The Indiana Pacers are currently on a six-game winning streak without their two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo.
This run of form now faces its biggest test as the team hosts the Milwaukee Bucks in the Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday.
Since their disappointing loss against the Magic last week, the Bucks have responded well and are sitting on the top of the Eastern Conference yet again.
Many believed the Pacers were doomed to fail when Oladipo’s season-ending injury was confirmed, but they have proved everyone wrong so far.
They comfortably occupy the third seed, and their current run is the best in the NBA. Both teams will be eager to prove their worth in this matchup, which is always fine by me, as this usually translates into many exciting betting options.
So, let’s see what the top online sportsbooks are offering and look for the best way to make some money out of this.
First, I’ll look at the odds and then present a detailed preview of both teams so that everything is accounted for before we find the best bet here. Be sure to stick around until the end, as I’ll be reviewing some other games as well.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers Preview
Bucks vs. Indiana Odds
I will update this space with the odds when they’re available.
What a time to be a Milwaukee fan!
Just five years ago, the franchise was rock bottom, and the arena was empty. Now the team sits on top of the NBA and has two All-Star players on their roster.
There were even rumors that Anthony Davis had the Bucks on his trade shortlist. Nothing materialized on that front, but it’s still recognition of the fact that the franchise has evolved.
It’s obvious that the key was drafting Giannis Antetokounmpo back in 2015. He has risen from a young star to a household NBA name, and who knows what heights he can achieve? He has been selected as one of the All-Star captains this year and has a very legitimate claim to be the player in the East this season.
But as with the San Antonio Spurs’ golden age, drafting a franchise player isn’t the only ingredient. The Bucks have consistently made good decisions in the past few years, and it shows when you look at their current roster.
Khris Middleton is another All-Star and overall a superb player to have alongside Giannis. He has averaged 17.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists this season. His field goal percentage is at 43.8%, and he’s 37.7% from the third-point line.
The backcourt of Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon is also producing fantastic results. Bledsoe is the more experienced piece and is proving invaluable on defense by averaging 1.5 steals per game. Brogdon has racked up some crazy numbers this year and is really turning into one of the best contributors on the roster.
He is averaging over 50% from the floor and has a 41.1% success rate from the line. He still has some work to do on his passing, but his performances this year have really highlighted his offensive prowess. At just 26 years old, Brogdon is one of the players who can surely improve even more.
The Bucks had this same backbone last year but were far from this season’s heights. However, further good planning has made them title contenders this time around. What do I mean? To put it simply, they realized they needed some more experience on the team.
This was addressed by acquiring the talents of league veterans Brook Lopez, Ersan Ilyasova, and George Hill. Lopez fit straight away and has further revamped the Bucks system.
He isn’t one of the top centers in the game and has certain issues to iron out, but he’s a solid player and has the ability to stretch the opposition with his passing and shooting.
Ilyasova and Hill were added as backups, but they have an adequate return from the bench. In the game against Chicago, Ilyasova dropped 12 points in just 18 minutes. This is a welcome boost for the Bucks, especially because shooting is something that they need to work on.
This is maybe one of the reasons why they decided to dip in the trade window and reinforce the team even more this February. That brought Nikola Mirotic to the franchise, and he could be another hit for the Bucks.
Mirotic started the season on fire with the Pels and was among the top scorers in the league in the early stages. He is currently injured, but the expectations are that he will be fully healthy sooner rather than later. Mirotic can definitely provide the team with a shooting edge, so he may prove very valuable come the playoffs.
Those are the main reasons why the Bucks have turned from cellar-dwellers to title contenders, and there’s plenty to be excited for.
The Pacers have been the definition of a solid team all season. They are equally adept at playing at home and on the road. In fact, only three teams have won more home games, and just four have managed a better record on the road.
Without too much fuss, they have made the third seed in the East their own and don’t have any intentions of slipping down the charts. What is most impressive is that they are doing it without their star player.
Victor Oladipo missed 11 games at the start of the season because of soreness in his knee. A month ago, he suffered a season-ending injury to that same knee. His absence will be a big loss for the team.
He was averaging 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.7 steals this season, and if it wasn’t for that freak incident, he would’ve played in the All-Star game. It’s a tough pill to swallow for both the player and franchise, but knowing how positive Oladipo is, he still might have a role to play this season.
His teammates have more than kept their heads above water since his injury. The Pacers are on a six-game winning streak, which is the best in the NBA right now. The key for them has been finding the right solutions from within.
They have been very careful about who they bring into the team and have focused more on improving what they already have. One of the telling examples for that has been the form of forward Bojan Bogdanovic.
The guy can definitely shoot the ball! His current stats read 49.4 from the field and 42.9 from the three-point line. Bogdanovic has been consistent all season, and his recent performances even won him the Eastern Conference player of the week award.
Myles Turner is another one of the improved players. There were glimpses of his potential last year, but he has definitely stepped up his game. He racked up 18 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocks in the recent win against the Hornets.
Their only February acquisition was Wesley Matthews. The veteran guard was released by the Knicks, and the Pacers felt he could make a difference. If his debut is anything to go by, they were definitely right. Just two days after his release, he dropped a buzzer-beater to put away the Hornets.
It’s still early to make conclusions, but Matthews seems like another smart move for Indiana. With veteran Tyreke Evans and the talented Domantas Sabonis coming off the bench, it’s no surprise the Pacers look like a complete team.
Milwaukee vs. Indiana Prediction and Pick
The Bucks will be the biggest test to the Pacers’ brilliant run of form — no doubt about it. You can even make the case that the team has been lucky with the fixtures in Oladipo’s absence, but it’s also true that they look unfazed by the absence of their star.
