The Milwaukee Bucks travel to Gainbridge Fieldhouse for an Eastern Conference road tilt with the Indiana Pacers on Sunday afternoon. The defending champion Bucks (12-8) were off to a rocky start but have since won eight of their last 11 games. The Pacers (9-12) are trying to climb back to the .500 mark after an injury-riddled start to their season. The Bucks open this matchup as slight road favorites.
Will the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks cover the spread on the road against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday afternoon?
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers Betting Lines
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Point Spread: Milwaukee Bucks -2.5
Money Line: MIL -145/ IND +125
Total: Over/Under 218
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers Injury Report
T.J. Warren is expected to be out with a foot injury.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers Preview
Giannis and Bucks Gaining Steam
Milwaukee has strung together a series of impressive games after a lethargic start to the season. Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 27.2 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists. He scored a game-high 33 points on Wednesday as Milwaukee crushed the Detroit Pistons 114-93. The Bucks are 7-0 this season when Antetokounmpo has played together with Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday.
Another double-double in the books for Giannis.
24 PTS | 13 REB | 7 AST | 10-13 FGM pic.twitter.com/qSZqUovzF4
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) November 27, 2021
The trio combined for 66 points, 24 rebounds, and 15 assists in their last game. They have received a spark from Bobby Portis since he’s returned from injury. Portis is averaging 15.7 points while shooting 46.2 percent from beyond the arc. The 26-year-old has scored in double figures in 10 straight games. Portis is part of a deep Milwaukee rotation that features nine players averaging at least 20 minutes per game. Their depth will allow Giannis, Holiday, and Middleton to stay fresh for the upcoming mid-season grind.
Pacers Seeking Bounceback Effort
As a team, the Pacers are averaging a mediocre 107.8 points per game (ranked 14th). Malcolm Brogdon is averaging 21.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.8 assists in 15 games and has provided some stability to their backcourt. They have been in a slew of close games, including an overtime loss to the Lakers earlier in the week. Opposing teams are scoring over 107 points at Gainbridge Fieldhouse this season. The offensive production has yet to translate into consistent victories for Indiana.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) November 27, 2021
With that being said, the Pacers roster is loaded with talent from top to bottom. They have had a lot of bad luck in close games this year, and are fully healthy. Expect them to go on a bit of a run, considering how good Damontas Sabonis and Myles Turner have been playing. They lead the NBA in blocks and rank top five in defensive rebound percentage.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers Prediction and Pick
Milwaukee has strung together a series of impressive games after a lethargic start to the season. Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 27.2 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists and has continued where he left off last season hoisting the championship trophy. They have the deepest bench in the NBA that features nine players averaging 20 or more minutes per game.
Indiana’s strong point this season has been their work on the glass. They rank fourth in rebounding percentage on the year. Unfortunately, the Milwaukee Bucks are a different animal with Giannis and the now revamped Bobby Portis on the inside giving new meaning to “Fear the Deer.” The Bucks have won five consecutive games and have been punishing their opponents. Look for that to continue on Sunday against the Pacers as they cover the spread and come away with an easy win on the road.