Life is about to get tough for the Philadelphia 76ers, who will be without center Joel Embiid for the foreseeable future.
NBA betting markets have made the adjustments and installed the visiting Milwaukee Bucks as 5½-point favorites.
It’s a sizable margin, but the Bucks are desperate for success and they won’t get a better chance to beat their Eastern Conference rivals.
Bucks Searching for Answers
Call it an NBA championship hangover if you want, but the Milwaukee Bucks haven’t hit the ground running.
With only four wins from 10 games, they are searching for answers, especially after losing to New York and Washington in consecutive games.
Scoring points has been the biggest problem for the Bucks, who average only 106.7 points per game. They scored 117 points when beating Detroit, but they haven’t scored more than 98 points in four of their last five.
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) November 9, 2021
The 101-94 loss to Washington wasn’t a good effort, but Giannis Antetokounmpo played a season-high 39 minutes, which was good to see.
“Giannis was in that mindset that he wanted to play a lot,” coach Mike Budenholzer told ESPN. “It’s on me to keep him in a good place. I love his spirit tonight.”
Antetokounmpo is averaging 27.3 points, so he’s playing well. It’s obvious that he’s misses having center Brook Lopez on the floor due to spacing issues, but it shouldn’t take the Bucks much longer to figure it out.
The sportsbook has the Bucks at -5½, which is a fair price given the injury woes for the 76ers.
Tough Without Embiid
The Philadelphia 76ers put up a good fight with Joel Embiid against the New York Knicks on Monday.
The 103-96 loss was on a knife edge for most of the fourth quarter, but without Embiid, the Sixers struggled to work the ball inside.
That will be a problem again against the Bucks on Tuesday, especially with Antetokoumnpo’s presence in the paint. If the 76ers can’t figure out how to defend the Greek Freak, it could be a long night.
ESPN Sources: After initial reluctance, Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons has met with a team-recommended specialist to discuss mental health concerns. Among other issues, the organization had recently reinstituted fines for Simmons’ failure to agree to those meetings.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 8, 2021
Philadelphia is typically a good side at home. It is 7-3 against the spread and 4-2 at home, but we can’t explain the importance of not having Embiid on the floor.
The likes of Seth Curry and Tyrese Maxey will need to knock down shots, which hasn’t been hard for Curry. He has one of the best shooting percentages in the NBA, but the strategy will be predictable against the Bucks.
Philadelphia is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings at home, but the Bucks have owned them in recent times. The Bucks are 4-1 in the last five meetings, so the betting online number looks spot on.
Without Embiid and Ben Simmons, the 76ers have notoriously struggled to beat teams, let alone the quality of the defending champions.
Bucks vs 76ers Pick
Covering a -5½ line on the road isn’t easy, especially for a quality home team like Philadelphia, but we can’t get away from Milwaukee.
It’s an opportune time for the Bucks to break out and put up a big number on a rival. It has been a slow start, but now is the time when they can take advantage of a weakened 76ers outfit.
Not having Embiid, Simmons and also Matisse Thybulle should be too much, and the Bucks could put up around 118 points.
If the Bucks were playing at home, it would be a double-figure line, so take the value available. Our NBA betting expert picks are confident with the visitors.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -5½