76ers vs Bucks Picks and Predictions: Holiday Makes Star Turn in Prime-Time

An Eastern Conference heavyweight fight is ahead tonight, with the 76ers making the trip to face the Bucks. These East titans have MVP candidates but our NBA picks expect a secondary star to make a major impact.

Mar 4, 2023 • 11:34 ET • 4 min read
Jrue Holiday Milwaukee Bucks NBA
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The soaring Milwaukee Bucks look to stretch their win streak to 17 games tonight in this heavyweight Eastern Conference battle against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Even with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton in and out of the lineup over the last few weeks, the Bucks have been a wrecking crew on their rise to the top of the standings in the East.

The 76ers have title aspirations of their own, but they’re coming off a rough week with three losses in their past four outings. Philadelphia wasted a 35-point night from Embiid in a disappointing setback against the Mavericks on Thursday.

Get the lowdown on tonight’s matchup with our free 76ers vs. Bucks NBA picks and predictions.

76ers vs Bucks best odds

76ers vs Bucks picks and predictions

All eyes will be on the Giannis vs. Embiid battle tonight, as two of the NBA’s most dominant paint scorers go head-to-head, but I see these perennial MVP candidates largely canceling each other out. That opens the door for the second or third scoring options to decide this one.

Enter Jrue Holiday, who is quietly creeping into the conversation for an All-NBA team, giving Milwaukee everything it needs on both ends of the floor. He’s averaging a shade under 20 points this season along with seven dimes, and he’s been a constant driving force during this Bucks win streak.

I especially like Holiday to make a splash tonight after the way the 76ers’ backcourt was picked apart by Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving on Thursday night. The Mavericks duo combined for 82 points, and Holiday should have success attacking James Harden and Tyrese Maxey in halfcourt sets.

He’s off to a nice start in March, with a 23-point night against the Magic, and he’s cracked the 20-point mark in three of his last four games. The Bucks need his scoring too, with Khris Middleton still easing his way back into a full minutes load. Holiday has embraced the challenge of making teams pay for overhelping on Antetokounmpo.

With Philadelphia likely to send extra defenders to wall off the paint against Giannis, Holiday should have every opportunity for another efficient scoring night here. I’m taking him to hit this Over.

My best bet: Jrue Holiday Over 18.5 points (-113)

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76ers vs Bucks spread analysis

This is the third installment of this star-studded matchup this season, with the teams splitting the first two games (both in Philadelphia). With 16 straight wins, and four of the last five victories by a double-digit margin, the Bucks are understandably 4.5-point favorites here. They’re also boosted by Middleton’s availability after sitting out against the Magic.

Though the Bucks are 0-5 ATS in their last five games against teams with a winning percentage over .600, they’ve covered the spread in their past four outings after giving up 100 points or more in their prior game.

It’s been a perplexing week for Philadelphia. The offense struggled in losses to the Celtics and Heat, but it was the defense that fell apart on Thursday while allowing 133 points against Dallas. I expect the 76ers to be more in sync on both ends tonight in front of a national TV audience.

Both of these contenders have been solid ATS picks this season (the Bucks are 35-25-2 and the 76ers are 36-26-0), but there’s no disputing the fact that Milwaukee is the in-form team. 

76ers vs Bucks Over/Under analysis

Points at the rim should come at a premium tonight, with Embiid, Antetokounmpo, and Brook Lopez deterring drives into the paint. So, the bigger question is whether there’s enough 3-point shooting on show to still cash in the Over.

The numbers suggest that the defenses will come out on top here. The Under is 4-1 in the 76ers’ last five games overall, and it’s hit in their past four outings after giving up 100 points or more in their previous game.

The Bucks have trended in that direction too, with the Under cashing in for their last six Saturday games and their last four games after scoring more than 125 points in their previous contest. 

Milwaukee has been ruthless offensively in the first half this season, and a 45-point second quarter against Orlando was just the latest example.

76ers vs Bucks betting trend to know

This matchup has been a struggle for Philadelphia, especially at Fiserv Forum. The 76ers are 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings and 1-4 ATS in the last five contests in Milwaukee. Find more NBA betting trends for 76ers vs. Bucks.

76ers vs Bucks game info

Location: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Date: Saturday, March 4, 2023
Tip-off: 8:30 p.m. ET

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