The Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers play one of the more pivotal games of the NBA season tonight at Wells Fargo Center. Both knotted at 46-28, this game could possibly decide who gets the East's No 2 seed.
With both teams at full health but playing some inconsistent ball of late, which brings its game face to this playoff-like atmosphere?
Find out with our Bucks vs. 76ers NBA betting picks and predictions for March 29.
Bucks vs 76ers odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The 76ers opened anywhere between -1.5 and -4.5, with books that opened larger spreads falling to -1.5 as of Tuesday morning. The total opened around 227.5 and has seen movement up to 231.5.
Bucks vs 76ers predictions
Predictions made on 3/29/2022 at 9:15 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Bucks vs 76ers game info
• Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
• Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2022
• Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET
• TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia, Bally Sports Wisconsin
Bucks vs 76ers betting preview
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo PF (Questionable).
76ers: No injuries to report.
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Bucks are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall. Find more NBA betting trends for Bucks vs. 76ers.
Bucks vs 76ers picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
So, first, to clear up the weird-ass opening ranges and line movement. Some books must have been swayed by Giannis Antetokounmpo's "questionable" tag for this game, but between the rapid line movement in Milwaukee's favor and the reports saying he's on track to play, the concerns seem overblown.
So, let's assume we have two full-strength sides facing off tonight in a game that will be extremely crucial for playoff seeding.
While Philly came out of James Harden's arrival firing on all cylinders, there have been a few potholes of late. The Sixers are just 1-5 against the spread in their last six games, and Harden hasn't looked nearly as smooth as in his first five games.
Things won't get any easier for him tonight, facing one of the NBA's best on-ball defenders in Jrue Holiday. Joel Embiid, likewise, will be in a tougher spot than usual, having to contend not only with Giannis lurking around the rim but also Brook Lopez, who we could see 30 minutes from tonight. Antetokounmpo and Lopez are arguably the best rim-protecting duo in the league, and Giannis is more than capable of defending Embiid in space if the NBA MVP odds leader opts to lean on his face-up game.
The Bucks defense has sort of fallen off a cliff in the second half of the season, but their ceiling on D is still higher than their current rating (13th, 20th in past 10 games) suggests. Remember last season: the Bucks coasted along with the NBA's 9th-rated defense, then flipped a switch for the playoffs and ranked No. 1 en route to the title. Similar things could happen tonight, with the Bucks forced to engage a dangerous team with lots of firepower to contain.
The 76ers' current form suggests there are some issues to work out after the Harden honeymoon, while the Bucks are fully healthy for the first time all season, and can finally look to build momentum for their title defense.
For what it's worth, we can also probably dispel the Sixers' historical massive homecourt edge, as they had one of the largest disparities between home and away performance in the entire league over the past four seasons. This year: 21-16 SU at home, 25-12 away.
There's very little to separate these teams, both on paper and on the court. This game is very likely to come down to the final few possessions, so, with the Bucks getting the points and playing (slightly) better basketball at the moment, we'll side with them.
Prediction: Bucks +1.5 (-110)
The Bucks were an automatic Over bet for a stretch, but after hitting the Over in 10 of 11 games from January 28 to February 26, they've gone 8-5 to the Under since. Especially over the past three games, Milwaukee's been playing at a more deliberate pace with a Top-10 defensive rating, a trend that should be exacerbated tonight.
As mentioned above, this game should have more of a playoff-type intensity and tempo to it. The Sixers will further enable that tendency, as the league's fifth-slowest team on the season (a number that only rises to 22nd with Harden in town).
Harden and Embiid are both notorious for living at the free-throw line, so it probably doesn't help the Over's prospects that the Bucks commit the third-fewest fouls in the league. The Sixers themselves also foul at a below-average rate, so we're likely to see fewer points tallied all-around with a stopped clock.
These are two well-coached sides that know the importance of this game, can defend each other's main points of attack aptly and will trend towards disciplined slow-paced play in this matchup. Bank on the Under.
Prediction: Under 231.5 (-110)
We're expecting the Bucks to cover, which, in most scenarios, means we expect them to win outright here. So, a +105 moneyline fire might seem prudent.
But we think there's further value in a Milwaukee double result. The Bucks are the NBA's third-best team against first-half spreads at 43-31, a trend that has served them well dating back to last season. The Sixers are barely break-even in the first-half ATS market, and a Milwaukee double result is paying us a whopping +190.
The Bucks will be coming out amped for a huge conference matchup after a frankly flat effort against Memphis Saturday night. Jrue Holiday will be back in tow, completing a roster that, again, is fully healthy for the first time all season, and knows this is the time of year to make statements and put the league on notice again.
Meanwhile, Philly is still working out all its kinks, and while a formidable roster if everything aligns properly, we feel more confident in Milwaukee to deliver that product tonight, and see this price as more than fair to back the Bucks to be winning after both halves.
Pick: Bucks double result +190
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