Bucks and Celtics Deadlocked 1-1 As NBA Playoff Series Shifts to Boston

The Milwaukee Bucks had the best record in the NBA during the regular season at 60-22. They looked nothing like the best team in the league in Game 1 of this series as they were thrashed on their home court 112-90 as -8 point chalk. Game 2 was a different matter–the Bucks dominated the Celtics in every phase of the game en route to a 123-102 win that evened the best of seven Eastern Conference Semifinal series at one game apiece. The action now shifts to the TD Garden in Boston for Games 3 and 4.

Given how good that the Bucks were this season it’s tough to look back too far into ‘past performance’ data and expect it to have much validity. Still, it’s worth noting that the Celtics have really had Milwaukee’s number in recent years. Boston enters this game on an 11-4 ATS run in head to head play overall and a 6-1 ATS run in the last six meetings at the TD Garden. The Celtics also won and covered two of the three meetings during the regular season. Overall during the 2018-2019 NBA season the Milwaukee Bucks have been the most profitable betting team in the league with a 52-33-3 record against the spread for +15.7 units of profit. Boston is middle of the pack but still a money loser at 43-43-2 against the number for -4.3 units.

The NBA betting line has the Celtics installed as a -2 home favorite in Game 3. Boston was just 33-33-2 as a favorite this season but 22-18 (55%) as a home favorite. The Celtics were a streaky team and one that didn’t respond particularly well off of a losing effort. Boston’s record off a SU loss stands at 14-19 (42.4%) and 19-23 (45.2%) off of a pointspread loss. Milwaukee was good in most pointspread situations this season. On the road, the Bucks pointspread record stands at 26-15-2 and they excelled in the role of the underdog. The Bucks were 6-4 SU/7-3 ATS overall as an underdog and 5-3 SU/6-2 ATS as a road underdog. They’re 33-28-3 off of a SU win and 28-20-3 off of a pointspread win. Should the Bucks lose Game 3 draw a big red circle around them for Game 4–Milwaukee is 22-1 SU/19-4 ATS coming off of a SU loss this season.

The current vintage Boston Celtics are a tough team to trust. They had chemistry issues for much of the season and were horrible for much of the second half of the season. From January 10 until March 1 they went on a brutal 12-23-2 run against the spread. They had turned things around nicely in the postseason and had covered every playoff game until the Game 2 loss to the Bucks. Dating back to the end of the regular season, the Celtics are on a 8-2 ATS run.

Bucks will be without Malcolm Brogdon for this game. They will have Giannis Antetokounmpo in the lineup and he’s arguably the most unstoppable force in the game. Boston remains without pointguard Marcus Smart and worth noting that team president Danny Ainge suffered a mild heart attack on Tuesday but he’s expected to make a full recovery. Just think that the Bucks are the better team and have the best player on the court in Antetokounmpo. Given their ATS record when getting points this year just can’t pass them up as an underdog.


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