Celtics vs Bucks Odds, NBA Playoff Picks and Betting Predictions
Adam Thompson | 11 mins
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The Milwaukee Bucks tanked the final game of the regular season so they could face the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. But it also meant falling to the No. 3 seed, giving the Boston Celtics the No. 2.
Now the Bucks and Celtics meet in what should be a main event-level second-round showdown, and Game 1 is in Boston.
The Celtics dispatched Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and the Brooklyn Nets in a surprising four-game sweep, flexing their muscle in a series many picked the No. 7 Nets to advance out of.
This is the third time in four seasons the Bucks and Celtics are meeting in a best-of-7 playoff series. The Celtics won a seven-game thriller in 2018, the Bucks won in five games in 2019.
The third-seeded Bucks swept the four-game series with the Bulls, the last two by 21 and 28 points. DeRozan has scored 31.3 ppg vs. Milwaukee this season, offering hope if Chicago’s other key players step up.
Ahead of Game 1, Bookies.com breaks down the series and makes our NBA picks to back on betting apps.
Bucks vs Celtics Odds
Odds via DraftKings and accurate as of publication.
Bucks vs Celtics Betting Tips
No Middleton: The Bucks were a respectable 6-4 vs. playoff-level teams when Khris Middleton didn’t play, including three playoff victories over the Bulls. The three-time All-Star is expected to miss the entire series (MCL).
Giannis vs. The Best: Boston’s defense ranks No. 1 in the NBA in overall rating, and FG and 3-Point percentages allowed. Giannis averaged 28.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game vs. Boston this year – those were all great numbers, but all below his season averages.
Scorching Tatum: Celtics star Jayson Tatum averaged 29.5 points and 7.3 assists in the sweep of the Nets. Brooklyn’s defense is notoriously lax, however, and Milwaukee will be a longer, different look. Tatum went off for 42 in one outing vs. the Bucks this season, but scored a more-modest 25 and 27 the other two, with only 3.7 assists per game.
Bucks vs Celtics Picks
NBA odds have Boston at a solid -210 to win the series and end the title defense of Giannis and the Bucks. Milwaukee is +175 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. It makes sense with Middleton’s absence and the Celtics’ easy handling of Durant and the Nets.
The value to be found on sports betting apps, however, would be on the Bucks. These teams split the four-game regular-season series, each winning both games at home. One of those Boston wins didn’t feature Giannis or Brown, and the since-traded Dennis Schroder went off for 38.
Knocking off the defending champ is no easy feat. But no team is better than Boston, which has won 30 of its last 36 games. This will likely be the hardest second-round series to predict and arguably the most fun to watch, which means perhaps we can back on a seven-game series. Boston in 7 goes for +300 at most online sportsbooks, while Bucks in 7 is +700.
Bucks vs Celtics Schedule
Game 1: May 1, Milwaukee at Boston, 1 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 2: May 3, Milwaukee at Boston, TBD, TNT
Game 3: May 7, Boston at Milwaukee, TBD, ABC
Game 4: May 9, Boston at Milwaukee, TBD, TNT
Game 5: May 11, Milwaukee at Boston, TBD *
Game 6: May 13, Boston at Milwaukee, TBD *
Game 7: May 15, Milwaukee at Boston, TBD *