Pacers vs. Bucks NBA Picks and Odds Analysis

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Jrue Holiday #21 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives around Jalen Brunson #13 of the Dallas Mavericks. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

The Bucks are reeling a little bit as they head into their matchup against the Indiana Pacers. With no Giannis Antetokounmpo on Wednesday, can we trust Milwaukee to get the cover?

Let’s break down the NBA odds for this matchup!

Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 – 08:00 PM EST at Fiserv Forum

No Greek Freak, Middleton Questionable

Covid-19 is ramping back up across the world and major sports leagues in the U.S. have not been spared. Multiple NHL games have been postponed, lots of NFL players are starting to test positive despite playing primarily outdoors, and the NBA has been wrecked by health and safety protocols over the last few weeks.

The Bucks have now been struck and in a big way, as Giannis Antetokounmpo has entered the league’s protocols. It’s not just Antetokounmpo either. Donte DiVincenzo was supposed to debut Wednesday but has entered into health and safety protocols too. DeMarcus Cousins is out for personal reasons and Khris Middleton is highly questionable for this game after hyperextending his knee in their last game.

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With that in mind and the Pacers being the much healthier team, the top sportsbooks have started shading the line towards the road Pacers. It was at a PK overnight but has since moved to -2 in favor of the road team.

Indiana is 3-10 SU and 6-7 ATS on the road this season and after a rocky start where the front office trashed most of the team and threatened to trade everyone, the Pacers have started to play a little better. They should have beaten Golden State two nights ago at home and I think that loss could motivate them to take care of a wounded divisional rival here, even on the road.

The Sharp Prediction

However, with a ton of players entering health and safety protocols all across the league, betting this short of a number is tough tonight. The pandemic is making betting spreads damn near impossible tonight across the card, so for me, at least for the time being, I’m going to be attacking these totals.

With their best offensive and defensive player out and with their second-best offensive and defensive player dealing with a somewhat serious injury, I can’t see the Bucks’ offense holding it down tonight, even at home.

However, I do see their defense holding firm. Even without Giannis and potentially without Middleton, this Bucks team is good enough on defense to limit the Pacers to less than 105 points here.

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Indiana’s offense has been playing well lately, but they still rank 19th in offensive efficiency on the road and have clawed their way up to 12th in defensive efficiency on the road.

These two teams have also played one another twice already and both were in Indiana, making them familiar with each other’s schemes and offensive sets. The Pacers only mustered 109 and 100 points in those two games at home, so I suspect somewhere in between there could be their ceiling.

On top of all this, Indiana has found some success on offense lately mainly by slowing down the pace to a crawl.

The Sharp Pick

Over their last five games, Indiana has a pace of 92.6, so if they can get a lead against this banged-up Bucks team, they will choke them out in the second half by making a shallow team defend for long stretches of the shot clock.

Milwaukee’s injured defense is good enough to stop Indiana, but it’s not going to help their energy on offense much if they have to defend down to less than 10 seconds on the shot clock for a majority of the game. Grab the under 217.5 for your NBA pick tonight.

NBA Pick: Under 217.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 217.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.