Tied 2-2, the second-seeded Boston Celtics host the No. 3 seed Milwaukee Bucks for Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series at TD Garden. Tip-off is set for 7 pm ET (TNT). Below, we look at the Bucks vs. Celtics Game 5 odds and linesand make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
Boston stole Game 4 Monday by outscoring Milwaukee 43-28 in the 4th quarter to book a 116-108 victory. Celtics C Al Horford had a career game with 30 points on 11-for-14 shooting (including 5-for-7 from 3-point range) and was a major reason for Boston’s 4th-quarter comeback win.
Bucks’ 2-time MVP PF Giannis Antetokounmpo has been dominant, putting up series bests in points (32.0), rebounds (13.0) and assists (8.0) per game.
However, SF Khris Middleton‘s absence is hurting Milwaukee’s late-game execution and PG Jrue Holiday has struggled to pick up the slack. Holiday is averaging a very inefficient 21.3 points per game on 33.7% shooting.
The Celtics are 8-1-1 against the spread (ATS) vs. the Bucks in their last 10 meetings and the total is 5-5 Over/Under (O/U).
Bucks at Celtics odds and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 11:37 am ET.
- Money line (ML): Bucks +180 (bet $100 to win $180) | Celtics -230 (bet $230 to win $100)
- Against the spread: Bucks +5.5 (-110) | Celtics -5.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: 213.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)
Bucks at Celtics key injuries
- SG george hill (abdominal) probable
- SF Khris Middleton (knee) out
- PF Robert WilliamsIII (knee) questionable
Bucks at Celtics picks and predictions
Celtics 112, Bucks 103
PASS because home favorites have been pretty reliable on the ML this postseason but the Celtics (-230) are out of my price range.
I cannot get behind the Bucks stealing Game 5 either because Giannis can’t play any better and Holiday is shooting the Bucks out of the games.
Boston’s defense appears to be wearing Milwaukee’s offense down and the Bucks are a Khris Middleton away from being up 3-1 in this series.
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Against the spread
LEAN CELTICS -5.5 (-110) because we might be able to get a better number if we wait until closer to tip-off.
The audience will be on the Bucks because Game 4 was a lot closer than the final score indicates and the defending champions are getting 5 or more points. Also, Boston would’ve lost Game 4 if Horford didn’t have a career night and that probably won’t happen again.
However, home teams have been profitable in these playoffs because role players step up at home and home teams tend to get the benefit of the whistle. The Celtics are outperforming the Bucks in effective field goal shooting and free-throw attempt rate in this series.
We’ve seen so many lopsided games in the postseason because the NBA game has become slightly randomized due to the never-ending increase in 3-point attempt volume. It’s a big number but if either team gets hot from behind the arc then Game 5 could get out of hand.
Most of the action is on the Bucks, so it’s a LEAN to the CELTICS -5.5 (-110) with the hopes of getting a better price later.
Light LEAN to the OVER 213.5 (-110) because all 4 referees assigned to Game 5 have officiated more to the Over and the Bucks-Celtics series is playing at a slightly faster pace than the playoff average.
However, both teams are elite defensively and both have a below-average free-throw attempt rate for this postseason.
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