The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics have a combined losing record, but the Eastern Conference powerhouses have time on their side.
After a slow start, defending champions Milwaukee have won its last two games to get back into contention.
Boston has won three of its last four, so momentum will continue for one team on Friday.
NBA betting lines have the Bucks as narrow favorites on the road.
Bucks Continue Road Trip
It has been a tough road trip for the Milwaukee Bucks, but despite playing their last three games away from home, it has been a fruitful trip.
It didn’t start well with a loss to Washington as one-point favorites, but the Bucks have since won and covered the spread in consecutive games.
They scored a -7 spread when beating Philadelphia 118-109 without Joel Embiid. Any doubts about that win were put to bed when they thrashed the New York Knicks 112-110 as a 3½-point underdog.
Pat Connaughton came up big with a season-high 23 points, which made up for a lack of offense from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“It was good to be in a hostile environment, good to face some of the same things we faced against them last week and good to be able to come out victorious,” Connaughton told ESPN.
Jrue Holiday had 18 points and he might need a similar performance against Boston. The Celtics have multiple scoring threats, so his defense and offense will be needed to cover the -2 betting online spread.
It’s a Bucks offense that has struggled. They are 17th in points per game and 22nd in field goal percentage. The only offensive category they rank inside the top 10 is three-point percentage at 35.7.
Smart Fires Up Celtics
Ever since Marcus Smart fired shots at Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the Celtics have won three of their last four games.
The first win came against Orlando when covering the spread by seven points. They followed it with a 23½-point cover against Miami, which was a big result.
What’s going right for Boston? ‘We’re doing our job’ on defense, says Celtics’ Marcus Smart https://t.co/EvbqZyo9I5
The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) November 11, 2021
Brown has since gone down with a hamstring injury, but it mattered for nothing when they defeated the Toronto Raptors by 16 points and covered the spread by 13.
The Celtics are now 6-5 against the spread and looking to get to .500. It won’t be an easy road for a team that doesn’t rank better than 12th in any of the offensive statistical categories, including 23rd in field goal percentage.
The defense is slightly better, but with a 1-3 record at home, we’re not surprised the sportsbook has the Celtics as home underdogs.
Bucks vs Celtics Pick
Our NBA betting preview features many positives for the Bucks and we think they’ll be too tough for the Celtics to match.
Even with Khris Middleton out of the squad, the Bucks have looked much better over the last week and playing on the road is clearly no problem.
The Celtics are still struggling to show cohesion on offense, which is the primary concern. They don’t appear to be happy in Boston and that’s not what bettors want to see when parting with their hard-earned money.
Take the Bucks to cover the -2 spread, which is a favorable line.