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Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Once Upon A Time In Las Vegas – Wildcard Edition

The Milwaukee Bucks (22-19-2 ATS) will play host to the Indiana Pacers (26-18 ATS) for a Monday afternoon Central Division matchup. The Pacers have dropped three straight and just lost back to back home games, most recently to the Grizzlies. The Pacers won the rebound battle 49-45 and had 16 offensive rebounds. Indiana was out scored in the paint 46-70 and had 20 turnovers on the day. Two starters logged double figures and Chris Duarte led the team with 25 off the bench. The Bucks dropped two straight in a back-to-back mini series against Miami. In their last game the Bucks were out rebounded 32-51 and gave up 13 offensive rebounds. Milwaukee was also outscored in the paint 26-54. All five starters finished with double figures and Bobby Portis led the team with 15 points.

Let’s dive in.

Pacer’s Drop 3 Straight

The Pacers have now lost three straight, and have also lost their last three on the road. The game was quickly out of reach against Memphis, The Pacers had a one point lead halfway into the 2nd quarter, but never got back within five after relinquishing that lead. The Pacers were out matched down low where they allowed Memphis to score 70 points in the paint. Turnovers were also costly for the Pacers as their 20 turnovers resulted in 38 fast break points for the Grizzlies. The Pacers are looking for production with the absence of Myles Turner and Tyrese Haliburton. Seven bench players scored as two starters had double figures. Ben Mathurin led the starts with 16 points and Duarte led the team with 25.

On the season, the Pacers are scoring 115.4 points per game and shooting 45.9% from the floor. From distance, the Pacers have been reliant from behind the arc. They are top six in 3-point attempts per game with just under 39 shots per contest. Of those shots, Indiana is knocking down 36.2%. The Pacers have been average in the paint this season, scoring right around 48 points per contest. With Turner out of the lineup, the Pacers have been inclined to outside shots as they don’t have the same score ability inside. Where the offense has thrived is in transition, where they lead the league in fast break points with 19.1 per game. On the offensive glass, it again, hath been apparent that Indiana is thin down low. The Pacers have been coming down with 22.9% of thier missed shots, which is in the bottom half of the league. Against Memphis, Indiana was held to just seven offensive rebounds. Turnovers remain on issues for the offense. Without Haliburton in the lineup, the offense has been less fluid. On average Indiana is averaging 15.2 turnovers per game and they had 20 in their last contest. Milwaukee hasn’t been keen on forcing turnovers this season and the Pacers should be able to take better care of the ball in this one.

Buddy Hield and Ben Mathurin have been the active leading scorers on the offense and they are each giving you between 17-18 points per game. Jalen Smith is adding right around 10 points and leads active players in rebounds with 6.1 rebounds per game. Hield has been the best shooter from distance on the season as he is taking just over nine attempts per game and hitting those shots at a 42.4% clip. TJ McConnell has taken over as the primary facilitator as he’s giving you 4.5 assists per contest. On the season the Pacers are assisting on 65% of their made baskets, 3rd in the NBA.

On the defensive end of the court, the Pacers are allowing 115.9 points per game and opponents are shooting 46.7% from the floor. On the road Pacers are allowing 117.1 points per contest. Beyond the arc the Pacers have been pretty average as opponents are taking 34 3-pointers per game and knocking down 36.6% of those shots. Milwaukee has some corner pocket shooters that will have a bit of home court confidence. The Pacers haven’t been consistent in the paint defensively as they are allowing just under 50 points in the paint per contest. Isaiah Jackson has been a formidable player on the interior as he is giving you 1.5 blocks per game.Milwaukee has not been a strong offense in the paint and they were only able to generate 26 points down low against Miami. On the defensive glass the Pacers are allowing opponents to come down with 27.3% of thier missed shots, which is near the bottom of the league. The rebounding game will continue to be tough for the Pacers as they are without leading rebounder Myles Turner.

