Bucks vs. Pacers: Betting Picks and Prediction for Game 3

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin
Bucks vs. Pacers: Betting Picks and Prediction for Game 3

The Milwaukee Bucks-Indiana Pacers series is one of just three tied 1-1 entering Game 3 of the First Round. After the Bucks secured a 109-94 victory in Game 1, the Pacers returned the favor with a 125-108 win before heading back home for the next two contests.

In the second game, Indiana covered as 1.5-point road underdogs to even things up. Earning the win on Tuesday has helped the Pacers improve to -144 odds to win the series while having the fifth-shortest odds to win the Eastern Conference (+2000).

Will Milwaukee be able to steal a win in Indiana sans Giannis Antetokounmpo? Or will the Pacers take care of business at home?

Ahead of Friday's clash, let's take a look at the odds and discuss the Bucks-Pacers matchup entering Game 3.

All NBA odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook and may change after this article is published.

NBA Playoffs Betting

Bucks-Pacers Betting Odds

Date and Time: Friday, April 26th at 5:30 p.m. ET

Spread: Pacers -6 (-108)

Total: 221.5


  • Bucks: +198
  • Pacers: -240

Bucks vs. Pacers Advanced Stats Breakdown

nERD via numberFire. Adjusted offensive/defensive ratings and pace via DunksAndThrees.

  • Milwaukee Bucks:
    • nERD: 60.5 (8th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 114.9 (13th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 111.4 (4th)
    • Pace: 101.0 (9th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 35-47
  • Indiana Pacers:
    • nERD: 56.3 (14th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 114.7 (15th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 117.8 (26th)
    • Pace: 101.3 (5th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 44-35-3

Bucks vs. Pacers Best Bet

Over 221.5 (-110)

It shouldn't shock anyone that the Bucks are a much different team when Antetokounmpo isn't on the floor. Replacing the player with the third-most offensive win shares (9.5) and 15th-most defensive win shares (3.7) is easier said than done.

Besides Antetokounmpo dealing with an injury, Khris Middleton is also questionable to play for the Bucks on Friday. Middleton exited Tuesday's contest due to an ankle injury, and he wasn't able to practice on Thursday, putting his status for Friday's pivotal matchup in question.

All that being said, I'm expecting a fast-paced showdown between the Bucks and Pacers in Game 3. Damian Lillard is accustomed to having to put a team on his shoulders, and he's produced 34-plus points and six-plus threes in back-to-back games to begin the series.

Meanwhile, we have yet to see Tyrese Haliburton have a noteworthy performance for Indiana in the first two games. Haliburton has combined for 21 points and 20 assists in the two games while attempting only 17 total shots from the field.

Ahead of the first home game for the Pacers in this series, Haliburton is primed to have an explosive outing. In the five regular-season meetings versus the Bucks, Haliburton tallied 26-plus points in four of them, and he attempted 16-plus shots in all five.

Both teams play at a frenetic pace, so the Bucks are going to need guys like Bobby Portis, Malik Beasley, and Brook Lopez to perform better amid injuries to their key players. We've seen Portis step up in Antetokounmpo's absence in recent years, and his role could expand even more if Middleton is forced to sit.

Despite the potential inactive list for the Bucks, the Pacers don't have an elite defense by any stretch of the imagination. Indiana has the fifth-worst adjusted defensive rating in the league, and the over is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between these squads.

numberFire is predicting a score of 122.10 to 119.29 in favor of the Pacers while giving the over an 82.5% chance of hitting -- which is much higher than the 52.4% chance that -110 odds suggest.

Bucks vs. Pacers Prop Bet

Damian Lillard Over 30.5 Points (-111)

If we're going to see the over hit in Game 3, we'll need Lillard to continue playing at an elite level on Friday. There's a chance both Antetokounmpo and Middleton are sidelined and/or limited for the Bucks, which puts even more responsibility on Lillard's shoulders.

In the first two games of the series, Lillard has taken 21-plus field-goal attempts and has converted six-plus shots from beyond the arc in each contest. Additionally, Lillard has been getting to the free-throw line consistently, making 15 of his 16 free-throw tries against the Pacers.

During the regular season, Lillard tallied 31-plus points in only 17 of his 73 appearances. However, most of those games were with Antetokounmpo being the primary ball handler for the Bucks.

As for these playoffs, Lillard posted a 37.1% usage rate in Game 1 before notching a 31.2% usage rate in Game 2. A mixture of Milwaukee's shorthanded rotation, Lillard's efficient scoring in the postseason thus far, and Indiana's below-average defense leads me to believe that we see another high-scoring output from the All-Star point guard on Friday.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.