The Indiana Pacers host the Milwaukee Bucks in an Eastern Conference showdown on Thursday evening. The Pacers (33-36) are 7-4 against Central Division foes this season, though Indiana is just 13-21 at home. Milwaukee is 44-25 overall and 19-15 away from home this season. Aaron Holiday (toe) and Caris LeVert (knee) are listed as questionable for Indiana. Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring), Myles Turner (toe), Jeremy Lamb (knee) and Edmond Sumner (knee) are out for the Pacers.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET. The latest Bucks vs. Pacers odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Milwaukee as a nine-point favorite. The over-under for total points is set at 243. Before finalizing any Pacers vs. Bucks picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned over $9,100 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up over $1,100 on its top-rated picks this season and entered Week 21 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 99-64 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Bucks vs. Pacers spread: Bucks -9
- Bucks vs. Pacers over-under: 243 points
- Bucks vs. Pacers money line: Bucks -400, Pacers +320
- MIL: The Bucks are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games
- IND: The Pacers are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Bucks can cover
Milwaukee is a top-flight team on both ends of the floor, resulting in the NBA's No. 3 net rating at +5.8 points per 100 possessions. While the Bucks are balanced and talented, they rely on three stars. Two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the way with 28.2 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.9 assists and strong defense every night. In support, Khris Middleton is averaging 20.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game, providing real shot-making prowess, and Jrue Holiday is arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA.
To complement Milwaukee's own profile, Indiana has some shaky areas that the Bucks can exploit. The Pacers are the NBA's worst defensive rebounding team, securing only 70.3 percent of available rebounds, and they are also a bottom-five offensive rebounding unit. Indiana also yields the fourth-most assists in the NBA (26.0 per game), and they are weakened considerably by injury absences.
Why the Pacers can cover
Indiana is a high-end passing team, ranking No. 2 in the NBA in producing 27.2 assists per game. The Pacers are also a top-10 team in both free throw accuracy (79.3 percent) and ball security, turning the ball over on only 13.2 percent of possessions. The Bucks rarely force turnovers defensively, ranking 25th in the NBA in turnover creation rate, and Milwaukee has a glaring weakness in defending the 3-point arc. The Bucks are last in 3-pointers allowed (14.7 per game) and 28th in 3-point accuracy allowed (38.1 percent).
On the other end, the Pacers lead the NBA in blocks (6.5 per game), with top-six marks in steals (8.5 per game), 3-pointers allowed (11.5 per game) and 2-point shooting allowed (52.0 percent). The Bucks are below-average in both free throw creation (21.0 attempts per game) and accuracy (76.1 percent), which could be an edge for the Pacers.
How to make Pacers vs. Bucks picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 233 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 60 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Pacers vs. Bucks? And which side of the spread hits well over 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a roll on NBA picks.