The marquee matchup of the first busy night of the 2020-21 NBA regular season on Wednesday features two-time reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, he of the recently signed supermax extension, and the Milwaukee Bucks visiting the Boston Celtics. The Celtics won’t be home underdogs too often this year but are on the NBA odds.
How to Bet Bucks at Celtics NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Wednesday, 7:30 PM ET
- Where: TD Garden, Boston
- TV: TNT
- Stream: TNT app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- NBA Odds: Bucks -2.5
The teams met July 31 in the Orlando bubble and the Bucks prevailed 119-112. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. Khris Middleton added 18 points for the Bucks. Marcus Smart scored 23 points for the Celtics and Jaylen Brown had 22, but star forward Jayson Tatum had five points on 2-for-18 shooting. Boston fell to 3-8, counting playoffs, against the Bucks the last two seasons.
Why Bet on Milwaukee?The Bucks went 0-3 in the preseason but that means nothing. That they were able to get Giannis to agree on a long-term extension is all that matters. It was for five years and $228 million.
Antetokounmpo is coming off a career year in which he became just the third player in league history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, joining Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. Antetokounmpo was fifth in the NBA in scoring at 29.5 ppg and 2nd in rebounding at 13.6 rpg last season despite playing just 30.4 minutes per game. He also dished out 5.6 assists per game, becoming the first player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1965-66 to average 29/13/5 in a season. Giannis had a 31.9 player efficiency rating — the highest in a season in NBA history.
Khris Middleton, now a two-time All-Star, had a career season in 2019-20 as he set new career-high marks in scoring (20.9 ppg), rebounding (6.2 rpg), FG% (.497) and FT% (.916). He also matched his career-high with 4.3 assists per game and shot 41.5% from three (2nd-highest mark of his career). Middleton fell just short of an illustrious 50/40/90 shooting season and was close to becoming only the fifth player ever to achieve a 50/40/90 season while averaging 20+ ppg
Milwaukee has finished the regular season with the best record in the league each of the past two years, but it failed to reach the NBA Finals either time. The Bucks went 56-17 (.767) in the shortened 2019-20 season and have gone a combined 116-39 (.748) over the last two regular seasons.
The Bucks made one big trade this offseason in landing All-Star guard Jrue Holiday from the Pelicans. In 61 games (all starts) with New Orleans last year, Holiday averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals (12th in NBA).
The Bucks also thought they had a sign-and-trade deal with the Kings for Bogdan Bogdanovic but that fell through. The NBA determined that the Bucks violated league rules with the timing of the Bogdanovic transaction and will lose their 2022 second-round draft pick.
Why Bet on Boston?The Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals in the Orlando bubble but lost to Miami in six games. Boston will not have All-Star point guard Kemba Walker for the start of the season after a stem cell injection in his knee a few weeks ago.
Walker looked very good against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the bubble playoffs, but he struggled as the Celtics progressed throughout the postseason — particularly after taking a hard fall during the second round against the Toronto Raptors when he appeared to tweak the knee.
That means recently-signed veteran Jeff Teague likely will be Boston’s starting point guard out of the gate. The 32-year-old averaged 10.9 points and 5.2 assists over 59 games last season and at least should be a stabilizing force at the position until Walker returns.
Marcus Smart also will likely be taking on a heavy burden in a facilitating role, which should be no issue for him after leading the Celtics in assists last season. He’s coming off of career-high averages in scoring (12.9 points per game) assists (4.9 APG), 3-point makes (2.3 per game), and minutes (32.0 MPG).
Boston did lose starting forward Gordon Hayward to Charlotte this offseason in a sign and trade. To facilitate the deal, which pays Hayward $120 million over four years, the Celtics included future second-round picks in the 2023 and 2024 drafts. They got back a conditional 2022 second-rounder in addition to a hefty trade exception.
- Bucks are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 road games.
- Bucks are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite.
- Bucks are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Celtics are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games as a home underdog.
- Bucks are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
- Over is 14-4-1 in the last 19 meetings in Boston.
- Bucks 113, Celtics 108
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