a cover as a five-point favorite.
How the Public is Betting the Philadelphia-Milwaukee Game
Early action has been indicated to come in on Philadelphia. The Sixers opened as a seven-point underdog, but the market fell by half of a point to the Sixers taking back 6.5 points. Currently, 51% of the consensus like the Sixers here with the points.
The Sixers and Bucks last met in October in Milwaukee. As a five-point favorite, the Bucks covered with ease defeating the 76ers by a score of 123-108. However, it must be noted that this was before the Sixers acquired previous All-Star Guard Jimmy Butler and Forward Tobias Harris who many believed should have been sent to Charlotte as an All-Star due to his efforts in the 2018-19 season. Harris is having a career year averaging 20.7 points per game.
Neither Milwaukee nor Philadelphia has expressed any injury concerns to key players in the build-up toward this high-profile Eastern Conference clash.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
Both the Bucks and the 76ers will be playing this game on two days of rest. Philadelphia wrapped up a three-game home-stand against the Kings on Friday and now hit the road for a short two-game road trip. Milwaukee will be playing their first game at home after ending a three-game road trip in Miami on Friday. Situationally, Milwaukee is positioned to bode value. Historically, teams that play their first home game back from a road trip of three games or more are a profitable play.
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Will Philadelphia’s Offense Be Able To Keep Pace With The Deer?
The 76ers own one of the most prolific scoring offenses in the NBA, scoring an average of 114.9 points per game (5th in the league). The Sixers will need to go tit-for-tat with the Bucks if they want to keep this game within striking distance as Milwaukee scores an average of 117.6 points per contest (2nd in the NBA). On the defensive side of the ball, Milwaukee sits 9th in scoring defense giving up 108.3 points per game. Philadelphia’s defense on average gives up 3.2 more points per contest to bring them to scoring defense that allows opponents to average 115.5 points against the Sixers per match (16th in the NBA). Should Philadelphia’s offense put together what is considered an average performance, the Sixers could easily find themselves in position to stage an upset.
Will Milwaukee’s Home Court Presence Lead To A Significant Sixers Defeat?
Milwaukee is a terrifying team to face at home. On the year, the Bucks are 27-5 SU in Milwaukee giving them the best home record in the entire league. Moreover, when at home the Bucks outscore their opponents by 13 points on average over the span of this whole season. On paper, this puts the Sixers in a scenario where they can find themselves losing by a double-digit margin very easily. With Milwaukee also owning advantages in the turnover department, Philadelphia could see itself in peril should they play a sloppier game compared to their adversaries.
Between these two opponents, three notable trends have emerged. First, the 76ers are 2-5 ATS against Milwaukee in the last seven meetings. Secondly, the Over is 4-1 ATS in the previous five meetings between both sides. The Home Team is both 5-0 straight up and against the spread in the last five contests.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Philadelphia +6.5
I’ll keep it short but sweet. Milwaukee is facing a far different animal than the Sixers team that they last faced in October. Without a twenty-point scorer in Tobias Harris and a 47% shooter in Jimmy Butler, the Sixers led by as much as 14 points before Milwaukee put the pedal to the floor in the second half to erase the deficit and win the game by 15. Now, Philly will head into Milwaukee with a much better team on paper and heightened motivation to make a statement. After all, many have heralded the Sixers as a potential NBA Finals team. It is for these reasons that the market will only grant an extra bucket to Philadelphia compared to the last time the two teams met when Milwaukee closed as a five-point favorite and won by three times the points they were asked to lay. This game will serve as an opportunity for Philly to validate the acclaim many have granted them against the team with the best record in the East and the best home record in the NBA. I think Philadelphia can stage an upset, but I will play this one safe and grab the points.