NBA Picks: Back Tempting 'Over' Odds As Pacers Visit Bucks

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 2:57 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016 2:57 PM UTC

Another big battle with playoff implications tonight is the Bucks and Pacers doing battle in another good Central Division game. The NBA Odds have the Pacers as -2 road favorites.

Stopping The Greek Freak
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been on a tear recently. He has two triple doubles in his last four games, and he has another four double-doubles on top of that just in the month of February. However, if you look closer at some of his recent triple-doubles, they were against the Lakers and Rockets, the two worst teams in the NBA at defending small forwards.

Now the Greek Freak has to play against Paul George, one of the tougher matchups for small forwards in the league. In five career games against George, Antetokounmpo has scored in double figures only once, and tonight don’t be surprised if the Bucks’ talented small forwards regresses some from his recent surge in February.

However, will that be enough to get the win and/or cover for the Pacers? Neither team played last night, and after these two teams have split their season series so far, the total might be a better wager to take a stab at tonight. While the spread is enticing, the Pacers have not been playing well recently, and it comes down to their ability to close out games. They have lost leads and collapsed late in games since the All Star Break, so while I think they will win tonight, I am not willing to trust them with a wager against the NBA odds tonight as road favorites.

However, the total is very intriguing tonight sitting at 203, or even 202½ at some sportsbooks. In two meetings this season against one another, and even their final meeting of last season easily went over the total. The Pacers are averaging nearly 120 points per game against the Bucks’ defense this season, and while Milwaukee put up a dud the first time they met this year, they scored 120 on Indiana on New Year’s Eve, and if we see another game like that, the over should be a steal of a value tonight.


The Sharp Pick
There is no word yet on whether or not Michael Carter-Williams will be ready for this game or not, but if he misses, that will just help the Pacers’ offense tonight. Both times these two teams played this season, the pace of the game was around 100, and while that may not hold up tonight, even if it’s in the high 90s, this total is seemingly way too low for the pace of game we could see tonight in Milwaukee.

Indiana is 7-5 this season cashing the over in divisional games, and they are 9-6 cashing the over in their last 15 games sandwiching the All Star Break. The Bucks on the other hand have cashed the over in three of their last five games heading into this one, and in those five games they have given up an average of 109 points per game. While the Bucks still have an outside shot at the playoffs, if their defense is collapsing, the only thing they are winning this season is some over tickets for us. Hopefully their trend of giving up a lot of points continues tonight, so even though the total is lower for some reason, I expect a high scoring affair tonight in Milwaukee for my NBA pick. The Pacers are 7-6 cashing the over this season at away favorites.

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NBA Pick: OVER 202½ 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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