- MVP candidates Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo clash as the 76ers visit the Bucks
- Giannis dropped 50 on just 21 field goal attempts against the Pacers last game
- Find the odds, betting analysis, and prediction below
A championship under their belt, we know the Milwaukee Bucks will be in the mix in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ big move in landing James Harden gives them the chance to be there as well.
Alas, the Beard’s still not ready to return, so Thursday’s 76ers vs Bucks matchup will simply be a showcase of two of the leagues top candidates in the 2022 NBA MVP odds going head-to-head.
The hometown Bucks are favored by 6.5 points when they tip things off at Fiserv Forum at 8:30pm ET.
The game can be seen live on TNT.
76ers vs Bucks Odds
|Philadelphia 76ers||+6.5 (-110)||+220||Over 223.5 (-110)|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-6.5 (-110)||-278||Under 223.5 (-110)|
Odds as of Feb 16 at BetMGM
Over the last few weeks, there’s been no one in the same stratosphere as Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo — though that hasn’t translated into a dearth of W’s for either side.
Philadelphia 76ers Betting Analysis
The 76ers got rocked Tuesday night at home by the Celtics, on the wrong on of a 135-87 evisceration. The loss tied Philly’s 2nd-worst offensive output of the season, when they put up 87 against these same C’s in a 1-point loss.
The 76ers fans booing their team as they are down 101-56 against the Celtics on the first night James Harden is on the bench is priceless
— The Drummer Drummond (@RealCodyMallory) February 16, 2022
With Harden’s debut on hold, and key contributors like Seth Curry and Andre Drummond in BK, Philly was only able to muster 28.7% shooting from the field, including a dismal 8-for-32 performance from 3-point range, a 25% clip.
Meanwhile, the 135 points the Sixers surrendered is the most allowed in a game this season, as was the 48-point margin of defeat. The 76ers allowed Boston to shoot 56.1% from the field, and drill 25-for-45 from deep, a surreal 55.6% average.
Philadelphia 76ers: 42
Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum: 42 pic.twitter.com/ZosA8CY0dB
— Ty☘️ (@SuitAnd_Tyler) February 16, 2022
Embiid was almost a non-factor in this one, finishing with 19 points, nine boards and six assists in 26 minutes of work. He was just 3-for-9 from the floor as this game was over early.
How unusual was Embiid’s statline? He hasn’t scored this low since dropping 17 in a loss to the Heat on Dec 15. The 26 games in between, he’s been a man on fire, averaging 33.5 points and 11.2 rebounds. In fact, Embiid failed to top 30+ points scoring just five times during this stretch.
big fella coming through. pic.twitter.com/bK93uhu7vY
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 16, 2022
The 76ers, however, have gone just 3-4 in their last seven games, and sit in fifth in the East, 2.5 games back of the Bulls and Heat for top spot.
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Milwaukee Bucks Betting Analysis
While Embiid is coming off a dud, Giannis was busy setting his season high, dropping a 50-bomb on the Indiana Pacers, on a stupefying 21 field goal attempts.
He finished 17-for-21 from the field and 14-for-18 from the stripe, while also adding 14 rebounds and four assists, helping the Bucks win 128-119.
3 Level Scorer Giannis is scary 😟
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) February 16, 2022
The reigning NBA Finals MVP is averaging 32.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 5.8 assists over his last nine.
Khris Middleton added 19 points and eight assists, while Jrue Holiday chipped in with 14 and eight dimes of his own.
Giannis Antetokounmpo now leads the NBA in scoring with 29.4 PPG despite being 54th in minutes per game (32.6).
— Scott Grodsky (@ScottGrodsky) February 16, 2022
That snapped a little two-game slide, with Giannis missing the the last game, a loss to Portland, with a wonky ankle.
Even though the Bucks are 36-23 and alone in third in the East, just a 1.5 games back of Miami and Chicago for the top seed, they’ve had their share of setbacks.
Milwaukee now has eight two-game losing streaks on the year, though the longest losing streak they’ve endured this season is three, and that was in a stretch from Oct 27-31.
Pat Connaughton officially undergoes surgery, we wish him a speedy recovery.
Pat will be back for the Championship run. pic.twitter.com/QsEWazk2XZ
— IKE Bucks Podcast (@IKE_Bucks) February 13, 2022
Milwaukee’s got its own backcourt issues. Pat Connaughton suffered a broken finger in a loss to Phoenix a week ago, and he won’t be back until at least mid-March.
George Hill (neck) is out until after the all-star break, while Wes Matthews (knee) and Grayson Allen (hip) are game time decisions. They also just dealt Donte DiVincenzo just a few days ago at the trade deadline.
76ers vs Bucks Prediction
This is the second of three meetings between these teams this season, with Milwaukee beating Philly 118-109 back on Nov 9. Giannis had 31 and 16 boards, while Embiid was out.
That was the sixth straight win for Milwaukee in this head-to-head. The Bucks are also 20-10 at home on the year, though they are just 11-19 against the spread.
At 18-10, Philly is tied with Chicago for most road wins in the conference. They’re an impressive 17-11 ATS on the road.
Still, even with an expected Embiid bounce back in an MVP duel vs Giannis, the Sixers’ lack of firepower will show. Take the champs to cover in a nice matchup just before the all-star break.
The pick: Bucks -6.5 (-110)
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