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Celtics vs. Bucks Prediction: The Buck Stops Here?

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published April 9, 2024
12 min read

The Boston Celtics (62-16) are going on the road to take on the Milwaukee Bucks (47-31) on Tuesday evening for a showdown between the two best teams in the Eastern Conference.

While the C’s separated themselves from the rest of the league, the Bucks are only one game ahead of the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks and are at serious risk of losing the second seed after dropping six of their last seven games.

Boston already secured home court throughout the entire playoffs and is 27-13 on the road. They lead the season series against Milwaukee 2-1 but lost their lone road matchup by 33 points on January 11.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite pick for the Celtics vs. Bucks matchup.

Celtics vs Bucks Prediction

Celtics vs. Bucks Betting Odds for Tuesday, April 9

The Celtics are 40-34-4 (54.1 percent) against the spread and 18-17-3 (51.4 percent) ATS as a road favorite. They covered in two of their last seven and are yet to cover against the Bucks.

Milwaukee is 33-44-1 (42.9 percent) ATS, the third-worst mark in the league, and 2-1 (66.7 percent) ATS as a home underdog. They covered just one time in their last seven games.

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Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Boston Celtics -1.5 (-115 -135 Over 227.5 (-115)
Milwaukee Bucks +1.5 (-105) +110 Under 227.5 (-105)

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Celtics vs. Bucks Prediction

Boston Celtics Preview

The Celtics’ season has been nothing short of dominant. A perfect coming together of skill, versatility, and malleability allowed Joe Mazzulla to deploy the league’s most devastating 10-man unit from nearly start to finish.

What’s scariest about this team is that it is playing its best basketball of the year right now. The C’s have a +16.3 points differential per 100 possessions since the All-Star break, which is far and away the best in the league. They rank first in offensive efficiency and second in defensive efficiency for the year as a whole and are fully healthy heading into the postseason.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown receive the majority of the credit for the team’s success, but the contributions of Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday cannot be overlooked. 

The Celtics averaged 1.30 points per possession involving a Porzingis post-up, the best in the league amongst qualified players. The majority of these points come after Boston has identified a mismatch and gotten the big Latvian the ball in a favorable position in the post.

Meanwhile, Holiday is once again one of the best defenders in basketball and shot a career-high 43.3 percent from three-point land. He can guard positions 1-5 and is a pest at the point of attack and in the passing lanes.

Boston dominates the three-point line nearly every time it takes the court. The team makes more threes per game than any other, shoots 38.9 percent from deep (tied for first), and holds opponents to 34.9 shooting from three-point territory (second).

While it can be easy to look ahead at this point of the campaign, the Celtics won five straight and just beat the Bucks at home on March 20, so they should be fully dialed in.

Milwaukee Bucks Preview

The Bucks decided that a 30-13 record with Adrian Griffin wasn’t enough and ultimately decided to replace him with Doc Rivers. However, the returns on that investment aren’t there as the Doctor is just 15-16 in Milwaukee.

The Bucks are 16th in net rating (-0.1) over the last 10 games and have not been great on either end. They showed defensive promise shortly after Doc’s appointment but regressed to the mean over recent weeks. They’re also one of two Eastern Conference teams with top-eight records that are below .500 on the road.

Despite being the tallest team in basketball, the Bucks also ranked 17th in rebound rate during the same 10-game stretch. Their offensive woes can be blamed on injuries and a lack of continuity in the starting lineup, but there’s no excuse for their defensive and rebounding numbers to be as low as they are. 

While things haven’t gone their way recently, this team still has an incredibly high ceiling. It’ll be tough for any team to stop the Damian Lillard-Giannis Antetokounmpo in a best-of-seven setting, and the team was, at one point, 30-13 with a dominant home record.

Milwaukee’s size and length also give it the chance to disrupt a few of Boston’s favorite actions, namely the Porzingis post-up. They played Boston tough in all three matchups, winning the one at home and losing both on the road by just three points.

Giannis is yet to have a superstar game against the Celtics and was held to 24 points or fewer in the two games he appeared in, though he averaged 31.0 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 7.4 assists since March 1.

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Celtics vs. Bucks Betting Pick

The Bucks gave the Celtics all they could handle during their previous matchups, but it’s still a surprise not to see the Celtics favored by more than they are.

This is a make-or-break game for the Bucks in many ways. Not only could they drop in the standings with a loss, but they’re in desperate need of momentum after a string of embarrassing losses and with the playoffs just around the corner.

Giannis and Porzingis are both questionable for the matchup, which means that bettors should hold off on placing any bets until their status are known. Assuming both play, we’ll take the Bucks in a gotta-have-it game to stabilize their season, at least for another week.

How to Watch Celtics vs. Bucks

  • When: Tuesday, April 9 @ 6:30/7:30 p.m. CT/ET

  • Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI

  • TV: TNT

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

538 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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