The Milwaukee Bucks will be out for revenge in the second round of the 2019 NBA playoffs, as they host Al Horford and a Boston Celtics team that sent them home in the first round of the playoffs last season. Game 1 of this Eastern Conference tilt was a surprising blowout in favor of the visiting Celtics, so the pressure is really on the Bucks in Game 2. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET from the Fiserv Forum on Tuesday. Will the NBA’s best regular season team bounce-back from being punched in the mouth in Game 1, or will the red-hot Celtics remain undefeated in the playoffs? Sportsbooks list the Bucks as 7.5-point home favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 219.5 in the latest Celtics vs. Bucks odds. Before you make any Celtics vs. Bucks picks, see what SportsLine’s advanced computer model has to say.
The model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is crushing its NBA picks. It entered Week 28 of the 2018-19 NBA season with a sterling record on its top-rated picks, returning more than $3,100 in profit to anybody following them. And it has been particularly red-hot on its A-rated NBA money line picks, entering Week 28 on a strong 85-60 run. Anybody who has followed it is way up.
Now it has locked in on Celtics vs. Bucks. We can tell you it’s leaning under, and it also says one side of the spread hits in nearly 70 percent of simulations. You can only see that selection at SportsLine.
The model is well aware of just how poor the Bucks played in Game 1. After shooting over 50 percent from the floor in the first round, Milwaukee shot just 34.8 percent against Boston. In just one of their 82 regular season games did the Bucks shoot worse than 34.8 percent. That is an extreme outlier. In three regular season matchups with the Celtics, Milwaukee shot 47 percent from the floor. Giannis Antetokounmpo was particularly bad on Sunday, posting a plus-minus of -24, which he topped only once during the regular season. His 33.3 percent shooting in Game 1 was lower than his percentage in any game he took at least 15 shots in during the regular season.
It really can’t get worse for Milwaukee than what we saw in Game 1. It was a terrible start to the series, but it still is just one game. Over a much larger sample size, this Milwaukee team proved to be one of the NBA’s best, finishing first in defensive efficiency and point differential, while being the only team in the modern era to finish top-three in rebounding rate and both offensive and defensive rating. The Bucks were one of the best statistical teams we’ve seen in NBA history, so don’t be surprised if they bounce-back in a big way in Game 2.
But just because Milwaukee has been a dominant team all season long doesn’t mean it will win or cover the Celtics vs. Bucks spread Tuesday night in the NBA Playoffs 2019.
The model also knows that this Boston team has found a new level in the postseason. Brad Stevens has shown a consistent ability to have his teams more well-prepared than their opponents in the playoffs, so the fact that Milwaukee was much better during the regular season might not matter much. Even without the help of Irving and Gordon Hayward, the Celtics were able to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals last year, on the back of a sterling 9-3 against-the-spread record in the first two rounds. They swept a well-respected Pacers squad in Round 1 of this year’s playoffs, which included a perfect 4-0 mark against-the-spread.
Plus, we saw Stevens and this Celtics squad dismantle the Bucks in the first round last year, and their defensive schemes similarly frustrated Antetokounmpo in Game 1 of this year’s series.
So who wins Game 2 of Bucks vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread can you bank on in nearly 70 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Bucks vs. Celtics spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.