NBA odds: Sixers, Bucks in back-to-back

By: Brad Young | Friday, April 1, 2011
The National Basketball Association’s regular season is quickly coming to a close, as there are just two weeks remaining until the playoffs begin.

There is an interesting matchup on Saturday’s schedule pitting the Philadelphia 76ers against the Milwaukee Bucks. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. (PT) from Milwaukee’s Bradley Center.

Both teams enter this contest playing on back-to-back nights after the Sixers hosted New Jersey Friday, and the Bucks traveled to Indiana.

Philadelphia, on the cusp of clinching a playoff spot, currently resides in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee presently finds itself in 10th place, three games behind the eighth place Pacers.

The Sixers had recorded back-to-back victories both SU and ATS heading into Friday’s contest. Philadelphia dumped Houston Wednesday as a three-point home ‘chalk,’ 108-97, while the combined 205 points failed to eclipse the 209 ½-point closing total. The ‘under’ has cashed in the Sixers’ previous two outings.

Philadelphia took control of the contest by outscoring the Rockets in the fourth quarter, 24-15. The Sixers finished the contest with advantages in rebounding (41-38) and assists (30-25), while shooting a solid 54 percent (46-of-85) from the field and 39 percent (5-of-13) from behind the arc.

Point guard Jrue Holiday paced the offense with 24 points and 12 assists, while forward Thaddeus Young had 22 and nine rebounds. Center Spencer Hawes accounted for 12 and seven, while small forward Andre Iguodala provided nine points and 10 assists.

Milwaukee was mired in a two-game SU losing streak before upending Toronto on Wednesday as a 4 ½-point road favorite, 104-98. The combined 202 points toppled the 190 ½-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ improve to 3-1 the previous four outings.

The game was tied entering the fourth quarter until the Bucks outscored the Raptors, 28-22. Milwaukee enjoyed advantages in rebounding (36-34) and assists (36-22), while shooting 49 percent (38-of-77) from the field and 47 percent (9-of-19) from 3-point land.

Point guard Brandon Jennings stepped up with 25 points and seven assists, while forward Drew Gooden had 22 and 11 rebounds. Center Andrew Bogut provided 17 and 10 in the victory, while forward Carlos Delfino had 14 points and four steals.

The home team has won all three games in the season series. Philadelphia prevailed Nov. 19 as a 4 ½-point home underdog, 90-79, and Jan. 14 as a 4 ½-point home ‘chalk,’ 95-94. Milwaukee triumphed March 12 as a two-point home favorite, 102-74.

The ‘under’ is 6-1 the previous seven encounters. The Sixers are 8-3-1 ATS the last 12 meetings in this series. Philadelphia has seen the ‘over’ go 12-5 its past 17 road endeavors. Milwaukee is 6-2 ATS its last eight home games, while the ‘under’ is 16-6 the previous 22 home endeavors.

The Don Best Sports injury report lists Philadelphia forward Elton Brand (flu) as ‘probable’ versus the Nets. Milwaukee center Andrew Bogut (illness) is ‘questionable’ against the Sixers, while forward Larry Sanders (back) is ‘probable.’ Forward Jon Brockman (shoulder) and forward Ersan Ilvasoya (concussion) are ‘doubtful.’

The Sixers conclude a brief two-game road trip with Tuesday’s tilt at Boston. The Bucks follow this matchup with a three-game road trip versus Orlando, Miami and Detroit.

 
 
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