PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (17-24)
at MILWAUKEE BUCKS (21-18)
Tip-off: Tuesday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Milwaukee -6.5, Total: 196
After a successful road trip completed on Saturday, the well-rested Bucks return home to host the struggling 76ers finishing off a tough back-to-back on Tuesday night.
Philly is 2-7 SU (3-6 ATS) in its past nine games, and is coming off a narrow 90-85 home loss to the Spurs on Monday. Milwaukee just went 3-1 (SU and ATS) on a long road trip that started in Toronto and ended in Portland. The Bucks are now 5-2 (SU and ATS) since replacing head coach Scott Skiles with Jim Boylan. The Sixers have struggled on the road this year at 6-14 SU (8-12 ATS) including three straight road defeats by an average of 21.7 PPG, but Milwaukee is just 10-9 SU (7-11 ATS) at home. The Bucks won the first meeting this season, 105-96 in Philadelphia on Nov. 12, thanks to a 51.2% FG clip (16-of-18 FT) and a 48-31 rebounding advantage. That makes this series an even 5-5 SU since March of 2010.
Can the Bucks cover the hefty spread in this game? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Scott is 3-0-1 ATS in his past three days to boost his season Best Bets mark to 53.2% ATS (58-51-1). StatFox Brian is at 52% ATS (64-60-3) while StatFox Gary is winning 51% ATS (50-49-4) for the season. The four experts are collectively 50% ATS (250-250-13) on Best Bets for the season. For NBA Totals, Scott is 8-2 in the past seven days, boosting his impressive season NBA Totals record to 61-42 (59%). Brian has gone 7-3 in NBA Totals since Jan. 13.
The Sixers are 3-1 ATS in their past four games thanks to an offense that really gelled during this homestand with 99.8 PPG on 48% FG and 35% 3-pt FG. They are also taking care of the basketball with more than twice as many assists (27.3 per game) than turnovers (13.3 per game) in these four contests. Although Philadelphia's offense is clicking recently, this team scores just 93.0 PPG for the season (4th-fewest in NBA) with a paltry 72.1% FT clip (6th-worst in league). PG Jrue Holiday (19.2 PPG, 8.9 APG, 4.1 RPG) continues to carry this team, especially in the past four games where he has 26.8 PPG on 50% FG and 6-of-13 threes, to go with 10.5 APG. In Friday's overtime win against the Raptors, he scored a career-high 33 points (12 in OT) and dished out 14 assists, but the Spurs limited him to 15 points, eight assists and six turnovers. In the Nov. 12 loss to the Bucks, Holiday had 25 points and six assists, but committed a season-high eight turnovers. SF Thaddeus Young (15.0 PPG, 7.3 RPG) has been outstanding in his past five games, scoring at least a dozen points in every game and averaging 17.4 PPG and 9.0 RPG. SF Evan Turner (13.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 4.4 APG) continues to fill up the stat sheet in all categories, posting 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists on Monday, but he has shot very poorly in the past eight games with 10.9 PPG on 39.6% FG (5-of-17 threes). Turner was held to eight points (3-of-8 FG) in the Nov. 12 loss to the Bucks. C Spencer Hawes (9.6 RPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.3 BPG) has been heating up with 12.1 PPG on 57% FG in his past seven games, but he was limited to a paltry six points on 3-of-11 shooting in the loss to Milwaukee in November.
The Bucks are an average team on both ends of the court with 96.7 PPG (15th in NBA) and 97.6 PPG allowed (17th in NBA), but they have scored 100.3 PPG in seven games under Boylan. This includes dropping 110 points in Portland their last time out on Saturday, thanks to 30 points from PG Brandon Jennings (18.6 PPG, 5.8 APG) and a season-high 27 points from SF Ersan Ilyasova (9.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG). This was a big confidence booster for Jennings who had just 15.5 PPG on 37% FG in his previous four games. It's also bad news for the Sixers considering Jennings lit them up for 33 points and eight assists in the November win. Ilyasova scored just two points in 18 minutes in that victory, but he pulled down a season-high-tying 14 boards on Saturday and has scored 11.3 PPG with 7.0 RPG in the past seven games since being inserted into the starting five by Boylan. SG Monta Ellis (18.8 PPG, 5.4 APG) had 18 points, seven assists (and six turnovers) in that victory, but he continues to slump with just 15.9 PPG on 39.8% FG and 4-of-26 threes (15%) over his past seven games.