Bucks vs. Celtics Odds & Picks: Defense Reigns in Decider

It is fitting that the most anticipated second-round matchup will go the distance. Unlike in Mavs-Suns, both teams have won on both courts in this matchup, giving the feel of it being closer to a toss-up. In a series largely defined by the quality of the two defenses, it could come down to star power execution in the half-court that decides who will face the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

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Bucks vs. Celtics Betting Odds

Bucks Celtics
Spread +5.5 -5
Moneyline +176 -200
Over/Under 206.5

*Lines accurate at time of publication

Bucks vs. Celtics Best Bets

Bucks vs. Celtics Game Total Under 206.5 (-105, BetMGM)

The under has come in four times in the six games of this series and both teams are based around their very good defenses. The cores of both teams have been in these situations before but it is fair to wonder if some of the role players suffer from the game 7 jitters and the game gets off to a shakier start shooting.

The first two games of the series in Boston went under this total, averaging 192.5. The script flipped in game 5 but it took an unseasonably warm day from three for the Bucks (44.8%) and a hot day from the field from Boston (51.2%) to be able to clear this prop. The pace is a big factor in this total as well because Milwaukee has had plenty of issues in the half-court this series. In the playoffs, the Bucks have the worst half-court offense, at 84.4 points per 100 offensive possessions. So Boston’s ability to be responsible with the ball could be critical to limiting the Bucks’ transition game. Boston has not turned the ball over more than 12 times in the last 4 games, leading to a tougher offensive outing. Pace trends down in game 7s as well too, adding to the value.

Risk: 1.1 units on BetMGM to win 1 unit. (Playable to -116

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Celtics 2Q -1.5 (-110, FanDuel)

In a series that has had little consistency game to game, the Celtics controlling the second quarter has been something to rely on. Since game 1, Boston has won every second quarter and done so by an average of 6.2 points.

While the prevailing opinion is Ime Udoka has been the better coach this season and, in this series, that can most likely be proven after the quarter break when coaches have the most time to communicate gameplan adjustments. Especially in a game 7, where there is minimal time to let strategies play out before adjusting, that advantage becomes more important.

A simple way to look at it as well is, that Giannis Antetokounmpo this series has played his fewest minutes in the second quarter. The Bucks are -32 when Giannis has been off the court in this series and while in a game 7 environment, Giannis will likely get a few extra minutes but the point differential in the quarter can withstand that.

Also aiding Boston could be the return of Robert Williams. Williams is listed as questionable but considering the injuries he is working through, even if he is able to play, it would be in short stints with the starting lineup staying the same. Think of Williams as taking the minutes that would have gone to Daniel Theis and a larger advantage would lay on the side of Boston.

Risk: 1.1 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit. (Playable to -120)

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