Philadelphia 76ers (40-22) at Milwaukee Bucks (45-17)
Game Info: Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 8:30 p.m. EST (Fiserv Forum)
Betting Odds: Bucks (-5) / Over/Under (227.5)
Pick: Bucks (-5)
In what could surely end up being the Eastern Conference Finals matchup a few months from now, the Philadelphia 76ers will head into the blistering hot Fiserv Forum, where the Milwaukee Bucks will be waiting on them, attempting to extend their tremendous 16-game win streak.
Philadelphia has been in a slump of late after running through a stretch of games where they went 5-0 SU and ATS. In their last 4 games, they have managed to win and cover only 1 game, showing glaring weaknesses during their 3 losses against quality opponents. Last time out, they displayed how porous their defense can be at times, letting the Dallas Mavericks score 133 points on their home floor, with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving supplying 82 of those on their own. In an ever tougher contest on Saturday night, the 76ers will need to fill those holes on the defensive end quickly, as the Bucks will certainly be smelling blood in the water against an Eastern Conference foe. If they are to do that, they will need some support from their bench, as they have come up short in large portions of the season up until now. As Philly tries to end their bad run of games to keep within the distance of the Celtics and Bucks atop the East, time will tell if they can put it all together to secure their best win of the year.
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Milwaukee has been utterly phenomenal for over a month now. They have not lost a game since January 21 and have gone 11-5 ATS in that span of games. If anyone is to take them down, they will have to stop the freight train that is Giannis Antetokounmpo. He may not play the flashiest game, but at the end of the day, what matters is production. And he has consistently produced game after game in this campaign, putting in possibly his best regular season to date by averaging 31.3 PTS and 12.0 REB on the season. What is scary about his game though, is he still has room to improve his shooting abilities. In my opinion, I think this would make him less effective if he started to stretch his game out of the paint, where he primarily lives now, but with a reliable three-point shot, he may become physically unstoppable. The 76ers will once again have their hands full in this one as he and the Bucks will be raring to exact revenge from their last matchup against each other where the 76ers were able to better the Bucks in Philly by a score of 110-102.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Philadelphia is 1-3 ATS in their last 4 games
- The Bucks are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games
- Milwaukee is 31-16-3 ATS on the year as a favorite
If you don't think that the Bucks remember how the 76ers were able to stifle them a few months back then you are dead wrong. I fully expect Milwaukee to be clicking on all cylinders from the jump in this one on the way to a comfortable win to extend their streak to 17 games. Anticipate the crowd to get in Joel Embiid's head early to throw him off of his game in a matchup that may turn south for Philly fast if they can not right their wrongs quickly enough. Give me the Bucks big on Saturday evening!
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