Bucks vs. 76ers Preview: How to Bet Crucial East Matchup

Action Network senior NBA writer Matt Moore previews how to bet Tuesday's matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.

Bucks vs. 76ers Odds

Bucks Odds +1.5
76ers Odds -1.5
Over/Under 232
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via <!–PointsBet–>PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The defending champs vs. the new superstar duo. The two-time MVP winner vs. the MVP front-runner. The Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers meet on Tuesday with big stakes in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee and Philadelphia are tied in the season series 1-1. The winner of this game gets head-to-head tiebreaker, which could decide homecourt past the first round.

Here’s your guide to betting Bucks vs. Sixers on Tuesday night.

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Bucks Have Personnel Advantage 

Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as probable despite knee soreness, but the Bucks are essentially back to full strength provided that he plays. They’ve only had their intended starting five of Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, Khris Middleton, Antetokounmpo, and Brook Lopez for three games this season; they are 3-0 straight up and ATS in those games.

The Bucks have the personnel to match up against the Sixers. Lopez in particular helps with defending Embiid. In the last four seasons among all players with at least 100 matchups in the halfcourt with Embiid, Lopez has held Embiid to the fourth lowest eFG% of any player.

Having Holiday to defend Harden helps as well, but Tyrese Maxey may get loose with Grayson Allen or Wesley Matthews likely defending.

On offense, Antetokounmpo has averaged 31 points per game vs. the Sixers in the two games this season. He’s been a monster. But Middleton and Holiday have both shot poorly.

The Sixers allow an average amount of 3-point attempts and an average percentage on 3s since the trade for Harden, while the Bucks are allowing the third-most in the league since the trade deadline.

The Bucks lost their matchup before the All-Star break, but led by as many as 12 and had a lead with 2:30 to go, but Harden and Lopez didn’t play in that matchup.

The Bucks are 8-3 straight up, 7-4 ATS against the Sixers since Mike Budenholzer took over, but this is a much different team.

Still, the Bucks have the size and physicality to make this work.

76ers Not Quite Dominant in Recent Weeks

The Sixers are 10-5 straight up, since James Harden joined the team, but just 6-8-1 ATS. They are 8-4 SU when both Harden and Embiid play (4-7-1 ATS). They’ve played seven games against teams over .500, going 4-3 straight up and 2-4-1 ATS. The pattern is pretty clear: They win but don’t cover.

Since the trade, Tyrese Maxey is shooting 52% from the field and 47% from 3, and Tobias Harris, who struggled all season, is shooting 47% from the field and 38% from 3. Those two have helped stabilize in the non-Embiid minutes.

Embiid will still get his, he’s unstoppable this season. He’ll likely draw fouls even with the Bucks having the fifth-best defense in preventing free throws. But the Bucks have had success over the years in slowing down Harden.

Bucks-76ers Pick

I lean towards the Bucks here. Milwaukee’s shown an ability, when fully healthy, to reach a level few teams have this season.

Lopez’ ability to defend Embiid to whatever degree anyone can helps, the Bucks have enough scoring help to put up a big number against a good defense, and ultimately, Giannis’ overall game is more impactful.

The over has value as well given how the Bucks can put up 3’s and how many they have allowed over the last few weeks.

Pick: Bucks +1.5 | Bucks ML +100