The first head-to-head matchup between these teams saw the Bucks pull off a thrilling 117-109 victory in overtime back in March. Both teams enter having lost each of their last two games coming in and will be looking to get back on track with just a few weeks left to play in the regular season.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening 76ers-Bucks odds.
NBA Odds: 76ers-Bucks Odds
Philadelphia 76ers +5.5 (-105)
Milwaukee Bucks -5.5 (-115)
Over 226.5 Points (-110)
Under 226.5 Points (-110)
Why The 76ers Could Cover The Spread
The Sixers are currently atop the Eastern Conference standings and will be looking to clinch the top spot in the coming weeks. Despite losing the last two games, Philadelphia has been playing great basketball of late, winning five of the last eight games. The Sixers lost a thriller on Wednesday night, which almost went to overtime as Joel Embiid rimmed out a full-court heave at the buzzer. Embiid may have missed the shot, but he had yet another incredible performance in the loss against the Suns.
The Sixers big man finished with a double-double, registering 38 points and 17 rebounds. He also added four assists, a steal, and a block in a monstrous all-around performance for his club. Embiid was joined by four other double-digit scorers in the loss as well. What was probably most impressive about the loss to the Suns was the fact that they stuck around throughout without three top contributors in Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry. These three players are listed as day-to-day, and it’s currently unclear who’s going to play on Thursday.
Why The Bucks Could Cover The Spread
Like the Sixers, the Bucks also fell to the Suns this week in an overtime thriller. Unlike the Sixers, Milwaukee was at full strength for matchup with the Western Conference juggernaut. The Bucks have been playing fairly well of late, but the issue for this squad has been the inconsistency of their key role players down the stretch. Milwaukee’s Big Three all had very productive nights against the Suns in the recent loss.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for his club with 33 points, eight boards, two assists, a steal, and a block. He was sidelined for the final minutes of overtime with leg cramps, which very well could’ve been the difference. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday scored 26 and 25 points, respectively. The main deficiency for Milwaukee was its 3-point shooting, which is typically lethal. The Bucks shot 32.4% from deep, but made up for the deficit in other areas of the game to remain competitive. Milwaukee will enjoy a nice advantage as it is 5-1 ATS in the last six home games against Philly.
Final 76ers-Bucks Prediction & Pick
This crucial Eastern Conference matchup will ultimately come down to who’s healthier. With the clubs set to face each other twice over the next two days, it’ll be interesting to see how each head coach handles their squad. With Philadelphia hurting on the second night of a back-to-back, Milwaukee has the advantage. Even if Embiid plays like he says he will, he won’t be in the best shape and might not get much help. Giannis will certainly get up for this game, and The Greek Freak should be in line for a big night.
FINAL PICK: Milwaukee Bucks -5.5 (-115)