Boston Celtics Vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Odds, Picks, And Predictions

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These teams squared off on Wednesday night in a game where the Celtics nearly erased all of a 25-point second-half deficit. They ultimately fell 121-119 after Daniel Theis’ game-winning 3-point attempt failed to connect. 

Celtics at Bucks picks and predictions hinge on how much stock you put into the comeback considering it’s difficult to beat a team as talented as Boston’s in back-to-back games. Of course, Milwaukee has been one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams over the past few seasons. They have been particularly impressive at home. This is one reason why they’ve held serve as the No. 1 seed in the bubble this past August due to the pandemic having impacted them most of all. 

Milwaukee was 28-3 at Fiserv Forum before having to play its remaining home games in Orlando at Disney’s Wide World of Sports due to COVID-19. The previous season, their first in their new arena, the Bucks were 33-8. This season, they’re 18-5 and back in their home despite limited attendance. There were 3,280 fans allowed on Wednesday as the team improved to 74-16 since the building opened back in 2018. The Celtics are now 0-4 there, although three of the games have been decided by five or fewer points. This is important to know given the betting spread here.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
Time/Venue: 7:30 p.m. ET, Fiserv Forum

TV: ESPN

Milwaukee Bucks Vs. Boston Celtics Odds

BetRivers SportsbookPoint SpreadMoneylineTotals
Milwaukee Bucks-5.5 (-114)-220Over 233 (-112)
Boston Celtics+5.5 (-108)+180Under 233 (-109)

*Odds provided by BetRivers

Check out our Live NBA Odds

Celtics Current Form And Betting Results

Theis’ final shot with Boston was that 3-pointer he missed out of the corner on Wednesday’s final attempt before the buzzer as he was traded prior to Thursday’s deadline. The Celtics sent him to Chicago for forward, Moe Wagner, who the Bulls had acquired from Washington earlier in the day. 

Theis started and played over 31 minutes on Wednesday, finishing with 10 points, two rebounds, and two blocks while aiding the cause on defense against Giannis Antetokounmpo. Reserve guard Javonte Green was also dealt with Chicago, while backup point guard Jeff Teague was included in the trade with Orlando. This same trade also brought back guard Evan Fournier for a pair of second-rounders. Teague helped fuel Wednesday’s comeback with 15 points off the bench, connecting on three of four shots from beyond the arc.

Celtics at Bucks picks and predictions must identify how well a short-handed Boston squad will fare against a team that they experienced great highs and lows against within a 48-minute span. Fournier is unlikely to suit up immediately since he’ll have to pass a physical. He would likely need at least a practice with his new team before joining the rotation. There, he’s expected to play a role on the wing alongside Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart. Wagner, who will compete for Theis’ minutes with Tristan Thompson, Robert Williams, and Grant Williams, is also unlikely to contribute immediately.

The Celtics are looking to get on the board in the third game of a four-game road trip, having opened the week with a loss in Memphis prior to heading to Milwaukee. Boston will depart for Oklahoma City post-game. They will wrap up a busy week with a game against the Thunder on Saturday before returning to TD Garden to begin a season-long seven-game homestand. An upset would help it avoid a fourth three-game losing streak on the season.

Bucks Current Form And Betting Results

On Feb. 18, Milwaukee had lost to the Raptors at home for a second straight time. They scored a season-low 96 points in suffering a fifth consecutive defeat. The Bucks bounced back to beat OKC 98-85 in surrendering their lowest output of the season in turning things around by beginning a 13-1 surge. 

Mike Budenholzer’s team has won a season-best eight games in a row after holding on to beat Boston on Wednesday. They can see their streak gets to 10 if they take down the Celtics and Knicks to close out their current homestand. The Bucks open a six-game Western swing in L.A. against the Clippers on Monday, facing the Lakers two nights later.

Celtics at Bucks picks and predictions will look to identify how impressive the home team will be in taking care of their business. This time around, they’ll have the same group in place after not making a move at the trade deadline.

Antetokounmpo was held to just 13 points on 4-for-11 shooting. You can expect he’ll be more assertive coming off his second-lowest scoring output of the season. Miami held the “Greek Freak” to nine points on Dec. 29. He came back the next night and torched the Heat for 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists in a loss.

The Bucks are playing the same opponent in consecutive games for the sixth time this season. Milwaukee is 4-1 in the first leg of games but just 3-2 in the immediate rematch. The Celtics are in this situation for the fifth time. They are 0-5 in the first leg but 3-1 the second time around, which speaks highly of Brad Stevens’ ability to make adjustments. He’ll have his work cut out for him given his short-handed roster and the fact the Bucks are streaking and working with a completely healthy group. 

NBA Betting Line Analysis

The line opened with Milwaukee favored by 5.5 points at most shops, including BetRivers. We’ve seen movement over the course of the last 24 hours. While DraftKings has held steady at 5.5 (-114), FanDuel has joined BetMGM, William Hill, and the Westgate SuperBook in moving to six points.  

The total opened at 233 and remains available there in a few spots but has been bet down to 232 at FanDuel, BetMGM, William Hill, and the Westgate SuperBook. 

Injuries/Rotational Adjustments To Watch

The definitive word on whether Fournier will suit up for the Celtics won’t come until later in the day. However, he isn’t likely to play a major role even if he does suit up. That said, after averaging 19.7 points for Orlando and shooting 38.8 percent on 3-pointers, it would be surprising if he doesn’t have a significant impact as he gets comfortable in his new digs.

The Celtics acquired a key contributor for very little. They can even use him to spell Kemba Walker the way they utilize Marcus Smart since he’s a capable ball-handler. Stevens will have plenty of options, but they’re unlikely to start tonight. Tatum, Brown, Smart, Walker, and Robert Williams figure to see the bulk of the work. Grant Williams, Semi Ojeleye, and rookie Peyton Pritchard lead the limited bench.

Celtics At Bucks Handicapping Notes And Pick

Letting Boston chop into a major deficit nearly cost the Bucks dearly on Wednesday night. I don’t see them making the same mistake. Even with limited attendance in play, Milwaukee has proven that Fiserv Forum offers one of the NBA’s top home-court edges. It has a full roster in place to notch a sweep over the Celtics more comfortably than it did the other night.

NBA Pick: Bucks

About the Author
Tony Mejia

Tony Mejia

Tony Mejia has been a national writer for nearly two decades and has covered NBA and college basketball as a columnist, analyst, handicapper, and bracketologist for CBS Sports, Pro Basketball News, and numerous other sites.

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