Celtics vs. Bucks Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Celtics appeared to be well on their way to a 3-2 series lead in Game 5 on Wednesday. With a little over two minutes left to go, Al Horford turned back the clock and got up high for a nasty, put-back dunk to put the Celtics up 105-99.
Both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday answered with timely 3-pointers to tie the game, though.
After Jayson Tatum hit a pair of free throws, Antetokounmpo got fouled and had one last chance to tie the game at the free throw line. He made one free throw, but missed the second.
Bobby Portis saved the day, though, as he grabbed the offensive rebound and scored the basket to give the Bucks the lead.
Holiday followed that up with two amazing blocks to seal the deal as the Bucks stole the game away.
Now the Celtics are one game away from elimination. This has been one of the most entertaining series thus far and feels destined to go to a Game 7.
Boston is in a do-or-die situation. Can the Celtics win a game on the road to force a Game 7?
Let’s break down this exciting Game 6.
Celtics’ Injuries a Major Factor
The Celtics have one last shot to even up this series. They played a solid game at home in Game 6 — they shot over 50% from the field, kept their turnovers down and got a 34-point performance from their superstar, Tatum.
However, note that Tatum has said his wrist has bothered him. Even though he’s been dealing with this pain for a couple of months now, I don’t think he can have a repeat 30-point performance given his injury.
Robert Williams III has been out the last two games. In Williams’ absence, Derrick White and Daniel Theis have benefitted with additional playing time. Horford has been playing like he is in his prime, but nonetheless, the Celtics miss Williams’ presence in their starting lineup.
Expect Williams to be back for Game 6, as Boston tries to even up the series. This will help the Celtics’ defense, as the unit tries to make one final stand against the Bucks.
These teams have been playing extremely physical with one another. I see the scoring reverting back to earlier in the series, so I expect a low-scoring affair.
Bucks Getting Job Done Without Middleton
Antetokounmpo continues to put up dominating performances, showing the league that perhaps he was overlooked for the MVP Award. He put up 40 points on 16-for-27 shooting in the Game 5 win. He continues to be aggressive on the offensive end and uses his physicality to bully his way to the basket.
Even without secondary star, Khris Middleton, the Bucks still look destined to move on.
Nonetheless, they are still shooting 42.6% from the field and continue to face one of the stingiest defenses in the league.
The Bucks have gone 25-17-1 (59.5%) to the under in the playoffs since the 2019-20 season, per the Sports Data Query Language at Gimme The Dog. They’ve gone 15-7 (68.2%) to the under in home games, as well.
To add to the trend, eight of their 10 playoff games this season have gone under the total.
Middleton is still out with a left knee injury, and his presence has been sorely missed. Dating back to last season, the Bucks are 14-14 straight up and 12-15 against the spread in games without Middleton, per the SDQL at Gimme The Dog.
However, what stands out most is his impact on the offensive end. The on/off numbers show that the Bucks’ offensive rating dips from 117.3 to 113.4 when Middleton is off the court, per Basketball-Reference.
Game 6s have gone 83-63 (56.8%) to the under dating back to the 2004-2005 season, per our Bet Labs tool.
In Game 6s, these teams already know each other so well. They’ve each made their adjustments and are extremely fatigued from the back-and-forth battle.
With so much at stake — and the series on the line — I expect these two exceptional defenses to shine. This series has been extremely physical and the defensive intensity has been high.
With both Games 4 and 5 going over the total, I expect bettors to veer toward the over. However, I think Game 6 will revert back to an under in an elimination game.
Pick: Under 211 (Down to 210)