NBA Playoff Matinee Odds: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks

Khris Middleton’s 23 points led Milwaukee to a Game 3 win.

Boston at Milwaukee
Spread: MIL -4.5
Total: 204

Odds c/o 5dimes

The Boston Celtics took the first two games of the series at the TD Garden, but Milwaukee defended its home court in Game 3 as the Bucks blew out the C’s 116-92 to pull the series to 2-1. Game 4 tips off at Noon (Central Time) on ABC/ESPN, and the Bucks are 4.5-point favorites according to NBA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes. The betting total is set at 204 points, and through the first three games, the point totals were 220, 226 and 208— over the Game 4 total in all three cases.

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Milwaukee won Game 3 behind 23 points from swingman Khris Middleton. The near-hero of Game 1 connected on 10 of 17 from the field and 3 of 6 from downtown while adding eight boards and seven assists. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a quieter game with 19 points, six assists, and five rebounds, but finished +16 for his 27 minutes of court time. Antetokounmpo had five fouls in the game, which kept him on the bench some, but the Bucks got great play from its reserves, led by Jabari Parker’s 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting. Eric Bledsoe had a bounce-back game after being dominated by Terry Rozier in Games 1 and 2. Bledsoe finished with 17 points on an efficient 8 of 13 while adding four boards and four assists.

But perhaps the biggest difference maker in Game 3 was reserve big man Thon Maker. The second-year center from Australia had 14 points, five rebounds, and five emphatic blocks, helping along with Tyler Zeller to make up for the injured John Henson. Zeller did a whole lot of nothing while drawing the start, but Maker’s defense was a difference-maker, to be sure. The Bucks managed to get, in total, 50 points from its reserves, while also shooting 57 percent from the floor collectively as a team.

Boston was a weak 40 percent, and its +8 advantage on the boards made little difference with Rozier having his worst game of the series in shooting just 2 of 7 from the field for nine points and nine assists.

Boston still holds a 2-1 edge and home-court advantage, but in order to secure a 3-1 lead in this series, it is going to have to get Rozier back to what he did the first two games, and also get Jaylen Brown more involved than a mere nine field goal attempts. Jayson Tatum and Al Horford both played well, but Boston’s bench shot a collective 11 of 37 from the field, and it accounted for long dry spells.

There is also the fact that the Bucks led by 15 after the first quarter and left the C’s reserves trying to make up the difference. These woes can be typical of playoff teams on the road, but Boston showed in Game 3 why this series should be much closer than it appeared to be in the opening two games in Boston.

Expect the Bucks to battle strong and tie the series up before it goes back to Boston, where we anticipate a swing game in Game 5.

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  • Celtics are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss.
  • Celtics are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Conference Quarterfinals games.
  • Celtics are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
  • Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. NBA Central.
  • Celtics are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up loss.
  • Celtics are 23-8 ATS in their last 31 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
  • Celtics are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games playing on 1 days rest.
  • Celtics are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
  • Celtics are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 vs. Eastern Conference.
  • Celtics are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Celtics are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 games overall.
  • Celtics are 40-18-2 ATS in their last 60 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
  • Celtics are 35-16 ATS in their last 51 road games.
  • Bucks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Sunday games.
  • Bucks are 10-21 ATS in their last 31 games playing on 1 days rest.
  • Bucks are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 vs. Eastern Conference.
  • Bucks are 6-16 ATS in their last 22 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
  • Bucks are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 home games.
  • Bucks are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 vs. NBA Atlantic.
  • Bucks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
  • Bucks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Bucks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Conference Quarterfinals games.
  • Bucks are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
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