Bucks vs. Celtics Prediction
The Boston Celtics are without their star point guard Kyrie Irving for the duration of the playoffs following his knee surgery. Will second-seeded Boston manage to start the postseason off on a good note this afternoon when they take on the visiting Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the first round?
Sunday, April 15, 2018
TD Garden at 1PM ET
Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers at YouWager, the Celtics are listed as a 4-point favorite on the spread line. The over-under is set at 201.5 points. As of Sunday morning, 56 percent of public bets have come in on host Boston. Check out our NBA Public Betting Page for the latest information.
Celtics look to make run without stars
It has been a strange and somewhat despressing season for Boston even as it won 55 regular season games and clinched the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Its prized free agent in Gordon Hayward broke his ankle in the first quarter of the season opener. Kyrie Irving, who arrived in the big summer trade with Cleveland, carried the Celtics much of the way but also dealt with a nagging knee injury much of the season. He was finally shut down and following surgery, he was ruled out for the season several weeks ago. Additionally, backup point guard Marcus Smart injured his thumb late during his biggest game of the season against the Pacers with Irving sidelined and is also out until late April. In brighter news, Irving's main replacement in Terry Rozier is dealing with a finger ailment but is expected to play in Game 1. It will be interesting to see how Boston responds to the playoff grind as an incomplete team.
Bucks looking to take next step
Milwaukee and its young core led by small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo began the 2017 postseason in grand fashion as it held a 2-1 series lead over the Raptors before falling in three straight to see their season end. This is the third time in four years the Bucks have made it to the playoffs, but they have yet to make it out of the first round despite having two six-game series' and one seven-game series. The Bucks should be in better shape to score a series upset this year as Antetokounmpo continues to get better each season and the addition of Eric Bledsoe via trade has added another skilled two-way player. Additionally, Milwaukee is facing a Celtics squad reeling a bit from the aforementioned injuries.
NBA Betting Trends
The Bucks are 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings in Boston. The over is 7-0 in the last seven Milwaukee games following a straight up loss. The over is 4-0 in the last four Bucks games after allowing 125 or more points in the previous game.
The Celtics are 4-0 ATS in their last four conference quarterfinals games. The over is 4-0 in the last four Boston games overall. The over is 8-1-1 in the last 10 meetings in Milwaukee.
The four meetings have been split 2-2 this season, with each team winning once on the other's home floor. With Boston being without Irving, there isn't a lot that separates these two teams in terms of playoff experience. I'm going to say that this game comes down to the final possession with perhaps Milwaukee even hitting a game-winner. I'm going to take the team that doesn't have anyone listed on its injury report and that is the Bucks.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: MILWAUKEE BUCKS +4