The Milwaukee Bucks (18-11) find themselves as two-point underdogs coming into their game against the Indiana Pacers (12-17) thanks to a positive-COVID test from two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo
. The Bucks will look to keep an eight-game home winning streak rolling, which may be easier said than done without their greatest offensive talent. Wesley Matthews and Donte DiVincenzo will join Giannis on the COVID-19 protocol list, as the Bucks battle their second COVID outbreak of the season.
With Giannis out, most of the offensive responsibility falls on the shoulders of Khris Middleton, who is questionable to play thanks to a left knee hyperextensions in Monday’s game against the Celtics. This will leave PF Bobby Portis left to facilitate the offense and push for a win against the healthy Pacers squad.
The Pacers come into this game-winning three of their last four games, and look to capitalize on the Buck’s misfortune and steal a game in this early season matchup.
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Pick One: Pacers Moneyline (-138)
Assuming this game is played and not postponed due to more positive COVID tests, I have to ride with the Pacers in this one. I expect Domantas Sabonis to capitalize on the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo and absolutely control the paint, as he’s already proven his ability to do so throughout the season. I’d feel more comfortable laying the points if Khris Middleton is ultimately out for the game, but the Moneyline odds are not far off from the odds against the spread so I’ll leave the points for the next guy.
Pick Two: Bobby Portis OVER 19.5 points (-104)
Like I mentioned earlier, a lot of the scoring responsibly will be put on Bobby Portis’ shoulders, who’s scored 15.5 points per game as the third option all season. If Middleton sits out, a lot of the offense will have to come through Portis, which may lead to lots of offensive production.
Pick Three: Grayson Allen OVER 2.5 three-pointers (+112)
Most of Allen’s game lies in the three-point shot, and has made exactly two three-pointers in each of his last six games. I expect that number to bump up a bit in tonight’s game, seeing as he may be called upon to fill in for Khris Middleton if he remains injured. Also, the Bucks may tend to spend more time out on the perimeter in this game, seeing as they won’t have their dominant paint presence in Giannis Antetokounmpo.