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Bucks-76ers Betting Preview: Can Giannis & Co. Clinch the East in Philly?


Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34).

Betting Odds: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Philadelphia 76ers

  • Spread: Bucks -4.5
  • Over/Under: 230.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT

The last time these two teams played each other fans were treated to a show. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a career-high 52 points, but Joel Embiid had his fifth 40-point game of the season in a win.

Can the Bucks pay the Sixers back with playoff implications at stake?

Our analysts discuss.

What’s at Stake

The Bucks have a chance to clinch the Eastern Conference with a win over the 76ers on Thursday night. They’ve been the best team in the NBA for the past two months, but securing the top spot and home court would be beneficial for the team’s health moving forward.

Betting Trends to Know

The Sixers are now a week away from the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs. The last thing they are interested in doing is playing on a back-to-back, which is what they will do Thursday night.

When two teams with win percentage of 60% or higher meet in March or later during the regular season and one is playing on a back-to-back while the other isn’t, the team on the schedule disadvantage really tends to struggle.

Since 2005, those teams on a schedule disadvantage are 52-80-3 (39.4%) against the spread. — Evan Abrams

When two teams that have won at least 60% of their games play at the end of the season (April) the favorite has gone 95-70-2 (58%) ATS since 2005.

But the chalk is only 11-11 ATS when favored on the road like the Bucks. — John Ewing

Mears: How I’m Handicapping Tonight’s Game

Update at 5:30 p.m.: Jimmy Butler is out and J.J. Redick will play. Joel Embiid remains questionable.

The 76ers are in a bit of a free fall currently, having lost back-to-back to the Hawks and Mavericks and four of their last six overall. During that span, they’ve ranked 22nd with a -5.4 point differential, allowing a miserable 117.1 points per 100 possessions.

Not great.

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