Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Predictions, Starting Lineups (12/7/23)

The Indiana Pacers (11-8) battle the Milwaukee Bucks (15-6) this Thursday (12/7/23) in the In-Season Tournament Semi-Finals. Get Pacers vs. Bucks moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks Prediction

A same game parlay (-114 FD) featuring Bucks moneyline and Giannis Antetokounmpo 30+ points is the best bet.

When opponents step on the court against Indiana, they are essentially continuing their pregame layup line for the entire night. The Pacers easily allow the most restricted area field goal attempts and field goal attempts within eight feet of the basket (per NBA.com). They offer no resistance against slashers or downhill threats in the slightest.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (30.2 PPG) leads the NBA in field goal attempts within eight feet of the basket. He’s probably the most unstoppable downhill force across the league, and he will get to the rim with ease here. Antetokounmpo dropped 54 points on 19/26 shooting in his previous matchup against Indiana this season, and he will once again terrorize the Pacers.

Meanwhile, they must also contend with Damian Lillard, who is averaging 27.7 points on 47/41/91 shooting splits over his past eleven games. Indiana’s porous perimeter defense and inability to defend off-the-dribble threes opens up the door for Lillard to dominate. The Lillard-Antetokounmpo pick-and-roll will be utterly unstoppable, especially with shooters surrounding them. Overall, Milwaukee’s offense should decimate Indiana’s defense, which ranks 28th in Defensive Rating.

The Pacers’ dominant offense will also have their way against Milwaukee’s ineffective defense, but the Bucks sit in a better position to somewhat limit them. Antetokounmpo and Lopez remain an elite rim protection duo that can deter drivers and cutters. Rookie Andre Jackson Jr has displayed impressive defensive chops, so he may see the floor more than usual tonight too. It will be an extremely close game, but Milwaukee’s higher defensive ceiling and superior top options have them favored to win.

Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks Prediction: SGP – Bucks Moneyline & Giannis Antetokounmpo 30+ Points (-114 FD)

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Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks Best Odds

The Bucks just decimated the Knicks to the tune of 146 points, and they are favored by five points over Indiana here. The Pacers must win this game about 36.3 percent of the time for their +176 moneyline to be profitable in the long run. If this is not the case, then the bet holds a negative expected value.

Indiana Pacers Starting Lineup

PG: Tyrese Haliburton
SG: Buddy Hield
SF: Bruce Brown Jr
PF: Obi Toppin
C: Myles Turner

Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup

PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Malik Beasley
SF: Khris Middleton
PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
C: Brook Lopez

Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks Injuries

Backup forward Jalen Smith (10 PPG) is out for Indiana, while reserves Jae Crowder and Pat Connaughton remain sidelined for Milwaukee.

Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks Key Matchups

Clutch Shooting

Because I expect this Tournament matchup to go down to the wire, the outcome will likely be decided by a handful of possessions at the end. Both teams excel in these situations; the Bucks (1st) and Pacers (4th) both rank top four in clutch Net Rating. However, only one team has Damian Lillard, who is leading the NBA in clutch scoring at 6.1 points per clutch game on red-hot 50/41/96 shooting splits. If Indiana is going to steal this game, then it’s essential that Tyrese Haliburton and company outduel Lillard down the stretch.

For Pacers vs. Bucks player props best bets, click here.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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