Pacers vs Bucks NBA Free Pick & Prediction [Game 1]

Pacers take on the undermaned Bucks in Game 1.

Indiana (47-35) at Milwaukee (49-33)
When: Sunday, April 21st 2024
Where: Fiserv Forum,
Milwaukee, WI

Time: 7:00 ET | TV: TNT
Opening Odds: Milwaukee -3/238

The Indiana Pacers will look to get the playoff monkey off their back when they open a first round series against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night. Indiana last won a playoff game in 2018 and was swept in both the 2019 and 2020 postseasons. It’s been 10 years since the Pacers last won a playoff series. Indiana earned the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference and come into this series as a small favorite because they are much healthier than the Bucks right now.

Milwaukee limped into the playoffs after losing six of their last eight games in the regular season and are 1-point underdogs in this contest. The availability of Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the reasons the third-seeded Bucks are home underdogs in Game 1 against Indiana. Lillard has been nursing hip and adductor soreness since April 9, but has played in two games since. Antetokounmpo remains out of live drills due to a left calf injury that has sidelined him for the last three games.

Indiana won four of the five meetings against Milwaukee this season, but the season series concluded on Jan. 3. Since then, the Bucks fired first-year coach Adrian Griffin and replaced him with Doc Rivers, while the Pacers acquired power forward Pascal Siakam. Indiana was also 4-1 ATS in the season series and the total went over in three of those matchups. The Pacers finished the regular season by winning six of their final eight contests.


The Pacers led the NBA in both average points (123.3) and assists (30.8) per game during the regular season and scored 157 against the Atlanta Hawks in the season finale. Tyrese Haliburton leads a balanced offensive attack with 20.1 points and 10.9 assists in 69 games. Siakam recorded 21.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in his 41 games since being acquired. Indiana has nine players that average double-figures in scoring, however, two of those players are no longer on the team. Haliburton averaged 27.0 points and 11.0 assists in five meetings versus Milwaukee this season.


Antetokounmpo will be sorely missed. He averaged 42.2 points and 13.0 rebounds in Milwaukee’s season series against Indiana including a franchise single-game-record 64 points in the Bucks’ lone victory over the Pacers on Dec. 13. Antetokounmpo led the team with 30.4 points a game, while Lillard contributed 24.3. Khris Middleton is next at 15.1 points but played in only 55 games this season. The Bucks finished fourth in the league in scoring (119.0) and was 31-10 at Fiserv Forum.

I’ll back the Pacers in this one. They are in much better form coming into this series and healthier. Of Milwaukee’s six losses down the stretch, three of them were against teams that didn’t make the postseason. I don’t know where Milwaukee is going to find its scoring without Giannis. Indiana’s offense is just too good right now.

Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.

Pick: Pacers -1