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Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics Game 1 Betting Preview

The Milwaukee Bucks will head to the TD Garden on Sunday afternoon to take on the Boston Celtics in the opening game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Bucks defeated the sixth-seeded Chicago Bulls in five games in the first round, while the Celtics were able to sweep the seventh-seeded Brooklyn Nets.

These teams faced off four different times in the regular season and split those games. Let’s take a deeper dive into both teams and determine the best course for wagering on this game.

Milwaukee Bucks Need Giannis to Dominate

The Milwaukee Bucks are going to need some players to step up as small forward Khris Middleton (knee) and point guard George Hill (abdomen) are already ruled out of this game.

That means power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to have to step up in this game if they want any chance of being competitive. Luckily for them, Giannis played extremely well in the first round of the playoffs as he averaged 28.6 points, 13.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game.

As a team, Milwaukee has done well as they are only giving up 95.2 points per game in the postseason. They have a lot of size, which is a huge reason why they are leading with 51.8 rebounds per game as a team. This Boston offense is a lot better than the injury-riddled Chicago Bulls, so this will be a great step up in competition.

Boston Celtics Need to Dominate Defensively

The Boston Celtics really flexed their muscles in the first round of the playoffs as they swept the Brooklyn Nets. A huge reason was their ability to score points effectively, as they are third in the playoffs with 113.5 points per game scored.

The main reason why was the effort on both sides of the court by small forward Jayson Tatum, as he averaged 29.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 1.8 steals per game while shutting down Kevin Durant completely.

The defense has really stepped up as they are completely healthy and got a few more days rest than Milwaukee and should benefit with center Robert Williams III getting some extra days to get back to 100 percent.

He should be a big body down low to limit Giannis in the paint, and with guys like shooting guard Marcus Smart, who just won Defensive Player of the Year, it will be a great thing to attempt to suffocate Giannis as they did to Brooklyn’s top two players in the first round.

Bucks/Celtics Betting Prediction

As of this writing, the consensus number for this game is that the Boston Celtics are a five-point home favorite. They looked like the best team in the first round of the playoffs, and having the home-court advantage is going to be huge for them.

The Bucks are without small forward Khris Middleton for at least the beginning of this series, and that is going to force the role players to contribute more, which is going to be tough to imagine happening.

The Celtics are an incredibly hungry team, and the Bucks are talented but just won the NBA Championship last season, so their drive is not there. All in all, go with the Boston Celtics to win by more than five points in this game, as they should be able to hold serve on their home court and cover the spread in Game 1.

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