Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Celtics: Tremont Waters, PG (Questionable)
Bucks: Marvin Williams PF (Probable), Eric Bledsoe PG (Probable), Pat Connaughton SG (Questionable), Thanasis Antetokounmpo SF (Questionable)
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Betting trend to know
The Bucks are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games as favorites.Find more NBA betting trends for Celtics vs. Bucks.
Against the spread pick
Milwaukee loves to score in transition – ranking fourth in percentage of points off fast breaks – and faces a Boston squad still trying to tighten the bolts with the basketball. The Celtics were among the more careful teams in the NBA before the shutdown but have coughed up the ball 38 times over their final two exhibition games, including 21 turnovers in a loss to Houston Tuesday.
Boston’s other big struggle is beyond the arc, with the team shooting just 30 for 90 from 3-point range over the three exhibition games. The Celtics were shooting 35.3 percent from distance away from home on the season.
Milwaukee isn’t lighting it up from outside either but will be extremely efficient on offense, especially in the paint. The Bucks have potent inside scorers in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez, and the “Greek Freak” is a pick-and-roll nightmare for the Celtics’ bigs.
PREDICTION: Milwaukee -5 (-110)
The COVID-19 layoff has done very little to slow the Bucks’ mighty offense, or at least that’s what exhibition play would tell us. Milwaukee posted a 2-1 record inside the bubble tune-up games, putting up scores of 113, 131, and 103 in those contests. Granted, those games came against some less-than-stout defenses.
Boston has been very careful with its superstars, limiting Kemba Walker and his always-wonky knee to just over nine minutes of exhibition action. Fellow standout Jayson Tatum has also been watched closely.
That said, there are plenty of options on offense for Boston. Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward looked solid in bubble prep and a deep bench should keep production up when Brad Stevens sits his starters. The Celtics scored 117 and 112 points in their final two exhibition games, despite missing their share of triples.
PREDICTION: Over 215.5 (-110)
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Player prop pick
A bright spot for the Bucks inside the bubble is the play of center Brook Lopez. The 7-footer has gone for 17, 21 and 10 points in the team’s warm-up tilts, shooting 16-for-25 from the field in limited minutes during those games.
Lopez will benefit from all the defensive attention on Giannis and can have his way against Boston’s defensively-limited bigs. He scored 16 points in his last matchup with the C’s, finishing 6-for-10 from the floor in a 128-123 win at home on January 16. On the season, the Celtics allow an average of 18.8 points per game to centers.
PREDICTION: Brook Lopez Over 11.5 points (+104)
Celtics vs Bucks betting card
- Milwaukee -5 (-110)
- Over 215.5 (-110)
- Brook Lopez Over 11.5 points (+104)
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