Milwaukee Bucks (11-45 SU, 23-33 ATS)
If you’re a Milwaukee Bucks fan then every loss equals a happy day because you are one step closer to securing the best chance at the top prize in the NBA draft. After losing six of their last seven the Bucks put together their finest offensive effort of the season Monday night against one of their fellow cellar dwellers, the Philadelphia 76’ers. When the dust had settled at the Wells Fargo Center the Bucks dribbled out of town with a 130-110 victory and actually helped Philly inch closer to the coveted worst record in the league, a distinction that Milwaukee still holds by three games in the loss column.
The win broke a 10-game winless streak on the road for the Bucks and therefore not entirely surprising that the team shot a season-high 57.1 percent from the field with seven players scoring in double figures. Shooting guard O.J. Mayo more than doubled his season scoring average by dropping 25 on the Sixers and power forward Jeff Adrien led all players with 10 boards. Mayo hopes to have a repeat performance against the Pacers tonight after missing 10 consecutive games due to illness before returning for this third game back against Philadelphia.
Indiana Pacers (43-13 SU, 33-22-1 ATS)
The best team in the NBA just got better. Shortly before last Thursday’s trade deadline the Pacers managed to swing a deal with the talent-dumping 76’ers that sent Danny Granger and a future draft pick to Philly in exchange for small forward Evan Turner and power forward Lavoy Allen. Talk about a reversal fortune for both Turner and Allen who saw a bleak season suddenly blossom into a legitimate opportunity to capture an NBA championship.
Though the pair was not available for Saturday’s win over Milwaukee they did show up in Tuesday’s victory over the Lakers. Indiana, installed as 13-point favorites, hosted Los Angeles and did not disappoint their fans or their backers as they cruised to an easy 118-98 straight up win and cover in NBA odds. Not so coincidentally was the fact that the bench, assisted mightily by Turner’s 13 points and six rebounds in relief, scored a season-high 50 points on 50 percent shooting. The bench has been Indiana’s only source of concern this season as they rank in the bottom third of the league but Turner’s presence, in addition to Lavoy Allen’s, could provide the league leading Pacers with the depth they will need to be considered one of the odds-on favorites to hoist the O’Brien Trophy at season’s end.
Free NBA Pick:
The Pacers blew out the Bucks 104-77 in their first meeting of the season when Indiana hosted as 14-point favorites in NBA odds on November 15th. But the tale was a bit different on Saturday night when Indiana tangled with a game Bucks squad in Milwaukee where they ultimately prevailed 110-100 but did not get the cover in NBA odds as 12-point road chalk.
Believe it or not, the Bucks are 8-2 against the number over their last 10 games but are 0-7 ATS in their last seven meeting against the Pacers. In last Saturday’s game Indiana drew out to a 22-point lead only to see the Bucks fight back and lose by a “respectable” 10-point margin in front of the home crowd. But Brandon Knight was Milwaukee’s only real offensive force as he registered a 30-point performance and it would be unlikely he will repeat that feat.
If you’re prone to betting dogs then you will not get a bigger one all season than Milwaukee in this spot. But in my NBA picks I am going to go with the Pacers who will want to get their new toys, Turner and Allen, involved in a big time blowout.
Play Indiana -15 ½ in your NBA picks at Bet365.com.