Game: Milwaukee Bucks @ Philadelphia 76ers
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Bucks +4, 76ers -4
In their season-opening 126-117 loss to Boston on Tuesday, the Philadelphia 76ers struggled against the Boston Celtics on the road. When the Sixers play the Milwaukee Bucks tonight, they’ll try to erase that one from memory.
Joel Embiid had 26 points and 15 rebounds, and James Harden added 35 points in the loss on Tuesday. In addition, Harden had seven assists, eight rebounds, and made all 12 of his free throw attempts. However, it wasn’t enough because Philadelphia’s bench only scored 11 points. That was hardly the start a team looking to return to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2001 wanted.
In the off-season, the Sixers signed De’Anthony Melton, Danuel House Jr., P.J. Tucker, and Montrezl Harrell. They were meant to bolster the roster, and that may happen eventually this season. On Tuesday, the Sixers’ newest additions didn’t do much. In the loss to the Celtics, those four players scored a combined 14 points.
Many think Milwaukee is a legitimate NBA title candidate this season. One of the Bucks’ stars won’t be available to them to start the season. All-Star forward Khris Middleton will be out for two to three weeks as he heals from wrist surgery. In Middleton’s absence, Giannis Antetokounmpo will assume an even greater leadership role.
The Bucks went 0-5 in the preseason. Some of that may be related to injuries. Pat Connaughton (calf) and Joe Ingles (left knee) were both declared out on Wednesday. Ingles will miss tonight. Connaughton is out indefinitely which affects the Bucks’ depth.
Antetonkounmpo, who last season averaged 29.9 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, will give Philadelphia defenders a tough time tonight. The former two-time NBA MVP is flanked by a potent group that includes players like Bobby Portis, Brook Lopez, Jrue Holiday, and Grayson Allen.
The Bucks are playing their season opener tonight. Milwaukee has won eight out of the last ten games versus Philadelphia. In those 10 games, Milwaukee is 7-3 ATS. Milwaukee was eliminated from last year’s playoffs by Boston in seven games in the conference semifinals. The Bucks went 2-5 ATS in those seven games.
Tuesday’s failure to cover meant that the Sixers have now lost three straight (dating back to last season) against the spread. Miami defeated Philadelphia in six games last season to go to the conference finals.
Tuesday’s game with the Celtics went way Over the total. It was a higher-scoring game than expected. In the Sixers’ previous 12 games dating back to last season, the Under is 8-4. The Over is 6-4 in the series against the Bucks, with all three games last season going Over the total. In fact, all three games last season went Over tonight’s total of 225.
Going back to last season, the Under was also a trend for the Bucks. The total went Under in 10 of the Bucks’ last 12 games last season. The Under is 5-1 in Milwaukee’s last six road games.
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