The Pacers and 76ers will battle it out for control of the 3rd seed, while the Spurs will try and hold off the surging 1st place Bucks and avoid facing Golden State in the first around. Two key games happening this Sunday, 3/10. Read below to see the picks and odds for both games.
Game 1: Philadelphia 76ers (41-25) host Indiana Pacers (42-24)
- Philadelphia has lost two games in a row, and are just 5-5 in their last 10 games.
- Joel Embiid plans to return from his knee injury and will play. Embiid is averaging 27.3 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game for the 76ers.
- The 76ers are 25-9 at home.
- Currently lead the season series against the pacers, 2-1.
- Indiana lost their last game against the first seeded Bucks. They are also 5-5 in their last 10 games.
- Domantas Sabonis is questionable for Sunday’s game. Sabonis has been a large part of the Pacers success this year, with his production sorely missed in his absence. He is averaging 14.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists, shooting the ball at an incredibly efficient 61%.
- Star Victor Oladipo is already out for the season.
- The Pacers are 17-15 on the road.
Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -5.5
Easy pick for the 76ers here. With star Joel Embiid returning from injury, a rejuvenated 76ers team will look to snap their two-game losing streak. The 76ers have lost two games in a row five times this season, but have never lost three. Look for Sunday to be no different with a depleted Pacers squad heading for a downward spiral.
Game 2: San Antonio Spurs (37-29) host Milwaukee Bucks (50-16)
- The Spurs have won 4 games in a row, and are 5-5 in their last 10. Recent wins have come against playoff contenders Denver and OKC.
- The Spurs are 25-7 at home this season.
- San Antonio has not played since 3/6, plenty of rest for a team lined with older veterans.
- Milwaukee has won 2 games in a row, and is 8-2 overall in their last 10 games.
- The Bucks are 23-11 on the road this season.
- Milwaukee played last night against the Hornets. The Bucks are 5-2 in the second game played in back-to-back scenarios, including a 135-129 win on 11/24 against the Spurs.
Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -3
This is most likely to be the Bucks next loss, but it’s hard to pick against them. Even though the Spurs will be well-rested against a Bucks team playing the second night of a back-to-back, it’s unfathomable to see the Bucks lose right now. Giannis has been more-than impressive, but he’s surrounded with excellent contributors from his entire starting lineup. Brook Lopez is 30, and he’s the oldest starter on the team. The Bucks have young lungs and this season is certainly a year to fear the deer, Milwaukee takes an easy win.