Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks
Date and Time: Thursday, March 7, 2019, 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Opening NBA Odds: Check Back Later
Pacers at Bucks TV Coverage: TNT
The Pacers have not looked like a team that can win a playoff series since the All-Star break. Before Tuesday’s game against Chicago, the Pacers had losses to Orlando and Dallas and their defensive rating in their last six games was 114.9. That number is worse than Atlanta, Cleveland, Phoenix and Washington. Indiana is simply getting outworked and that can’t happen if the Pacers expect to win games. The Pacers are last in defensive rebounding percentage since the All-Star break. "It's going to come down to us getting the defensive rebound and making plays from there," said Wesley Matthews to the media, "We scored enough to win every game that we've lost. It's a matter of making sure they don't get more shots than we do."
The Pacers are not going to go very far in the playoffs anyway, as they don’t have Victor Oladipo, but they could at least win a series if they play defense. The offense has actually been okay with Bojan Bogdanovic leading the way, but the defense has slipped. Indiana has games coming up against the Bucks, 76ers and a four-game road trip to play Western Conference playoff contenders. Not only could Indiana slip out of third place in the Eastern Conference, they could fall all the way to fifth and that would mean starting the playoffs on the road. "That's the No. 1 priority on the list right now," Thaddeous Young said to the media, "We definitely want that home-court advantage."
The Pacers are 14-17 ATS on the road, with 18 games going over the total and 13 going under. They are averaging just over 108 points per game and giving up about 104 per contest.
The Bucks have actually lost two straight games for the first time this season. Milwaukee went into Phoenix and was beaten by the Suns for the second time this season. Giannis Antetokounmpo had just 21 points but he played just 34 minutes. It was the third game in four nights for Milwaukee and Giannis looked weary. The rest of the team also looked tired, as Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Nikola Mirotic combined to shoot 7-of-38. The Bucks will have had two days off to rest up and get ready for this contest on Thursday.
Milwaukee is 17-12-1 ATS at home, with 16 games going over the total and 14 going under. They are averaging 117.3 points per game and giving up 108.2 per contest.
The teams have split their last ten meetings, with seven of the ten going under the total. The teams have played twice this season, with each team winning once. Both of those games were at Indiana and they both went under. The teams have also split their last ten in Milwaukee with five games going over and five going under.
This is a perfect spot for the Bucks to get back to their winning ways. The Pacers are not a serious threat to win the Eastern Conference and they don’t match up that well with the Bucks. The Bucks have had plenty of time to rest up for this one and I expect a big performance. I will lay the points and take Milwaukee in this contest.
Pacers at Bucks NBA Picks: Bucks
Pacers at Bucks Score Prediction: Bucks 115, Pacers 100