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Eight Points is Too Many to Give the 76ers

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are favorites over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Neither team has reached the desperation stage, but the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers are both in need of a victory as they meet Thursday night at Fiserv Forum. The 76ers (39-19 SU, 30-24-4 ATS) have dropped two in a row to see their lead over Brooklyn shrink atop the Eastern Conference, while the third-place Bucks (35-22 SU, 25-32 ATS) have also lost two straight.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Milwaukee Bucks
  • Date/Time: April 22, 7 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Fiserv Forum
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Bucks -6 | O/U 226.5 (Line History)
  • 76ers vs Bucks Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Bucks opened the betting cycle as 6-point favorites, and that line has moved sharply to -8 at the majority of sportsbooks. The total has seen more modest movement, from 226.5 down to 225.5.

Philadelphia News & Notes

A four-game homestand that began with such promise ended with frustration and heartbreak after the 76ers lost close decisions to the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. And with no more games remaining against the second-place Nets, this two-game series at Fiserv Forum will be the closest thing to the kind of test the 76ers will face if they make a deep postseason run.

One major factor to consider: Three of the 76ers’ five starters are listed as questionable for Thursday’s marquee encounter, but all are expected to play. Point guard Ben Simmons (illness), forward Tobias Harris (knee) and guard Seth Curry (hip) will join Danny Green and Joel Embiid in a Philadelphia starting unit tasked with slowing down the Bucks’ No. 1-ranked scoring offense.

Milwaukee News & Notes

The Bucks know a thing or two about disappointing homestands, having kicked theirs off with losses to Memphis and Phoenix. And while the offense came through, the defense was a major concern as Milwaukee allowed both the Grizzlies and Suns to score 128 points, leaving Milwaukee with the No. 19 scoring defense in the NBA (112.6 ppg) entering Thursday.

Look for the Bucks to lean heavily on superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was a force in Milwaukee’s 109-105 OT win the last time these teams met on March 17.

Antetokounmpo erupted for 32 points and 15 rebounds while playing a season-high 43 minutes; he has hit a groove as well, averaging more than 30 points in April after posting a 25.9 ppg average in March.

Betting Pick: 76ers +8 (-110)

Philadelphia might be playing the tail end of a back-to-back, but it’s 3-1-1 ATS in its last five games on zero days’ rest and is in good position to cover against a Bucks team that is 0-6 ATS in its past six home games.

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Shark Bites
  • The Bucks are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games vs the Sixers.
  • Milwaukee is 6-12 ATS in its last 18 games.
  • The UNDER is 7-2 in Philadelphia’s past 9 games.