@VicOladipo back at practice, the #Pacers will have to figure out the best way to reintegrate him into a suddenly red-hot rotation.”
Let’s see what the winning bet is from this tense Central Division battle:
Milwaukee Bucks (-2.5, -108) @ Indiana Pacers (+2.5, -112) Total: 218.5 (-110)
I do think the potential return of Oladipi could give the Pacers a big boost and you certainly can’t scoff at the value associated with the Pacers (+115) as home underdogs. So far Indiana is 2-0 against the spread with that distinction and they’ve also been respectable (13-13) ATS on the year as a whole.
That’s especially impressive given how much time Dipo has missed, while you shouldn’t dismiss Indiana’s strong 9-4 record at home this season.
But the Bucks are the better team. Milwaukee needs to win to hold onto a slight 1.5 game edge in the Central Division and they have plenty of logic backing them. The Pacers don’t really have anyone that can effectively check The Greek Freak and the Bucks have been very good at both ends of the floor.
Milwaukee is also straight down the middle (5-5) on the road this year and they’re not traveling all that far for this one. At full strength, the Bucks own the matchup edge and while this game should be close, they’re a very good bet and an even better value.
This was a series Indiana owned last year (3-1), but the Bucks set the tone with a decisive 118-101 win earlier this year. Losing in this spot would give the Pacers confidence and also lessen the gap at the top of the division.
Milwaukee can’t want any part in that and when you can bank on the Bucks being dialed in, they’re usually going to be good for a win. Complacency is almost always what kills this team, but we’ve seen them go on the road and house the Golden State Warriors of all teams.
The Bucks are a fine play to cover a -2.5 point spread, but with a cool -135 moneyline price, I’m fine with just grabbing them for the win. The value is even better if Oladipo ends up being limited or continues to sit out with his knee issue.