The injury to Joel Embiid will put a bit of a cloud over what could have been a great East matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers on St. Patrick’s Day. Embiid will be out again, needing another few weeks to recover from a knee injury. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have been on a tear, winning 9 of their last 10 games. The Sixers also have a six-game winning streak of their own. We’ll see if the absence of Embiid gives the edge to the Bucks.
Bucks vs. Sixers, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
Pick ATS: Sixers +6
As we pointed out above, the Sixers have won two games without Embiid in the lineup, both against above-average opponents (Spurs, Knicks). The Bucks are playing better basketball but have still let inferior teams stick in games. The Sixers are far from inferior and should still remain competitive at home against the Bucks. Philly is 18-3 at home this season and the Bucks are 10-9 on the road. The books are giving the Sixers a few more points with Embiid out but the team is still very capable.
Player Prop: Giannis Antetokounmpo O6.5 Assists (-110)
The Bucks are running their offense through Giannis and he’s turning into more of a complete passer. You’d expect the Sixers to hone in on the Greek Freak tonight and force him to give the ball up. Philly has Ben Simmons and Dwight Howard to throw at Giannis, so I’m expecting a lot of passes out of doubles. Antetokounmpo has three straight triple-doubles and has reached the over on this assist total in four of the past five games. Assuming this game is more competitive than the line, Giannis should play around 34-36 minutes. The Bucks average 102.5 possessions per game and Giannis is averaging 8.6 assists per 100 possessions.
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