Celtics-Bucks betting preview: Upset watch in Boston?


Are the Boston Celtics championship contender material? We'll start finding out from Day One.

The Celtics open the 2020-21 NBA season Wednesday night by hosting the Milwaukee Bucks, who have boasted the Eastern Conference's best record for two years running.

The Bucks have revamped their supporting cast around two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, adding Jrue Holiday, D.J. Augustin, Bobby Portis and Bryn Forbes after parting ways with Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez this offseason.

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That new-look squad is still the favorite to win the East, so it's no surprise that Milwaukee is favored in Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. ET matchup at TD Garden.

Here's a look at the moneyline, point spread and point total for Celtics vs. Bucks with some context behind each number -- Odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

Moneyline: Celtics +155, Bucks -186

Milwaukee has been one of the best teams in basketball over the last two seasons and hasn't spared Boston in its success. The Bucks have won eight of their last 10 matchups with the Celtics that includes a 4-1 dispatching of the C's in the second round of the 2019 playoffs.


Holiday and Antetokounmpo may have a few growing pains, but this roster is still loaded. The Celtics are without Kemba Walker for the foreseeable future, so their upset chances hinge on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown stepping up on offense.

Point Spread: Celtics +4 (-110), Bucks -4 (-110)

The good news for Boston: It usually keeps things close with Milwaukee. The Celtics are 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games as underdogs against the Bucks, and five of Boston's last six losses to its East rival have been by 10 points or less.

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Even with no fans giving the Celtics a hometown boost, expect a tight game at TD Garden.

Point total: Over 224 (-115), Under 224 (-110)

The Celtics were ice cold in the preseason, averaging 94 points per game while shooting 22.6% from 3-point range. That abysmal rate is bound to improve, but Brad Stevens' defense will have its hands full with a Bucks offense that paced the NBA in scoring last season at 118.7 points per game.

Milwaukee also owned the league's eight-best defense in 2019-20 -- there's a reason why it outscored opponents by 10 points per game last year -- so the C's may need contributions from role players like Jeff Teague and Grant Williams to keep up with the Bucks.

Game coverage for Celtics vs. Bucks starts at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Boston with "Celtics Pregame Live" ahead of the 7:30 p.m. tip-off.