NBA Primetime Preview – Bucks v Celtics

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Two of the top three teams in the East are in action on Friday in a game that could decide the makeup of the Conference Finals.

Milwaukee lost to Boston by double-digits when these two sides met at the Garden back in October, but the odds have swung back in the Bucks’ favour with the two teams squaring off from the Fiserv Forum this time around.

Plenty of people dubbed the East as the weaker conference heading into the season with Kawhi Leonard abandoning the Raptors for the Clippers. Things have been anything but however, with only 3.5 games separating second from sixth heading into the All-Star break.

The list of superlatives to describe this game are long, so let’s get straight into our Friday Primetime Preview.

Head to Head

Successful NBA betting is all about knowing the trends, which surprisingly makes this game one of the easiest to tip.  

The Bucks sit atop the East at 36-6 sporting another growing four-game winning streak. Milwaukee, like so many other teams in the East, has been almost untouchable at home losing only two of their 21 games so far whilst also leading the league in points.

Boston comes into this game looking much worse for wear at 27-11. The Celtics have been ravaged by injuries of late and were knocked out of second-place on Thursday thanks to a 13-point loss to the Pistons.

Similar to last year, Celtics coach Brad Stevens is having a tough time adjusting his lineups. Boston went without Jayson Tatum yesterday against the Pistons, leaving Stevens to field a starting five of Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Daniel Theis, Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker.

On paper that lineup doesn’t seem so bad, but it doesn’t come close to matching up with the Bucks.

Boston has also struggled to spread the ball around in the fourth quarter, forcing guys like Smart and Tatum to jack up 50/50 shots from the perimeter with no space available around the rim.

The bad news for the Celtics is the Bucks lead the league in points scored during the fourth quarter this year, so it suddenly becomes very difficult to back any kind of a Boston upset.

Lastly, the Celtics have also played to a less than convincing 3-3 record this year on no rest. The Bucks, on the other hand, are 12-9 against the spread at home, so take Milwaukee to win big.

Tip: Back the Bucks to Cover the Line (-8.5 Points) @ $1.83

Total

It’s no secret that the Celtics have been a much better side at home than they have been on the road.

Boston has won only 11 of their 19 games so far, averaging the 12th fewest points in the league in the process.

With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that the Celtics have been the best betting play on the Under away from home. The Total has gone Under in 12 of Boston’s 19 games, as well as four of their six playing on no rest.

Tip: Celtics Under the Points Total

Player Performance

Giannis Antetokounmpo

No player has been more dominant in the East than Giannis Antetokounmpo, but that isn’t to say he’ll have everything his own way against the Celtics on Friday.

Boston held the reigning MVP to just 22 points back in October on eight-for-13 shooting. The Greek Freak has typically struggled throughout his career against the Celtics averaging only 19.7 points, while Boston has also been a quietly good team defensively on the road allowing the second-fewest points against.

Tip: Giannis Antetokounmpo Under the Points Total

Kemba Walker

Unlike the rest of his team, Kemba Walker has played exceptionally well in the second game of a back-to-back averaging 27.2 points this season.

Walker also enjoyed a big night against the Bucks back in October, nailing four three’s to go along with a handy 32-points.

The Bucks have been an elite defensive team this year, but they have been susceptible to the three-point shot at times. Milwaukee has allowed opponents to shoot over 35% from downtown this year, so don’t be surprised if Walker puts up some numbers again.

Tip: Kemba Walker Over the Points Total

Tips, recommendations and commentary are for entertainment only. We provide no warranty about accuracy or completeness. You should make your own assessment before placing a bet.