Best NBA Betting Tips: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics

Best NBA Betting Tips: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics

In what could be a preview of the Conference Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks travel to Boston to square off against the Celtics in a matchup of the top two teams in the East.

While the West gets the headlines – and rightfully so thanks to nine teams over .500 (the East has five) – there’s a case to be made that these two squads have been among the best in the league through the season’s first three weeks. Here’s a preview of tonight’s matchup of stars.

The Teams

It might be Giannis Antetokounmpo’s time in the national spotlight. He’s of course well-known, having made two consecutive All-Star Games and being named second team All-NBA last season. But now he’s coming for MVP honors. He’s averaged 25.0 points, 14.2 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 30.7 minutes and is healthy after a concussion scare earlier in the week. It’s time to consider his MVP odds at +275 on 888Sport before they shrink any further.

Mike Budenholzer has implemented his philosophy perfectly in Year 1, as only the Warriors have a better effective field goal percentage (which weighs 3-pointers more heavily) than the Bucks. Oh, and they’re the second best defense in terms of defensive efficiency.

And they’re only second because Brad Stevens’ Boston Celtics are No. 1. With Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward healthy the Celtics have absolutely clamped down. Even as pace and points are at an all-time high, the C’s have kept four of seven opponents under 100 points.

The offense has yet to really get going, but they have six players scoring between 10 and 16 points, and can hit you in a variety of ways. And it really shows just how good they’ve been defensively that they’re 28th in offensive efficiency and 29th in points per game and yet are still 5-2. Once the offense catches up, look out.

The Spread

The Celtics are home favorites giving 3.5 points on It makes sense. Though Milwaukee is undefeated, Boston already has a home win over Philadelphia this year (on Opening Night) and was 27-14 there a season ago. It’s a tough venue to play in, and Milwaukee was actually below .500 on the road last year (19-22).

They’re also, if we’re playing the odds, due for a loss, though they have scored 113 or more points in all seven games and have won all but the season opener by double digits.

So let’s take the points. This Milwaukee teams seems different. Budenholzer has them playing a gorgeous brand of basketball and Boston’s offense just isn’t humming yet.

That’s a bad recipe against the league’s sixth most efficient offense. Giannis, Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon should have big nights on both ends of the floor.

The Over-Under

There are plenty of stars taking the parquet floor Thursday night, which usually means an offensive shootout. And when the two teams met in the postseason last year – a series that went seven games – the over hit on five occasions. But this is also a matchup of two of the best defenses in the NBA.

Boston is bound to hit its stride at some point, but we see tonight’s game getting dirty and grind-it-out. That’s why we feel comfortable looking at the under at 219.5 on

Prop Bets

A rested Giannis is a scary Giannis. In 32 career games he’s played on 3+ days of rest, he’s averaging 18.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists. He’s also shooting 53.6% from the field and 40% from deep. All those aforementioned numbers are career-bests when compared with zero, one and two days rest.

Antetokounmpo missed Monday’s tilt against the Raptors in concussion protocol and has now had three days of rest. Even against a tough Celtics defense he should feast. We like any combination of his points, rebounds and assists on If we had to pick, we’d take his points (26.5) or his points and rebounds (39.5) to hit the over.

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