Two potential NBA Championship contenders will battle in a high-octane Eastern Conference matchup. The Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers will each try to mark their territory early on in the 2022-23 NBA season! Below, I detail my prediction and picks, the current odds, starting lineups, and any injuries that could impact the game, so check it out.
Milwaukee Bucks Vs. Philadelphia 76ers Betting Odds
The Philadelphia 76ers are four-point favorites at home against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Last season, Milwaukee went 2-1 against Philly, with both of its wins coming on the road.
The point total rests at 225 points, despite both teams boasting high-powered offenses and plenty of three-point shooting. The over on this point total would have hit in all three games last season.
Milwaukee Bucks Vs. Philadelphia 76ers Prediction
Something that always concerns me when it comes to Milwaukee Bucks’ regular season games is consistency. The Bucks are one of the most interesting teams to me because they can turn it on and off pretty easily; however, there shouldn’t really be an “off” button for an NBA team.
A prime example of this is the difference between their defensive rating in the 2021-22 regular season versus the playoffs. Milwaukee was 14th in the NBA in defensive rating (111.1) through its first 82 games and 102.7 in the playoffs. This is a drastic difference, and despite it being wildly impressive, it doesn’t help regular-season bettors.
In Philly’s first game, it shot roughly 50% from the field, 38% from deep, and 86% from the line. There are plenty of games where that kind of team shooting can get it done, but the Sixers did not defend the opposing stars, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, very well, as they both scored 35 points. If this is any indication of how Philly will defend Giannis Antetokounmpo, I like Milwaukee’s chance. Giannis averaged roughly 34 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists in three games against the Sixers last season, and that should continue in this game.
The major advantage that the Bucks have over Philly is rebounding; Milwaukee finished third in total rebounds per game last season, while the Sixers finished dead last. Brook Lopez should do a solid job of holding Embiid off the glass, and Milwaukee will get an abundance of second-chance points.
- Milwaukee was 27-20 last season ATS on the road
- Philadelphia was 21-26 last season ATS at home
There are many key matchups for this bout between the Bucks and Sixers, including Giannis Antetokounmpo and his historic performance against Philly and the battle of the frontcourts. Take a look at further information below on these below!
Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. The Sixers
As I alluded to above, Giannis loves playing against the Philadelphia 76ers. In three games last season, Giannis posted 34.3 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game against Philly. Due to the sheer size of Milwaukee’s frontcourt, Giannis will likely be guarded by Tobias Harris, who is not a renowned defender. If Philly can hold Giannis to a relatively modest output and defend the three-point line well when he kicks it out to shooters, it has a chance, but there’s no value for it at the moment as four-point favorites.
Milwaukee Frontcourt vs. Philadelphia Frontcourt
This has already been touched on, but it deserves to be reiterated: Milwaukee is a far superior rebounding team and second-chance points matter, especially for teams that have so many three-point shooters.
The Bucks ranked third in total rebounds per game while Philly ranked dead-last, despite having one of the best centers in the NBA. Adding a hard-nosed forward like P.J. Tucker and an aggressive board crashing guard in James Harden should help a bit this season, but they won’t close the gap completely between the Sixers and a team like Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineups
Milwaukee Bucks Injuries: Khris Middleton (Out), Pat Connaughton (Out), Joe Ingles (Out)
Philadelphia 76ers Injuries: None