Bucks Look To Hold 1 Spot In Central Division

Milwaukee was without Giannis Antetokounmpo against Miami and he is questionable for Monday’s matchup against Indiana. The Bucks had a balanced scoring effort with all five starters having at least 12 points. The Bucks didn’t hold any leads, but kept the game within reach until early into the 4th quarter when the Heat held Milwaukee scoreless for two minutes and pulled away. The Bucks struggled inside as they only generated 26 points in the paint and had just seven offensive rebounds. The offense assisted 26 of 34 made baskets.

On the season, the Bucks are scoring 111.8 points per game and shooting 45.2% from the floor. From distance, the Bucks rank 5th in the NBA in 3-pointers attempted per game with 39.3. Of those shots the Bucks are knocking down 34.8%. The Bucks offense has been a ‘live or die by the 3’ mantra and in their last contest they attempted 48 3-pointers. On the glass the Bucks are coming down 26.6% of their missed shots which is good for 7th in the NBA. The Pacers have struggled keeping opponents off the boards this season, but the Bucks will have to be more effective in the paint in order to capitalize on this trend. Speaking of the paint, Milwaukee has been shockingly poor. They are bottom five in the league in points in the paint with just over 44 per contest. Miami was able to hold the Bucks to just 26 points down low.

Without Antetokounmpo, who is questionable, Jrue Holiday has been the leading scoring with 18.3 points per game. Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis have been adding around 14 points per game. Portis is also grabbing 10 boards per game and just under three offensive rebounds. Brook Lopez has been the key marksman on the Bucks offense. He takes right at five 3-pointers per game and is knocking down 39.2% of those shots. Holiday is the primary facilitator on the offense and he’s giving you just over seven assists per contest. Aside from Holiday, no other active player is averaging over 2.7 assists per contest. On the season the Bucks are assisting on 60.3% of their made basket, middle of the pack in the NBA.

On the defensive end of the court, the Bucks are allowing 110.9 points per game, good for 6th in the league. Over the last five games that number has ticked up slightly to 111.8 per game. On the defensive glass the Bucks are holding opponents to coming down with 22.8% of thier missed shots, which is top 10 in the NBA. Indiana has been inconsistent on the offensive boards this season and Bobby Portis should have the physicality advantage down low in this contest. The Bucks have been pretty solid in almost break defense this season. They’ve been holding opponents to just 13.1 transition points per contest. As highlighted, the Pacers thrive in the fast break offensively as they lead the league in fast break points. Milwaukee will need to take care of the ball, something they have struggled doing on a consistent basis, in order to slow the Pacers press of pace.

Best bets

Full game side bet

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While the Bucks might be without Antetokounmpo, they have been much better playing at home this season. The offense had a very balanced attack against Miami as all five starters finished with 12 points or more. The Bucks should also be able to come away with multiple second chance opportunities and have the length and defensive ability to stymie the Pacers in transition. Milwaukee will look to bounce back after losing back to back on the road. Play the Bucks here.

Milwaukee-7.5

Prediction: Milwaukee -7.5

Full game total pick

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The Pacers like to push the pace, but have been much slower on the road this season. Likewise, Milwaukee is more of a slower paced team at home, as they are averaging under 100 possessions per game at home. The Pacers struggled finding consistent scoring production in their last game, and the Bucks have great length on defense to keep Indiana from taking advantage in transition. The Pacers have been held to 100 or less in two of the last three matchups between these teams. The play is the under.

Under 228.5

Prediction: Under 228.5

Written By
Caleb Davis, “Caleb Davis”

I have been a basketball junkie my entire life and I played basketball up and into college, where l eventually hung it up for the last time. I was very competitive and that has translated over into sports wagering. It drove me to look at games and scour over film and trends to find that same advantage. Majoring in technology management in college, l spent hours studying markets and how they operate. While seeming efficient, they almost never are. This allows a savvy participant to exploit opportunities; in other words, to find their edge. Immediately l made the connection between general markets, and betting markets. What l bring to the table is a ceaseless drive to continually find my edge, the ability to capitalize on market movement, and the data, trends, and stats to confirm my assertion. My hunger for success is why you will be happy to read my breakdowns. No stone will go unturned to find you a winner.

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