Philadelphia 76ers vs. Milwaukee Bucks Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds (03/04/23)

The red-hot Milwaukee Bucks are the betting favorite when the Philadelphia 76ers come to town on Saturday night for a marquee showdown of Eastern Conference contenders.

The betting odds have the Bucks at -5 in this matchup with moneyline odds at -190, while the over/under is set at 231.5 Both teams are dealing with some lingering injuries to star players, which could affect the starting lineups and needs to be factored into the betting prediction and best bet picks.

Read on for in-depth analysis of tonight’s Sixers vs. Bucks matchup.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Milwaukee Bucks Betting Odds

The Bucks opened as 5.5-point favorites and that line has come down to -4.5 or -5 at most sportsbooks. That line seems about right based on these teams’ performance and standing this season, even with the Bucks riding a 16-game winning streak and the Sixers having lost three of their last four games.

Milwaukee’s moneyline odds opened as low as -240 at FanDuel, and they are now at -190. Philadelphia opened at +198 at FanDuel and is now at +165 on the moneyline.

Public money is split pretty evenly against the spread but the Bucks are getting over 80% of the handle on roughly 75% of the moneyline bets, per VSiN.

The over/under opened at 228.5 and has been juiced up to 231.5. The public money is leaning towards the Under with 65% of the handle on 41% of the bets.

The implied outcome of these odds is the Bucks winning 118.25-113.25.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Milwaukee Bucks Prediction

My pick: Bucks moneyline, under 231.5

It’s very hard to pick against the Bucks right now, especially considering the Sixers have been shaky over their last few games. Milwaukee has been anything but shaky, currently riding a 16-game winning streak that goes back to January 23. The Bucks now hold the number one spot in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee is 11-5 against the spread during its current streak and has been one of the best teams ATS all season with a 35-24-3 mark (5th in the league). The Sixers have been even better against the spread this season (36-26, 3rd), but they are just 14-14 on the road, while the Bucks are 20-11-1 at home.

Despite some tough losses over the last week, the Sixers are not playing terribly. They were a few tenths of a second away from going to overtime against Boston, and they staged two furious second-half comebacks against Miami and Dallas before running out of gas and falling short (and failing to cover) at the end of the game.

These teams split their first two matchups of the season, with the Sixers winning the last one on November 18 by eight points thanks in large part to a hot shooting night (46.4% from three). The Bucks were missing Khris Middleton for both of those games, and Jrue Holiday played only 23 minutes in the second one.

Middleton has been back for 13 of the Bucks’ last 16 games and has been coming off the bench as he continues to recover from a knee injury. He has been completely removed from the injury report ahead of this game, so it will be interesting to see if the Bucks re-insert him in the starting lineup.

If Middleton starts, it will be worth monitoring whether Sixers coach Doc Rivers keeps Tyrese Maxey in the starting lineup or opts for the more defensive-minded De’Anthony Melton to match up with Middleton. Maxey has started the last two games and seems to be regaining his offensive form, but he struggles defensively and was torched by Kyrie Irving in the last game.

These teams are fairly evenly matched, and I would not be surprised if the Sixers covered a fairly large point spread, but I cannot look at these teams’ recent performance and bet on that. So I am taking the safer player and betting the Bucks’ moneyline despite the relatively short -190 odds.

I feel much better about betting the under. These teams combined for 178 and 212 points in their first two matchups this season, and they are averaging a combined 229.5 points while allowing an average of 221.5. The under is 4-1 in the Sixers’ last five games and 8-4 in the Bucks’ last 12 games.

Betting Trends

  • The Bucks are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
  • The 76ers are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games against teams with a winning percentage over .600, while the Bucks are 0-5 ATS in their last five games in that scenario.
  • The Bucks are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against the Sixers.

Key Matchups

These are two of the best defensive teams in the league based on adjusted defensive rating, per basketball-reference. Points could be at a premium, so the Bucks’ dominant rebounding and the Sixers’ struggling three-point defense will be big factors in this game.

Bucks’ Dominant Rebounding

The Bucks are the best rebounding team in the league. They lead the league in total rebounds per game and snag offensive rebounds on 25.6% of their opportunities, good for eighth in the league according to basketball analytics website

The Sixers are 28th in the league in total rebounding and 26th in total rebounds per 100 possessions. They are much stronger at defensive rebounding than on the offensive side, where they snag only 21.1% of potential offensive boards. The Bucks allow offensive rebounds on just 21.9% of opponent opportunities, 3rd best in the league per

This puts pressure on the Sixers to be efficient offensively and make a high percentage of their shots, because second-chance points will be very hard to come by. That will be a tall task against a Bucks team with the second-best adjusted defensive rating in the league.

Sixers’ three-point defense

The 76ers got smoked by Dallas from beyond the three-point line on Thursday night. The Mavericks made 25 threes on an absurd 52.1 percent shooting. Those numbers are clearly an outlier – the Mavs just simply caught fire in that game.

Still, this was the second game in the last week where the Sixers’ defensive rotations allowed their opponent multiple wide-open looks from three. Boston’s Al Horford punished them with five threes last Saturday, while the Mavericks’ Reggie Bullock had five of his own on Thursday.

The Bucks take and make the fourth-most three-pointers per game, and they just netted a season-high 26 on Wednesday night against the Magic. While the Sixers rank among the league’s best in opponent three pointers made and three-point percentage this season, it has clearly been a problem of late.

If the Bucks stay hot from three and do anything close to what the Celtics and Mavericks did to the Sixers’ defense, they should win this one easily.

Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineups

PG: James Harden
SG: Tyrese Maxey
SF: Tobias Harris
PF: P.J. Tucker
C: Joel Embiid

Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineups

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Pat Connaughton
SF: Grayson Allen
PF: Giannis Antetekounmpo
C: Brook Lopez

Key Injuries

Philadelphia 76ers Injuries: C Dewayne Dedmon (O – hip)

Milwaukee Bucks Injuries: SG Wesley Matthews (O – calf)

Noah hails from Philadelphia and is a diehard Philly sports fan. He graduated from Penn where he was a sports writer and editor for the student newspaper and also spent a summer covering the Baltimore Orioles for He has been playing fantasy sports since before live stats were a thing, and he has enjoyed learning the nuances of DFS in recent years. As a current resident of Florida, he is hoping the wave of sports betting legalization will eventually reach his home state.

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