In what could be a showdown of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks will play host to the NBA-best Boston Celtics on Tuesday night. Regular-season games don't always have a ton of meaning, but you better believe this tilt will have large-scale implications on either team's betting odds to win the NBA Finals.
It will likewise have a serious impact on the standings. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks enter having won 10 games in a row—somewhat quietly, we might add. Milwaukee now trails Boston by 1.5 games for first place in the Eastern Conference. A win would bring them within a half-game of the top spot while also knotting up the season series at one victory apiece, which could prove critical if these two teams need to break a tie for the No. 1 seed at the end of season.
As you might have guessed, we have Bucks vs. Celtics picks for this high-stakes occasion. Before we get to them, though, here's a look at the latest NBA online betting odds for Milwaukee vs. Boston:
Remember to double-check these Bucks vs. Celtics betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our odds on Celtics vs. Bucks are accurate following all games played on Monday night, February 13. That gives linemakers time to adjust their odds prior to opening tip-off on Tuesday, February 13, at 7:30 p.m. EST. For this matchup specifically, we're expecting that to happen at an abnormally frequent rate. The action on this game should be more aggressive than usual, given the marquee nature of this showdown, and multiple reports suggest Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum will not play.
Granted, you needn't worry about having the latest online NBA betting odds if you've attached yourself to the right wagering sites. That's why we suggest perusing our reviews of the top online sportsbooks. All the information within these extensive critiques can help you spot the best online NBA betting sites in 2023—and beyond.
Without any more delay, let's get to our Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics predictions!
Is It Time to Consider the Milwaukee Bucks Favorites in the Eastern Conference?
Though the Celtics enter Tuesday night with the NBA's best record, the Bucks are the league's hottest team. Milwaukee has won 10 in a row, during which time they rank second in points allowed per possession and own the Association's second best net rating, trailing only the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Multiple factors account for this fiery stretch. The biggest driving force, though? Health. The Bucks are finally starting to see what they look like when all of their top-four players are available. And the returns are daunting—if you're an opponent. Milwaukee is outscoring opponents by 24.5 points per 100 possessions when Giannis, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez share the floor. Middleton has been the least available of this quartet, but he's back now, and he's finally starting to look like himself again. That's terrifying for everyone in the Eastern Conference, including the Celtics.
This holds especially true when Boston will be lining up without their two best players. Jaylen Brown remains on the shelf after suffering a facial fracture last week, and Tatum is expected to miss Tuesday night's contest due to an illness. The Celtics will struggle to generate offense without them; their offensive efficiency ranks in the 11th percentile whenever both stars are off the court.
Frankly, with the Bucks playing at home, this no longer feels like a fair fight. Milwaukee is a convincing lock. More than that, it's time to reconsider which team should be favored to represent the East in the NBA Finals.
OSB Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks (-180)
Pounce on the Bucks Point Spread Before It Starts to Move
Here are the latest NBA point spread betting odds for Celtics vs. Bucks:
- Milwaukee Bucks, -4 (-110)
- Boston Celtics, +4 (-110)
Pretty much fall of the betting trends favor the Bucks points spread against the Celtics. Not only has Milwaukee been one of the best point spread bets on the season, covering more than 58 percent of the time, but they've been even better at home. They cover 64.3 percent of the time when playing on their own floor.
This number holds firm when the Bucks are home favorites; they are 9-5-2 against the spread in those situations. Granted, they have fared worse coming off two to three days rest. They are 3-4-1 against the spread at home under those circumstances.
It's tough for us to care about that weird rest trend in this matchup. Perhaps it would be worth expressing caution if the Celtics were at full strength. But they're not. Their two leading scorers are sidelined, and this spread isn't nearly largely enough for us to predict a backdoor cover. If anything, we expect the Bucks to take this one by double digits.
OSB Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks, -4 (-110)
Beware the "Over" for Bucks vs. Celtics
Below you can see the latest NBA over/under betting odds for Bucks vs. Celtics:
- Over 227.5 (-110)
- Under 227.5 (-110)
Milwaukee has been a shaky bet to cover the "over" all season. If they're not missing key bodies, they're struggling to score in the half-court. They will be close to full strength against the Celtics, but Boston's defense remains top notch even without Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
The "under" becomes all the more attractive knowing the Celtics will be shorthanded. Again: They're playing without their two leading scorers. On top of that, in a somewhat weird trend, Bucks games have hit the "under" 60 percent of the time when Milwaukee is coming off two or three days' rest, as is the case here.
OSB Prediction: Under 227.5 (-110)
Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your NBA betting: