Pacers vs Bucks Predictions, Picks, Odds for Tonight’s NBA Playoff Game

It was a tale of two halves for Damian Lillard in Game 1, but with the Pacers seemingly having found a way to slow down Dame, our NBA picks are expecting the Milwaukee PG to take a more passive approach in Game 2.

Jon Metler - Betting Analyst at
Jon Metler • Betting Analyst
Apr 23, 2024 • 16:15 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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The Indiana Pacers will look to even their series against the Milwaukee Bucks tonight when they square off in Game 2 at Fiserv Forum. 

It was a tale of two halves for Damian Lillard in Game 1, dropping 35 points in the first before putting up a goose egg in the final 24 minutes.

My NBA picks are focused on the Milwaukee guard, but the question remains: Am I backing the Lillard we saw in the first half or the second? 

Find out in my Pacers vs. Bucks predictions for this April 23 affair.

Pacers vs Bucks predictions

My best bet
Damian Lillard Under 30.5 points (-115 at DraftKings)

Best odds available in your region

My analysis
It'll be Dame Time once again in Wisconsin, as the Milwaukee Bucks are expected to be without Giannis Antetokounmpo. With Antetokounmpo out, Damian Lillard will be called upon — but his 30.5-point total paying at -115 doesn't impress me.

I'm sure you've seen the highlights: Lillard torching the Indiana Pacers for 35 points in the first half of Game 1 and letting the crowd know this is why the Bucks brought him here. That was fun and all, but let's not overlook the fact Indiana was able to hold Lillard to zero in the second half.

We saw the Pacers use Andrew Nembhard as the primary defender on Lillard in the first, and in the pick-and-roll, the help defense was mostly in a drop. This wasn't working at all, as the Pacers' bigs weren't able to contain Lillard in the drop, and he was blowing past them to the rim. It also allowed the PG to turn the corner and get some looks from deep.

Indiana changed its coverages after half and blitzed Lillard at every opportunity available. There was a clear goal to get the ball out of his hands and make someone else on the Bucks take over. It didn't matter who it was: even Myles Turner was aggressively trapping Lillard in every pick-and-roll scenario and forcing a pass. And it worked, as Lillard scored zilch in the second.

When you play the Under on a superstar's points total because they're facing an All-NBA Defender, sometimes you get burned because that team brings zero help and leaves their world-class defensive player on an island. That is not what we should see from the Pacers on Tuesday. They know they don't have any defender who can shut down Lillard, and they have to guard him as a team.

If Indiana brings the same defensive game plan and energy we saw in the second half against Lillard, the total of 30.5 points is way too high.

Lillard is projected to score 27.9 points which allows us to price the Under 30.5 points at -177, but it is available at -115. Based on this projection, this bet is showing a positive expected value of 19%.

Pacers vs Bucks same-game parlay (SGP)

Damian Lillard Under 30.5 points

Malik Beasley Over 8.5 points

Brook Lopez Over 1.5 threes

When Lillard gets blitzed, he'll pass out of the double team, and it's very likely you'll see an additional pass for an even more wide-open 3-point shot. I believe those open looks could be corner threes by Malik Beasley.

The Pacers will want this to be Patrick Beverley, but the counter move from Doc Rivers should be to increase the minutes of Beasley and get him as many open 3-point looks as possible to make Indiana pay for how it chooses to guard Lillard.

When the bigs for the Pacers also blitz Lillard, they'll be leaving Brook Lopez wide open in the pick-and-roll. There should be help defense, but Lopez isn't afraid to pull the deep three, and I think you could also see Splash Mountain get some wide-open shots from beyond the arc because of Lillard. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

Pacers vs Bucks odds

Pacers vs Bucks live odds

Get the latest Pacers vs. Bucks Game 2 NBA playoff odds.

Pacers vs Bucks opening odds

  • Spread: Indiana +2.5 | Milwaukee -2.5
  • Moneyline: Indiana +118 | Milwaukee -138
  • Over/Under: Over 225.5 | Under 225.5

Pacers vs Bucks spread and Over/Under analysis

  • The Bucks opened as a 2.5-point favorite on Tuesday over the Pacers at FanDuel, but we've seen this line move towards the Pacers, making the Bucks only 1-point favorites.
  • The total opened at 225.5 at FanDuel and has fallen 3.5 points to 222.
  • This is a rogue number from FanDuel, as the rest of the market is trading the total at 220.5, so be sure to shop around for the best price.

Pacers vs Bucks trend

The Bucks have covered the first-quarter spread in 24 of their last 34 games at home (+13.70 Units / 35% ROI). Find more NBA betting trends for Pacers vs. Bucks.

Pacers vs Bucks game info

Location: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Date: Tuesday, 4-23-2024
Tip-off: 8:30 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports WI, Bally Sports Indiana

Pacers vs Bucks latest injuries

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