Apr 6, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) passes around Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) during the first quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
- Surging Celtics look to hold down second in the East when they visit the Bucks
- Milwaukee trails Boston by a half-game in the standings
- Find the odds, lines, preview, and betting prediction below
If the Boston Celtics want to keep tabs on that 2-seed in the East, they’re going to have to do it on the road.
After taking care of business Wednesday night in a demolition of the Bulls, they’ll visit the defending champs in Milwaukee in the second half of a back-to-back.
The Bucks are currently in the three spot, just a half-game behind Boston.
With potential for stars resting on both sides, oddsmakers have pegged the Bucks as 5.5-point favorites Thursday night. It all gets underway at Fiserv Forum at 7:30pm ET, in a game that can be seen live on TNT.
Celtics vs Bucks Odds
|Boston Celtics||+5.5 (-110)||OFF||Ov 227.5 (-110)|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-5.5 (-112)||OFF||Un 227.5 (-110)|
Odds as of April 6 at Caesars Sportsbook
Boston Celtics Betting Analysis
Talking about finishing the season with a flourish.
Boston laid the wood to the Bulls in Chicago, drilling them 117-94, to mark their third straight win after a mini two-game skid.
Jaylen Brown really has a different type of bag.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) April 7, 2022
Whereas much of this run has been built on the strength of their young wing stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, this game was a balanced attack. Four players topped double-digits by half, as the C’s built a 67-51 halftime lead and were ever challenged the rest of the way.
Brown led the way with 25 points, seven boards four dimes and four steals, while Tatum had 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Sharing is a huge part of Boston’s success: they improve to 19-1 when registering 15 or more assists in the first half.
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) April 7, 2022
In their last 30 games, the Celtics are a blistering 25-5 and now own the third best odds to win the Eastern Conference.
They’ve shot up all the defensive charts during this surge, now leading the NBA in scoring defense at 104.3 points pre game and field goal shooting defense, holding teams to 43.4% from the field.
From defense to offense
Al Horford blocks and Jaylen Brown with the finish 😤pic.twitter.com/silrQqKadF
— Celtics Nation (@CelticsNationCP) April 7, 2022
They’re also second-best in the league at defending the arc, with opponents shooting just 33.9%.
The C’s are still missing big man Robert Williams III (knee) and he won’t be back until at least May, which means Boston would need to win a playoff series or two for Time Lord to suit up again this year.
Milwaukee Bucks Betting Analysis
We’re pretty sure that seeding doesn’t matter for the Bucks: this is a team that won the title as a 3-seed a season ago. They’ve yo-yo’d the home stretch of the schedule between staying sharp and making sure Giannis Antetokounmpo is getting the requisite rest needed for his knees.
Rivalry? Nah. 😏
— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) April 6, 2022
After sitting out a blowout loss to the Clippers, Giannis, a top-3 candidate in the 2022 NBA MVP odds, has played the last two games. He played 40 minutes and went for 28 points and 10 boards in a loss to the Mavericks.
Last time out, he logged just 24 minutes, potting 18 points, nine rebounds and seven dimes in a 127-100 evisceration of the Bulls.
Brook Lopez led the team in scoring with 28 points and seven boards, as every Milwaukee starter and seven players in total scored in double figures. Jrue Holiday added 11 points and 13 assists.
— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) April 6, 2022
Milwaukee’s scoring defense has sagged this year, surrendering 111.9 points per game, good for 18th in the NBA. Fortunately, they pump in 115.2 points per game, which is ranked third overall, and they’re a top-5 three-point shooting team, hitting at a 36.6% clip.
Giannis is listed as a game-time decision Thursday, as his guard Grayson Allen (hip).
Celtics vs Bucks Prediction
This will be the fourth and final meeting between these two teams, but they haven’t played since Christmas, when the Bucks snapped a two-game head-to-head skid with a 117-113 win.
Boston is 8-6 straight up on the second night of a back-to-back, and 6-7-1 against the spread. They are, however, an impressive 23-15-1 ATS on the road, and they are 33-18 against the East this season.
That’s the second-best win total in the conference, and they’ve ripped off nine straight wins against East foes, going 8-1 ATS.
Milwaukee has struggled at home for bettors, just 16-24 ATS on the season. Only four teams have a worse betting mark this year.
There’s the possibility that Ime Udoka rests some players like he did in the back end of their last back-to-back set. Brown, Tatum and Al Horford all sat in a OT loss to the Raptors on March 28.
Because there was minimal stress in this blowout win, perhaps they’re in the lineup in this high-stakes battle. Based on that assumption, I see this game going over the for the third time in their four meetings this year.
Having worked in and around sports since 1997, Eric is truly a knowledgeable expert. The two-time journalism grad specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric’s work has appeared in local and national publications alike.