On paper, the Bucks are the better team, but they also have had some problems with turnovers and ineffective shooting as of late. This will definitely be what the Pacers will target, and having the home court advantage may help them.
Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors Preview
Another matchup on Wednesday takes the stage in Toronto where the rampant Raptors take on the Wizards.
Wizards vs. Raptors Betting Odds
Odds will be added here as soon as they’re available.
The new-look Raptors definitely mean business. After falling 29-21 in the first quarter against the Nets, they hit 126 points in the remainder of the game. Kawhi Leonard was again the hero with two late buckets and finished the game with 30 points and 8 assists.
Practically all the starters had a good return. Ibaka dropped 18 points and registered 12 rebounds, and Siakam and Lowry added a combined 30. Danny Green led the game in steals and had a further 9 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists to add.
New recruit Marc Gasol was given 22 minutes on the court in which he managed 16 points and 6 rebounds. Overall, it was a very solid performance from the Raptors and one that will serve as a big warning sign to their opponents.
The Wizards’ loss against the Pistons reiterated the fact that the team will mainly depend on Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza. John Wall is not coming back soon, and Jabari Parker, who they got after trading Otto Porter Jr., didn’t manage a single point in 20 minutes on the court.
Another player who landed in Washington after the trade was the only positive on the Wizards’ bench. Forward Bobby Portis dropped 24 points and 5 rebounds. He has started life in his new team well, but the jury is still out on his potential long-term contribution.
One thing is for certain: The Wizards will come short of replicating their record from last season and will probably be focusing more on next year.
Washington vs. Toronto Prediction and Pick
The Raptors are looking at a five-game homestand, and they will want to start it off the right way. They’re on a five-game winning streak, and I expect they won’t have too much trouble putting away the Wizards.
Houston Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
Both teams bounced back from recent disappointments with impressive wins on Monday. Let’s see who has a better chance of staying on the right track.
Rockets vs. Wolves Odds
I will update this space with the odds once they are available.
After falling to the Thunder on the weekend, the Rockets were able to withstand Luka Doncic and the Mavs. James Harden had a quiet game for his standards but still dropped 31 points. His 30-point streak now extends to 30 games!
What’s comforting for Houston fans is that the rest of the players had significant contributions as well. Chris Paul continued his fine form since his return with 17 points and 11 assists.
Eric Gordon added 18, but the difference-maker that night was Gerald Green, who racked up 19 points and 6 rebounds in only 22 minutes.
One player who has continuously proved his worth is Kenneth Faried. He has been filling in for the injured Clint Capela and has done a marvelous job of it. He was again at the center of things against the Mavs, racking up 17 points and 8 rebounds.
Despite adding Andrew Wiggins to the injury report, the Wolves were able to overcome the Clippers with the help of the fit-again duo Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague. Rose knocked down 22 points in 25 points. Teague was everywhere on the court, supplying 10 assists, 4 rebounds, and 19 points.
Karl-Anthony Towns was Minnesota’s leading scorer with 24, and Dario Saric, who started the game, finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds. It was a good night for the Wolves, and they should be thrilled that two of their important pieces are back and healthy.
Houston vs. Minnesota Prediction and Betting Pick
If the Rockets were still relying solely on James Harden, I would’ve backed the T-Wolves here. However, the team seems to be finding their rhythm, and a lot of the players are now contributing good numbers. There are doubts over Wiggins, which means that Luol Deng will probably start again.
Looking at the rosters, I’m thinking that a lot of stuff must go Minnesota’s way for them to clinch it. Given that the All-Star break is looming, I guess Harden would want to finish on a high note.
Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks Preview
Two teams aiming for the playoffs will battle it out in the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Heat vs. Mavericks Odds
Odds will be placed here once they’re available.
The Heat are not in their best period of the season. The team has lost seven of their last ten games and is currently on a three-game losing streak.
Although they came close against the Warriors, the Nuggets completely overpowered them. There is certainly a bit of fatigue and weariness surrounding the team, so the All-Star break is coming at the right time for them.
Their best chance of rallying against the Mavs is in the hands of Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow. Arguably their best players this season are not hitting top form at the moment and will need to step up their game.
Dwyane Wade looks like he’s still got a bit left in the tank, but despite being given big minutes on the court, his return has not been very good. He will probably also personally benefit from taking a break from the league.
After a great comeback win against the Blazers, Dallas was hit with a bit of a reality check on Monday. Although Doncic registered a double-double, it wasn’t enough, as the Rockets ran out comfortable winners with a 16-point margin.
The loss highlighted the fact that the team has a long way to go before challenging the big boys. The new guys were given big minutes but failed to make a memorable impact on the game. And they definitely felt the absence of DeAndre Jordan.
Of course, fans have the return of Kristaps Porzingis to look forward to, so they won’t be too disappointed. That being said, I find it hard to believe this team can reach the playoffs with its current roster.
Miami vs. Dallas Prediction and Pick
Given the fact that the Heat is in bad shape and Dallas has the home court advantage, I’m going to give this one to the Mavs.
While they are still figuring out their best starting five, Doncic is still in top form, and I expect that he could prove too much for the Heat to handle.
This wraps up my betting preview for Wednesday’s NBA games. If you’re reading this early, make sure to check back for updates on the latest odds, news, and results.
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NBA Predictions for Wednesday – Odds and Picks for Bucks vs. Pacers and MoreFebruary 12, 2019