Pacers vs Bucks Prediction, Pick Today | Best In-Season Tournament Bet

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Pacers vs. Bucks Prediction, Picks for Thursday, Dec. 7

Thursday, Dec. 7
5 p.m. ET
ESPN
Picks: Bruce Brown Over 17.5 Points + Rebounds, Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 32.5 Points

Here's everything you need to know about Pacers vs. Bucks on Thursday, Dec. 7 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

The Pacers are coming off an electric win over the Boston Celtics in the In-Season Tournament quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, the Bucks posted their season-high against the Knicks on Wednesday, blowing them out 146-122 to advance to the semifinals.

Let's get to our Pacers vs. Bucks prediction and pick.


Pacers vs. Bucks Prediction

Picks: Bruce Brown Over 17.5 Points + Rebounds | Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 32.5 Points

Pacers Betting Outlook

The Pacers and the In-Season Tournament have been a near-perfect marriage up to this point. The Pacers are all gas, no brake thanks to the ascension of Tyrese Haliburton and that’s exactly what the NBA is looking for in this inaugural tournament designed to engage the fans on nights that might otherwise be just like any other regular season evening.

The point-differential tie-breaker was tailor-made for a team like Indiana, which has been the best offensive team and the worst defensive team, per Dunks and Threes. The sportsbooks aren’t ignorant to that fact with the total sitting at 254.5 and approaching the highest closing total we’ve ever seen. I expect points on Thursday, but how many? And from which team?

With a total this high, there might not be a ton of value on the over, but we might be able to find some value on the margins, in the form of player props. Speaking of which, I see value with Bruce Brown. The Bucks give up the most shots from the midrange, outside of 14-feet, and that’s where Brown ranks in the 88th percentile in attempts. With more attention on Haliburton, I expect Damian Lillard to guard Brown, which should leave Brown open for midrange looks. Lillard is also a much worse rebounder, which should give Brown some extra opportunities on the glass.


Bucks Betting Outlook

I mentioned Indians' lack of defense, but Milwaukee isn’t exactly the 2004 Pistons. Or even the 2021 Bucks. The Bucks are 18th in Adjusted Defensive Rating, but boast fifth-best offense in the league. Their offense is getting even better lately and has posted a 123.5 Offensive Rating — still two points per 100 possessions behind Indiana — over the past 10 games. Milwaukee has found its rhythm, which was on full display in Tuesday’s game against the Knicks, during which the Bucks shot 60.5% from beyond the arc.

However, I don’t expect a barrage of that level again. Surprisingly, Indiana does a good job of limiting opponents' 3-pointers, despite giving up a horrendous percentage on the ones opponents take (40.1%). I’m not taking any 3-point prop unders, but I am staying away from the overs for that reason.

The big problem for the Pacers is their lack of defense down low. They have by far the worst rim protection in the league, giving up 40.7% of opponent shots at the rim, per Cleaning the Glass. Enter Giannis Antetokounmpo, who ranks in the 100th percentile in both usage (33.7%) and shots taken at the rim (63%). It doesn’t take a brilliant basketball mind to come to the conclusion we’re likely to see a monster game from Antetokounmpo.


Pacers vs. Bucks Picks, Odds

Thursday, Dec. 7
5 p.m. ET
ESPN
Pacers Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
+4.5
-110
254.5
-110 / -110
+155
Bucks Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
-4.5
-110
254.5
-110 / -110
-190
Odds via DraftKings . Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

My model shows value on the Pacers and there’s reason to like them at +4.5. They have the lowest payroll of any team in the league and the prize is $500,000 to each player on the winning team. I don’t think that’s the primary motivation for Indiana, but I do think it it’s worth noting.

On the other side, the Bucks have said they want to win the tournament. There’s something to be said for being the first In-Season Tournament winner ever.

Instead of a side or total, I’m going with two player props. I like Brown Over 17.5 points + rebounds and Antetokounmpo to go Over 32.5 points.

Let’s start with Brown, who takes a lot of his shots in the midrange. This will be a fast-paced game and that’s always good for an over of any kind. Brown is averaging 14.4 points and 6.8 rebounds in his past five games against Milwaukee dating back to the 2022 season, and he’s cleared this line in all but one of those games. His one miss came in a game in which he played just 29 minutes — something he’s done only twice in the past month. More recently, he’s cleared this line in four of his past six games, including in his past three games.

For Antetokounmpo, my cap is a little simpler. The Pacers give up a massive number in the paint and that’s where the Greek Freak lives and breathes. Yes, 33 is a big number, but it’s that high for a reason. Antetokounmpo's averaging 38 points against the Pacers in the past eight matchups and has cleared this line in all but two games in that period, and in nine of his past 15 overall. This is a prime ladder spot. I’ll just take the bottom rung, but wouldn’t blame you for taking this up to 40 points.

Pick: Bruce Brown Over 17.5 Points + Rebounds (1 unit) | Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 32.5 Points (1 unit)

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