Bucks vs. Pacers Odds, Betting Picks & Predictions: Will Milwaukee Continue to Thrive With Giannis on the Bench?
Photo credit: Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Khris Middleton vs. Pacers
- The updated betting odds for Wednesday's Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers game makes the Pacers a 1.5-point favorites, as the Bucks will be without Giannis Antetokounmpo.
- The spread has moved from Bucks -1 to Bucks +1.5, while the over/under has been on the rise since opening, moving from 219 to 223.
- Check out all of our experts' analysis and picks below for Bucks vs. Pacers
Bucks at Pacers Odds & Picks
- Spread: Bucks -1
- Over/Under: 222.5
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: ESPN
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No Giannis Antetokounmpo, no problem for the Bucks this year. Meanwhile, the Pacers are on a bad losing streak and can’t seem to find their footing with Victor Oladipo back.
Where’s the value in this one? Our experts discuss below.
Betting Trend to Know
Milwaukee is 5-0 straight-up and ATS without Giannis Antetokounmpo this season. — John Ewing
Moore: The Only Position to Take
God Bless Lil’ Baby Giannis. With the presumptive two-time MVP out following the birth of his child, the Bucks are short favorites vs. Indiana. And under Mike Budenholzer they’re 20-6-1 ATS in division games.
Now, Indiana is not as bad as its five-game losing streak would suggest. The Pacers got hit with a Mavs avalanche of 3s in a bad matchup, lost two competitive games to red-hot Toronto and dropped a weird one vs. the Nets.
Additionally, Milwaukee is actually just 3-3 ATS this year when less than a five-point favorite.
But Milwaukee is just a cash cow this year, especially without Giannis and especially vs. division teams. The Bucks rain 3s; the Pacers are bottom-five in attempts. Keeping up is difficult.
There’s no other position to take but Bucks -1.
Mears: How Sharp Bettors Are Shaping the Line
The Bucks, even without Giannis, are the public’s favorite side as a small road favorite, getting 81% of the bets. There was some early action on the Bucks from sharp bettors: We tracked steam moves on them at -1 and -1.5, but later this morning sharps bought back the Pacers at +2.
The only movement on the total has been on the under: We tracked a steam move at under 222.5, as it had risen from 219 thanks to 75% of the bets on that side. It’s still largely at 222.5 around the industry, so we’ll see if sharp bettors continue to hit the under until it moves back down.
You read some data above about how the Bucks have still dominated without Giannis playing this season. That’s a testament to just how balanced the team is and how underrated the supporting cast has been.
It’s difficult to really tease out just how important Giannis is to the spread. The Bucks have been 6.9 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor, but it’s difficult to disentangle the starters from each other.
If we’re being geeky, that’s called collinearity, which means these players’ metrics are all highly correlated together because they play together so often. Giannis has good on/off numbers, but they’re nearly identical to the marks of Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, Brook Lopez, Donte DiVincenzo and Wes Matthews.
Is Giannis better and more valuable than those guys? Of course he is. All the on/off data shows us is that the Bucks starters are pretty darn good together. And it seems that the Bucks starters without Giannis are still very, very good.
I think this game and spread really comes down to how you feel about the Pacers, to be honest. They’ve been on a brutal slide, losing six straight games, including some brutal ones to the Nets and Knicks. The issue has primarily been the defense, which has been near the bottom of the league in that span.
In the last five games, the Pacers have allowed a 27.2% eFG% on tightly-contested shots, which is the lowest mark in the league. That’s great (and maybe lucky), but on wide-open looks opponents are at a 67.3% mark. Opponents have hit over 45% of their wide-open 3s during that span, one of the highest marks in the league.
That will regress, but they are allowing a ton of 3s lately, which isn’t great. They’ve been defending the rim OK, but that’s less of a problem tonight with Giannis; it’s the outside shooting that could plague them again. They’ve also been getting killed on the boards, and Milwaukee is excellent on the glass.
And one more big question is when Victor Oladipo is going to look like his old self again. Since he came back from injury, the Pacers have been 16.9 points/100 worse with him on the floor vs. off. They’ve been bad on both ends of the floor but especially offensively; their eFG% has dipped by 7.1% with him.
There’s just some feeling out to do I think. Guys like Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis have taken steps forward this year and have played over 40 games where they’ve been the focal points; integrating a star back into that mix after an injury can be tough.
I don’t have a firm lean on this game, but I think the value probably is on the Pacers as a dog and the under. But I definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bucks continue to cruise right into the All-Star break.
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.