Celtics at Bucks NBA Odds & Game 6 Preview – April 26th
If a playoff series truly doesn’t begin until a road team wins a game, well, then the Eastern Conference first-round matchup between the No. 2 Celtics and No. 7 Bucks hasn’t started yet. Boston can finish the series with a road win on Thursday as an NBA odds underdog. It’s the only NBA game of the night.
How to Bet Celtics at Bucks NBA Odds & Game 6 Info
When: Thursday, 8 PM ET
Where: Bradley Center, Milwaukee
Stream: Watch NBA
Radio: 98.5 FM (Boston) / 620 AM (Milwaukee)
NBA Odds: Bucks -5 (199.5)
Why Bet on Boston?
The Celtics played by far their best defensive game of this series in the Game 4 92-87 win, and it probably wasn’t a coincidence that it was the first game that guard Marcus Smart played of this series. The stellar perimeter defender and “energy” guy had been out since mid-March with a ligament issue in his thumb.
Originally, Smart wasn’t supposed to play before Game 6 but was cleared a bit before tipoff Tuesday. Smart finished with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, a steal and three blocks on 2-of-7 shooting. He made one of the plays of the night, passing the ball while lying on his back to Al Horford for a late layup.
The return of Smart, coupled with coach Brad Stevens’ decision to slide rookie Semi Ojeleye into the starting lineup, helped the Celtics contain Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo as few teams have done this season. Boston’s switch-happy, small-ball lineups smothered Antetokounmpo’s drives and limited his transition opportunities. He finished with just 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
How Did Al Horford Do in Game 5?
Horford finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds, embracing the big man role as Stevens removed Greg Monroe from his rotation and played Aron Baynes for limited minutes off the bench. Horford got a shot up after the 24-second clock expired late in the fourth quarter that would have given the Bucks the ball back, but the officials missed it, making for one of the more interesting moments of the game. Horford’s 3-point attempt with 1:18 remaining seemed to come after the 24-second clock had expired in a five-point game. Instead, Ojeleye tapped out a rebound as Bucks players motioned for a whistle and Terry Rozier hustled to secure the ball.
Thon Maker was whistled for a foul for making contact with Rozier’s head while chasing the rebound. The Celtics didn’t score on their ensuing possession but were able to take the clock down to 48 seconds before the Bucks regained possession.
In a meeting with a pool reporter, referee Ken Mauer said the potential shot clock violation was not reviewable. Rozier hit 4-of-10 shots and two 3-pointers for 16 points, three rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block in 33 minutes. He outshined both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Why Bet on Milwaukee?
This could be the last game for the Bucks at the Bradley Center as they move to a new arena next season. There have been plenty of memories made at the Bradley Center since the Bucks took the court for their first regular-season game there Nov. 5, 1988, against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Bucks need more from the Greek Freak to win Game 6. After attempting just 10 shots in Tuesday’s Game 5 loss, Antetokounmpo vowed to come out more aggressively in Game 6: “It’s on me. As I said, I had open shots, but they wasn’t my shots, so I didn’t feel comfortable to take them. I think my teammates did a great job finding me, but come the next game, in Game 6, I got to be more aggressive, make more plays because definitely my teammates need me.”
Antetokounmpo finished just 5-for-10 from the field, and the 10 field goal attempts were the fourth-most on the Bucks. His two total drives and one shot in transition were the fewest he had in any game throughout this series. He had 21 assist opportunities compared with an average of nine in Games 1-4. Antetokounmpo came one assist away from a triple-double in Game 5 on Tuesday as he added 10 rebounds and nine assists. In the playoffs, Antetokounmpo currently ranks 10th in scoring (25.4), ninth in assists per game (7.0), 15th in rebounding (8.8) and tied for fifth in field goal percentage (.605).
Who Else Had a Great Game 5?
Khris Middleton led the Bucks in scoring in Game 5, tallying 23 points while knocking down three of his six 3-point attempts. Middleton has scored 20+ points in all five playoff games, while making at least three 3-pointers in each game as well. Middleton’s five-game streak of making at least three 3-pointers is the longest in Bucks-playoff history.
Could the Bucks get back center John Henson? He has missed the past three games with back soreness. Henson logged heavy minutes in Games 1 and 2, averaging 9.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks. Tyler Zeller had zero points and was minus-6 starting for Henson in Game 5.
Latest NBA Odds Trends
- Boston is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 games
- Boston is 4-2 SU in the last 6 games
- The total wentOVER in 8 of Boston’s last 9 games
- Milwaukee is 1-5 ATS in the last 6 games
- Milwaukee is 2-4 SU in the last 6 games
- The total went OVER in 19 of Milwaukee’s last 22 games
Expert NBA Betting Prediction
The NBA odds trends suggest Boston, but the Bucks – especially the Freak – will play better at home to cover and force Game 7.