Pacers vs. Bucks NBA expert prediction and odds for Game 2 of Eastern Conference Playoffs

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Indiana Pacers-Milwaukee Bucks matchup in the NBA playoffs.
Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton.
Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton. / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks star Damian Lillard showed exactly why the team brought him in via a trade this past offseason, scoring 35 points in the team’s series-opening win over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.

Lillard helped save the Bucks – who entered as home dogs – without Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf). That wasn’t the case last year without Dame, as the Bucks were upset in the first round after Giannis missed time with a back injury. 

Now, oddsmakers are giving a slight nod to Milwaukee in Game 2, but does it extend this lead against a strong Indiana offense?

The Pacers played very poorly in Game 1, but they still have four wins in six tries against the Bucks this season. 

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Let’s break down the odds and my best bet for Game 2: 

Pacers vs. Bucks odds, spread and total

Pacers vs. Bucks how to watch

  • Date: Tuesday, April 23
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Fiserv Forum
  • How to watch (TV): NBA TV
  • Series: Bucks lead 1-0

Pacers vs. Bucks injury reports

Pacers injury report

  • Bennedict Mathurin – out

Bucks injury report

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo – doubtful

Pacers vs. Bucks key players to watch

Indiana Pacers

Tyrese Haliburton: An All-Star starter this season, Haliburton had a rough go after the All-Star break, and it leaked into the playoffs. The Pacers guard finished with just nine points on 4-of-7 shooting in Game 1, although he did have seven boards and eight assists. Still, the Pacers need more from their All-Star if they’re going to win this series. 

Milwaukee Bucks

Damian Lillard: Lillard was magnificent early in Game 1, and he finished with 35 points on 11-for-24 shooting (6-for-11 from 3), six rebounds and three assists. Having a player that can score at that rate will keep the Bucks alive without Giannis, but one has to think Indiana will alter its coverage of Dame in Game 2. 

Pacers vs. Bucks prediction and pick

I bet on Indiana in Game 1 (a mistake), but I’m not wavering on my thoughts on this series in Game 2.

With Antetokounmpo likely out again, the Pacers should have a path to a potential win on Tuesday night. 

The team did not play well in Game 1, shooting below 40 percent from the field and 20.5 percent from 3, but we should see the No. 2 offense in the NBA bounce back at some point in this series. 

Haliburton has to be more aggressive for Indiana, but more importantly the team has to slow down Lillard. 

The Bucks got off to a great start in Game 1 – leading by 27 at the half, but the Pacers did cut into the deficit in the second half, putting together a 29-14 third quarter. Is that a positive sign for their chances tonight?

I’d like to think so, especially since Indiana dominated this series in the regular season even with Antetokounmpo in the lineup. 

If there is a time to steal a game, it’s tonight for Indiana. 

Pick: Pacers +1 (-110)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.