The Philadelphia 76ers (35-21) and Milwaukee Bucks (47-8) both returned from the NBA All-Star break with victories on Thursday, and the teams will square off in an intriguing contest on Saturday evening. It's a rematch of a memorable Christmas clash that Philadelphia won 121-109, and it could be a preview of the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals. Ben Simmons (back) is listed as probable for Philadelphia, while Kyle Korver (back) is out for Milwaukee.
Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. ET at Fiserv Forum. Sportsbooks list the Bucks as 8.5-point home favorites, holding steady from the opener, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 226.5 in the latest Sixers vs. Bucks odds. Before making any Bucks vs. 76ers picks or NBA predictions, see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and last season it returned a whopping $4,280 on its top-rated spread and money line picks. It's already returned over $3,000 in profit on all top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season and entered Week 18 on a blistering 35-19 run on all top-rated spread picks. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Bucks vs. Sixers spread: Bucks -8.5
- Bucks vs. Sixers over-under: 226.5 points
- Bucks vs. Sixers money line: Bucks -412, +322
- PHL: The 76ers are 3-6 against the spread in the last nine games
- MILW: The Bucks are 6-1 against the spread in the last seven games
Why the Sixers can cover
The model has considered that the 76ers, despite their flaws, have a tremendously high ceiling based heavily on their defense. Philadelphia rates as one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, headlined by elite metrics in defensive rebounding. The Bucks struggle in very few areas, but one is that Milwaukee rarely ever crashes the offensive glass, which could lead to Philadelphia closing possessions with impressive frequency.
The 76ers have also enjoyed mild success against Giannis Antetokounmpo in the past. On the offensive side, this is a very difficult match-up for Brett Brown's team, but Milwaukee isn't equipped to take advantage of one of Philadelphia's biggest weaknesses. The 76ers turn the ball over at an alarming rate but, with the Bucks playing a conservative defensive scheme, that issue is mitigated considerably.
Why the Bucks can cover
Even so, Philadelphia isn't a lock to cover the Bucks vs. Sixers spread. The model has also considered that, while the 76ers are formidable at home, Philadelphia has a dismal 9-19 record on the road this season. With that as the backdrop, Milwaukee is one of the best home teams in the league at 25-3 and, in every available metric, the Bucks have been the best team in the NBA this season. Milwaukee has the best defense in the league by a wide margin, ranking No. 1 in defensive shooting efficiency and defensive rebounding.
The Bucks are also elite at preventing their opponents from getting to the free-throw line and, on the other side of the floor, Milwaukee is almost impossible to guard. The Bucks have the league's best shot profile, leading to top-three rankings across the board for Mike Budenholzer's team.
How to make Bucks vs. Sixers picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with Brook Lopez and Glenn Robinson projected to outperform their averages. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 60 percent of simulations.
So who wins 76ers vs. Bucks and which side of the spread hits in over 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Bucks vs. Sixers spread you need to jump on Saturday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.