NBA on ESPN Picks: Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers

Milwaukee at Indiana

Time: 6:30 PM CST (ESPN)

Spread: IND -1

Total: 224

Odds c/o 5dimes

The Indiana Pacers have lost six straight enterings tonight’s ESPN Wednesday night matchup against the best team in the East, the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks have won five straight, but it is the Pacers who are 1-point favorites in the game according to NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes. The betting total is set at 224 points, and the game will tip-off at 6:30 PM (CST) on ESPN.

MIL

Milwaukee has been outstanding thus far and has wholly dominated its competition with its 46-7 record thus far. Milwaukee is 28-3 against Eastern Conference opponents.

The Bucks are No. 1 NBA in scoring at 119.8 points per game, and it allows just 107.3 per game. The Bucks have a win differential of +12.5 points. Milwaukee is the league’s best rebounding team, too, averaging 51.8 boards per contest.

Giannis Antetokounmpo may finally win his elusive MVP award, too. The Greek forward is averaging 30 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game while posting a silly-high PER of 33.50. That does not even take his defensive talents into play, where he averages 2.3 steals/blocks per game while playing outstanding one-on-one defense.

Khris Middleton is the No. 2 scorer at 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. Eric Bledsoe is the third-option after Middleton with 15.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. George Hill has been a great sixth man for the Bucks. He is scoring 10 points and dishing three assists per game in just 21 minutes a night.

Veteran center Brook Lopez has been somewhat effective, but his 30.4 percent three-point shooting on 4.8 attempts per game certainly helps keep defenses honest and spreads the court for the Bucks. Lastly, Donte DiVicenzo has stepped into the same role he served at Villanova for the Bucks. He is providing a spark. The second-year guard is averaging 8.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in just 22.6 minutes per game. He has also started 20 games this season. The Bucks are legitimate contenders, now that the Warriors dynasty has come to its end, and also because LeBron James headed to the Western Conference.

INDIANA news & notes:

The Indiana Pacers have won just three of its last 10 overall and are seeded No. 6 in the East.

The Pacers could climb with Victor Oladipo having returned and already in strong form. It defeated the Phoenix Suns 112-87 last outing while getting 49 points from its starting forwards Domantas Sabonis and TJ Warren. Malcolm Brogdon played just 16 minutes, scoring five, but the Pacers bench produced three double-digit scorers, including Doug McDermott’s 12 points on 5 of 8 shooting. The Pacers have strong depth and are a real threat to contend in the East when Oladipo returns. Indiana is 12-11 SU on the road this season.

Without Oladipo, the scoring load had been arbored by Warren, Sabonis, and Brogdon. Warren leads the team at 18 points per game, while Sabonis is at 17.9 and Brogdon tallies 17.1 per game. The Pacers, though, have seven players averaging 10 points per game or more, including all five starters currently. Adding a top-end talent like Oladipo to this strong pack of role players should indeed make for a team capable of challenging the East’s best.

Sabonis has emerged as a major threat this season in averaging 17.9 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. Jeremy Lamb has started all 34 games he has appeared in while averaging 12.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. The Pacers should have a strong three-guard rotation with Lamb, Brogdon, and Oladipo—when the three are all healthy together at last. Sabonis also seems to complement Myles Turner well. The two share time at center and function well as a pair when used in bigger lineups. Everything seems in-balance with the Pacers.

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