Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics Prediction, Spread and Trends to Watch - 05/15/2022

by James Q

Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics Prediction, Spread and Trends to Watch - 05/15/2022

Game Time: 3:30 PM ET, Sunday, May 15th, 2022 
Venue:   TD Garden, Boston Massachusetts
Where to Watch:  ABC

Opening NBA Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Celtics -5; O/U 206.5
Fanduel:  Celtics -5; O/U 207
BetMGM: Celtics -5.5; O/U 207.5

NBA Standings

Bucks: 51-31, 3rd place Eastern Conference; 3-3 in series
Celtics: 51-31, 2nd place Eastern Conference;  3-3 in series

An NBA Eastern Conference Second Round Playoff matchup.  This one is for all the marbles. Shockingly the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks have gone back and forth Each team winning two games on the other’s home floor.  The MVP (there is no official award for second round playoff series MVP) of the series would have to be Buck’s Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.  He keeps showing the deeper Boston Celtics team that he can win mostly on his own.  He keeps dropping 40+ points… he keeps posting amazing rebound totals… and he will block a few shots every game.  Success for the Bucks of course comes from if Giannis’s back-up dancers show up with a big accompanying game.  PG Jrue Holiday was the unequivocal Bucks hero in Game 5 when he helped steal the win in the final minutes with a blocked, shot, a steal, and a tough basket… all in the closing minutes.  Then cam Game 6 where Holliday shot 3 of 10 from 3-point range and finished the game with only 17 points in 42:20 mins of play… which wasn’t even half as bad as SG Grayson Allen bringing only 3 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist in 22 futile minutes.  The Boston Celtics were completely downtrodden after dropping Game 5 in the final minutes… They had the game in their hands the entire time… and then it slipped away.  The recurring theme for the Celtics though may be that Head Coach Ime Udoka is the best at making game-to game tweaks that we have seen since Nick Nurse won a title with the Toronto Raptors pre-Covid shutdown. 

The Milwaukee Bucks took a hard loss at home in Game 6, which was also an ATS loss. They have won 6 of their last 10 games, going 5-4-1 ATS during that stretch.  In the Game six loss, absolutely NO BLAME could ever fall on Giannis.  He put up an all-time type game of 44 points, 20 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 blocks. To lose a game like that is heartbreaking.  It is very clear that the Celtics focused on shutting down Giannis’s teammates under the idea that Giannis would simply get what he got.  It also is clear that without SF Khris Middleton on the active roster for the Bucks… Giannis’s teammates are much easier to shut down.  If Giannis wasn’t such a humble, competitive, just, and fantastic guy… The lack of support from his teammates would accompany a trade request if they get knocked out of the Playoffs in this Game 7.  If he were Kyrie Irving, or James Harden, or Ben Simmons… He would have already stopped trying.  Milwaukee has a great player and he will against put up a great game… the Bucks role players need to step up.

The Boston Celtics rescued themselves from tragedy.  They lost game 5 but won Game 6 when their backs were against the wall.  It was also a big win ATS (which made me very happy after a Game 5 miss).  They have won 7 of their last 10 games, going 6-3-1 ATS.  The Playoffs have seen 4 Overs and 6 Unders out of Celtics games… The Under is usually a safe bet with them as they were First in defense this season and seem to hold up even when C Robert Williams III does not play. In the win SF Jayson Tatum yet again announced that he belongs in the same conversations as Giannis and Kevin Durant and whomever you prefer. Tatum also had an all-time game with 46 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists…. Of course Jayson got the help that Giannis did not get;  22 points from SG Jaylen Brown and 21 points from PG Marcus Smart.  That trio of Tatum, Brown, and Smart having good games altogether is the best recipe for Celtics’ success. They all scored the ball…. They all played proper defense and they all logged 40 Minutes or more.  That is the recipe.  This play by Boston’s trio allowed C Al Horford and PF Grant Williams to focus on defense (where they are both beasts)... the fact that that duo only had 4 points combined should cause zero concern.  SG Derrick White put the icing on the cake with 9 points on what was actually a bad shooting night… but again he is a current Celtic so the mission is Defense.

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Milwaukee Bucks  vs Boston Celtics Preview and Analysis

Recent Form

Milwaukee is 58-35 on the season, but 44-48-1 ATS.  They have logged 45 Overs and 48 Overs.  They are 28-18 in road games… and they have already won TWO games on Boston’s home floor this series.

Boston is 58-34 on the season, but 51-39-2 ATS.  They have notched 44 Overs, 46 Unders, and 2 Push.  They are 31-15 in home games.

Offensive Analysis  

The Bucks are 3rd in scoring with 115.5 ppg, 2nd in rebounds with 46.7 per game, and 15th in AST/TO ratio with 1.8.  On defense they rank 19th with 112.1 ppg from opponents. The curious nature of Milwaukee defense is that they have Giannis swatting shots from the off ball position… but they only rank 27th in blocked shots for the entire league… They need Lopez to get more active in that area.

The Celtics are 12th in scoring with 111.8 ppg, 5th in rebounds with 46.1 per game, and 11th in AST/TO ratio with 1.8.  On defense they rank FIRST while holding opponents to 104.5 ppg.  This series the Celtics defense has held Milwaukee below 100 points twice and below the 104.5 season average 4 times.
 

Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics Game Prediction 


Our prediction for Sunday, May 15th is…..  Celtics 110 - 100

The Celtics will win outright and ATS.  They are on their home floor where they have to avenge that Game 5 loss.  All the pressure in Milwaukee will be on Giannis… no joke… he will have to do it all.  Boston’s trio of young stars can share the responsibility of getting a win.  

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NBA Betting Trends

Milwaukee is 7-1 ATS when tied in a Playoff series the last 3 seasons.
Milwaukee has notched 2 Overs and 9 Unders in all playoff games this season.
Boston is 19-8 ATS when playing 6 or less games in 14 days this season.
Boston is 12-2 ATS versus Milwaukee the last 3 seasons.

Injury List

Boston: C Robert Williams III (knee) Quest

Bucks: SF Khri Middleton (knee) Out

Starting Lineups

Celtics: SF Jayson Tatum, PF Grant Williams, C Al Horford, SG Jaylen Brown, PG Marcus Smart

Bucks: SF Wesley Matthews, PF Giannis Antetokounmpo, C Brook Lopez, SG Grayson Allen, PG Jrue Holiday

Coaches

Bucks: Mike Budenholzer
Celtics: Ime Udoka


James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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