Boston Celtics @ Milwaukee Bucks | NBA Playoffs Predictions and Betting
The Boston Celtics were hoping to return to Milwaukee with the series tied, 2-2. But after losing both games in Boston, the return too Milwaukee in a 3-1 hole and faced with having to make history to win the series. Only 11 teams have ever been able to win a series after going down 3-1, but two of those 11 were Celtics teams.
Spread: Bucks by 9.5
Money Line: Celtics +385; Bucks -460
*Odds via BetOnline.ag
Game Four should have been one the Celtics won. But with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton on the bench for much of the third quarter Monday night, the Bucks managed to pull ahead and take control of the game. They outscored the Celtics 21-13 with Antetokounmpo on the bench. It certainly didn’t help that the Celtics had gone cold from the floor in the second and third quarters (13-45 or 28.9 percent; 3-21 from three-point range). The Celtics showed they are capable of slowing down the Milwaukee offence in Game One of the series. If they are going to get one more game back in Boston, they are going to have to play with the same kind of defensive intensity they had then. ” The mindset has to be ‘keep fighting, anything can happen.’ I feel like we’re right there. It could go either way,” Marcus Morris said after Game Four. “I still think we can beat them. We’re right there, we’re up every game. I don’t know what it is but we gotta keep going.”
The Bucks got the kind of game they needed from Giannis Antetokounmpo Monday night, but they needed someone else to step up as well on the offensive end—especially when he was in foul trouble in the third quarter. What they got was a collective effort from the bench stepping up and making a difference. The Bucks bench combined to outscore the Celtics bench 32-7. After the game, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer talked about his reserves: “If we’re honest with you, when Giannis and Khris (Middleton) go to the bench, you’re concerned. But you have to have confidence that that group can play.” They certainly didn’t disappoint Monday night. With a Celtics team desperate to avoid elimination Wednesday night, the Bucks will likely need another such performance from the bench.
Boston Celtics @ Milwaukee Bucks Head-to-Head
The Celtics and Bucks played three times during the regular season with Boston winning the first and Milwaukee taking the last two. But from a historical perspective, the all-time series between them has been close. Of the 213 regular season games they have played, the Celtics have won 109 to 104 for the Bucks. They have also played in 38 postseason games; Boston leads that series as well, 21-17. This will be the seventh time the two have faced off in a postseason series. The Bucks lead the current series, 3-1.
Odds and Predictions
After winning three in a row following a loss in Game One, the Bucks have gotten themselves in position to do something no Bucks team has done since 2001— make the Eastern Conference Finals. But the Celtics are not going to make it easy for them. The Celtics know what they are up against, but they know what they have to do. “I know probably to the outside world we probably don’t stand much of a chance,” Al Horford said after Game Four. “We’re at a low point as a group, I guess that’s the reality. We’ll have to bring that fight to them on Wednesday.” If they can’t contain Antetokounmpo, they are done. The rest of Milwaukee’s roster is good enough to keep it interesting but not good enough to beat the Celtics without him. So—will they? Don’t bet on it. The Bucks are going to be out for blood and will look to put this game away as early as possible. However, don’t count on the Celtics going cold again. They will keep it interesting but, in the end, Milwaukee wins (-460). But don’t be shocked if the Celtics cover the spread (+9.5). As for the over/under (221), as long as the Celtics do not go ice cold again, the over is a safe bet.
Expert Betting Tip
Does it need to be said? Milwaukee is going to win this one. Antetokounmpo will not let them lose this one.