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Bucks vs. Pacers Prediction: Can Milwaukee Kick its Road Woes?

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published April 26, 2024
12 min read

The Milwaukee Bucks are heading on the road to face the Indiana Pacers in Game Three of their Eastern Conference Playoffs first-round series, currently tied 1-1.

The Bucks lost Game Two by 13 points as Giannis Antetokounmpo missed another game with a calf injury suffered at the end of the regular season. Damian Lillard scored 34 points and made six threes, but only one other Bucks player cracked 15 points (Brook Lopez - 22).

On the other side, Pascal Siakam has been everything for Indy. He scored 36 and 37 points in the first two games and has series averages of 36.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. The Pacers secured the road split despite Tyrese Haliburton continuing to struggle and are now back home, where they went 25-16.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite pick Game Three of the Bucks vs. Pacers playoff series.

Bucks vs. Pacers Prediction 2024 04 26

Bucks vs. Pacers Betting Odds for Friday, April 26

The Bucks are 36-47-1 (43.4 percent) against the spread and 3-8 (27.3 percent) ATS as a road underdog, the worst mark in the league. They’re 1-1 ATS in the series but only 2-5 ATS against the Pacers across all of their matchups this season.

The Pacers are 45-37-3 (54.9 percent) ATS and 14-14-1 (50 percent) ATS as a home favorite. They’re only 20-26-1 (43.5 percent) ATS after a win, while Milwaukee is the league’s second-worst 13-19-1 (40.6 percent) ATS after a loss.

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Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Milwaukee Bucks +5.5 (-105) +190 Over 221.5 (-115)
Indiana Pacers -5.5 (-115) -250 Under 221.5 (-105)

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Bucks vs. Pacers  Prediction

Milwaukee Bucks Preview

The Bucks only won one playoff series since they took home the Larry O’Brien trophy in 2020-21. They had their fair share of struggles throughout the regular season but were still considered a top contender in the postseason until Giannis was forced out of the lineup.

In two games without the Greek Freak, the Bucks’ problems have not gotten any better. Damian Lillard averaged 34.5 points but scored a total of eight second-half points, contract to the “Dame Time” moniker he built his reputation on.

No other player averaged 20 points through the first two games despite the team averaging 39.1 percent shooting from three-point land (largely because of Lillard’s first-half explosions).

Milwaukee is eighth in offensive efficiency and 11th in defensive efficiency amongst playoff teams. They’re also 12th in rebound rate and were outscored by 15.9 points per 100 possessions in the fourth quarter.

This team won’t win its series if Lillard doesn’t get more help from his supporting cast and if he doesn’t find ways to impact the game after halftime. 

The even bigger concern ahead of Game Three, however, is how Milwaukee will perform on the road. They (along with the Orlando Magic) were one of only two Eastern Conference playoff teams to finish the year below .500 on the road, posting a record of 18-22 outside of their building. They also produced a -1.3 net rating, making them 7.5 points per 100 possessions worse when they aren’t at home.

Indiana Pacers Preview

Indy did its job getting a split on the road and heading home with the series tied. Their last victory was spearheaded by another Siakam masterclass (37 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, 69.6 percent shooting), though Myles Turner and Andrew Nembhard also cracked 20 points. 

Like the Bucks, the Pacers’ star player, Tyrese Haliburton, is injured—but unlike Giannis, he was on the court in both games in the series.

Haliburton suffered a hamstring injury earlier in the year that held him out from January 8 until January 30 (with one attempted return in the middle). He only averaged 16.8 points and 9.3 assists on 32.4 percent three-point shooting since he rejoined the action, all of which were well below the standard he set earlier in the year.

The 24-year-old guard averaged 10.5 points, 10 assists, and just 8.5 field goal attempts during the first two games of the series. Siakam likely won’t continue to play as well as he has, and the Pacers will need their star to elevate his game if that’s proven true.

Indy did a great job running opponents off of the three-point line during the regular season, allowing a league-low 29.3 three-point attempts despite playing at the fastest pace in the league. They got away from that in the postseason and allowed 34.5 attempts, 11th of 16 teams.

The Pacers also have room to improve in transition. They led the league in fastbreak points per game (18.1) but are down to eighth (13.0) in the playoffs.

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Bucks vs. Pacers Betting Pick

This is an interesting series to call. Both teams are deservedly tied, but both are not playing their best basketball and are hampered by injuries to their best players.

Lillard can’t continue to handle such a large scoring burden, but Siakam also can’t play as well as he has for weeks on end. The Pacers, however, have more that they can tap into if they just adhere to the principles that made them so successful during the regular season.

We like the Pacers to win and cover in Game Three. Milwaukee has been anything but impressive on the road, and Indy still hasn’t even done a great job exposing their flaws.

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How to Watch Bucks vs. Pacers

  • When: Friday, April 26 @ 5:30 p.m. ET

  • Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

  • TV: ESPN

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

528 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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