Celtics Favored to Win Series and Game 1
Out of 840 NBA playoff series’ – teams that win Game 1 go on to win the series 78.2 percent of the time. That’s almost a four-in-five chance for the Boston Celtics, who are favored on the series prices. Boston is the only unbeaten playoff team and the Milwaukee Bucks are shorthanded.
The Bucks Are a Buck Short
The road to defending the NBA title gets harder as the champions, the Milwaukee Bucks must now face the surging Boston Celtics without one of their three best players, Khris Middleton. The three-time All-Star injured himself in Game 2 against the Chicago Bulls and is not expected back anytime soon.
The left MCL injury of Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton is a Grade 2 sprain and he is expected to miss the entire second-round series vs. Celtics, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The recovery of Grade 2 MCL places a potential Conference Finals in jeopardy for him as well.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 28, 2022
The Bucks still dominated the Bulls despite Middleton’s absence, but the Celtics are a different animal as a team that has only lost six games (28-6) since the beginning of February. Milwaukee is 10-9 without Middleton and 0-1 against Boston without him this season.
Middleton, despite being on and off, makes Milwaukee 5.2 points better when he’s on the court. This is a guy that put up 40 points in an NBA Finals game and averaged 23.6 points in last year’s postseason. Milwaukee will be an underdog in the sportsbook for as long as he is out.
Celtics Can Keep Building Momentum
The Boston Celtics are riding high after sweeping the Brooklyn Nets. It was an unexpected result but showed just how far Boston has come since being a sub-.500 team through most of the first half of the season.
What’s most notable with that series is how Boston outplayed Brooklyn in close-game possessions. The average Celtic win was 4.5-points and it managed to close out the Nets despite being outscored in three of the four fourth quarters.
Jayson Tatum has taken his game to the next level and averaged 29.5 points while shooting 41.9 percent from deep and putting up 7.3 assists per game. His generosity with the rock has allowed Boston to shoot nearly 50 percent from the field. Boston is 18-5 in games where Tatum has six or more assists, a positive trend that is worth betting online.
Bucks vs Celtics Head-to-Head
The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics tied this season’s series with two wins apiece. The home team went unbeaten at 4-0 and Boston covered the spread in all four games. The total went over in three of the four games.
Bucks vs Celtics Game Information
- Game: Bucks (55-32) vs Celtics (55-31)
- Location: TD Garden
- Day/Time: Sunday, May 1, 1:00 p.m. ET
- Bucks vs Celtics Streaming: NBA Game Pass
Bucks vs Celtics Betting Lines
Bucks vs Celtics Prediction
Without getting too carried away with the hype, the Boston Celtics are going to make a statement with this game. The Milwaukee Bucks shredded the Chicago Bulls because they had no defense and no shooting. That is not the case here as Boston is a top-ten three-point shooting team and the league’s best defense.
Milwaukee has a bit more depth than Boston and we expect their reserves to outplay Boston’s, but Boston’s starters should be able to edge Milwaukee’s – even if Giannis Antetokounmpo has himself a monster game. Last year’s Finals MVP, put up 28.3 points and 10.3 boards in three games versus Boston this season – but he had an average plus-minus of -9.8.
Take Boston and the 4½ points as this should be a hard-fought but decisive victory for the home team.