Bucks vs. Pacers Game 6 NBA Best Bet: Indiana Aims To Capitalize on Home Court Advantage

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Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers shoots over Bobby Portis #9 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half of game five of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at Fiserv Forum on April 30, 2024 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

NBA Best Bet: Pacers -8 (-113) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Pacers -8 (-113)
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The best sportsbooks have released their NBA odds for Game 6 between the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers. I recommend investing in the Pacers for your best bet.

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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers

Thursday, May 02, 2024 – 06:30 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Game 5 Indications

Milwaukee, despite being the underdog, won Game 5 by a strong margin.

But, as you can tell from looking at basically any playoff series ever, there is often significant variance in the outcome from one game to another.

So, we have to resist giving in to recency bias and liking the Bucks simply because they owned Game 5.

Recall the first two games of this series, both of which took place in Milwaukee. The Bucks won Game 1 by 15 before losing Game 2 by 17.

Reasons for Variance 

There is going to be a lot of variance in games involving at least one team that relies heavily on jump shots. Indiana is such a team, and Milwaukee is partially responsible.

The Bucks want to pack the paint, compelling Indiana to attempt wide-open threes. This is a dangerous strategy.

In Game 4 in Indiana, the Pacers made the Bucks pay. They largely knocked down those open threes.

Knocking down threes will inevitably stretch out a defense, as defenders will feel compelled to guard the perimeter more closely, and this will make scoring inside easier.

Indiana scored 126 points in Game 4 due to its mixture of inside scoring and three-point shooting. The Pacers lost Game 5 because they had a shooting performance similar to Game 1.

Better Shooting, Better Results 

Indiana’s poor shooting in Milwaukee can’t be too surprising. On the road, the Pacers shot 35.7 percent from deep.

This conversion rate would position them in 21st place in three-point efficiency if it were an overall season-long statistic.

On the other hand, Indiana shoots 38.5 percent from deep at home. This would position the Pacers in fourth place in three-point shooting if it were an overall season-long stat. One must expect Indiana to shoot better at home.

The Pacers can also count on a much better performance from Pascal Siakam, who has been so instrumental to their success in this series. He was off in Game 5, as evident in his 20-percent free throw conversion rate.

Point guard Tyrese Haliburton also had an off game, as evident in his missed open shots.

Because Indiana’s two most important offensive players were off while Milwaukee’s two most important ones were on, we got the result that we did.

But now it’s up to Indiana’s top players to play up to their abilities and to figure out ways to defend against Bobby Portis and Khris Middleton.


In Milwaukee, the Bucks forced the Pacers to play at their pace, slowing them down.

Indiana was caught off guard by Milwaukee’s more switch-heavy scheme and played more hesitantly.

But, similar to the time between Games 1 and 2, the Pacers are going to watch a film on their bad performance and be prepared. Expect a much less stagnant Pacer team, feeding off the energy of its home crowd.

More movement – team-wide, coordinated movement, with cutting and so on –  and slipping screens will help Indiana get up shots earlier in the shot clock, which will help the game tempo remain fast.

Defense and Rebounding

Indiana’s defense gets a lot of criticism, but it will be good enough when the offense does its job. Bad offense bled into bad defense in Game 5.

But this is still a Bucks team missing its two top scorers. Better communication will help the Pacers avoid preventable mistakes on defense.

Considering point totals, Milwaukee in Game 4 scored 111 points in regulation with Damian Lillard.

In Game 5 the Bucks scored 113 on the strength of a first half that relied on an element of surprise with a unique starting lineup.

An Indiana team that plays better offense and has a bit more focus on defense can very well hold the shorthanded Bucks to 100 points. Greater effort will also allow Indiana to resurge in terms of rebounding.


Milwaukee’s proclivity to allow Indiana to attempt wide-open threes is a recipe for disaster in Indiana.

Better shooting for the Pacers will open up the floor, maximizing their ability to execute planned adjustments against Milwaukee’s switch-heavy scheme. 

The Pacers will dictate tempo on their home floor, running and using their speed against a slower Bucks team that, in the half-court, also won’t be able to rely on Indiana communicating so many communication lapses.

The Pick

With so much tempo and shot-making, it won’t take many stops for the Pacers to prevail with another double-digit home victory. 

I’m seeing a 118-102 win for the Pacers.

NBA Best Bet: Pacers -8 (-113) at BetOnline

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Pacers -8 (-113)
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