Bucks vs. Celtics Pick
The Bucks finished last season 42-40 to secure the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs before falling to Toronto in the first round. Boston was 53-29 last year to earn the No. 1 seed, but fell to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics are 0-1 after Tuesday night's 102-99 loss at the Cavaliers. Last season, Boston won two of three meetings versus Milwaukee and covered the spread twice. The over-under went 1-1-1.
Milwaukee enters the season with high hopes as the duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo (22.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 5.4 apg) and Khris Middleton (14.7 ppg) will lead the way, while Jabari Parker (20.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is targeting a February return from a torn ACL. Look for the Bucks to be right in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff mix as one of the top five or six teams.
Boston's season took a devastating turn Tuesday night with the gruesome broken ankle and leg suffered by Gordon Hayward, who signed a big long-term deal with the Celtics over the summer. His absence will obviously be significant, putting more pressure on Kyrie Irving to lead the show at point guard. Irving scored 22 points and dished out 10 assists in the game against his former team. Jaylen Brown had a team-high 25 points to go with six rebounds, while Jayson Tatum contributed a double-double of 14 points and 10 boards in his regular season debut.
Milwaukee is 11-5 ATS in its last eight meetings in Boston. The over is 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings in Boston.
The Bucks have one of the NBA's most exciting players in Antetokounmpo and he continues to make strides each season. With the Celtics already depleted with the absence of Hayward, this provides a good opportunity for the Bucks to get a key road win. With the three points given on the spread, even a close loss on the final possession would mean a Milwaukee cover.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: MILWAUKEE BUCKS +3