Five Betting, DFS Angles for Bucks-Celtics Game 7
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
This article may be titled “Five Things to Know,” but here’s a sixth factoid on the house. I can’t handle too many more Game 7s for Boston. I know, this is just the second of the year, but these bad boys have been taking their wear and tear on my heart for years now. I’m a young lad, but my heart is that of an old chunk of coal. I quite literally had a test done in the cardiology section of the hospital today, and I can almost be certain the two things are related.
Here’s to a stress-free Game 7. — Mark Gallant
Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics (-4.5) | O/U: 195.5
7 p.m. ET | TNT
The Bucks’ Starters Have Been Better Than Boston’s
The 195.5 opening total in this one is indicative of what this series has been: a slow-paced, defensive affair. The main Bucks lineup of Malcolm Brogdon-Eric Bledsoe-Khris Middleton-Giannis Antetokounmpo-Thon Maker played 17 minutes last game and posted a +8.0 net rating despite scoring just 103.6 points per 100 possessions. They played at a pace of 90.1 possessions per 48 minutes; for reference, the Kings were the slowest team in the league this season, posting a 97.1 pace mark. A single error in a game this slow can be incredibly costly.
This series, which has been incredibly close, has really come down to home court. The Bucks have posted a ridiculous +17.3 Net Rating at home, and Boston has been strong at home as well with a +7.9 mark. Home teams have historically overperformed in Game 7s (more on that in a minute), and considering how this series has gone, it’s fair to make Boston a decent favorite. Still, Milwaukee has the best player on the floor in Giannis, and that edge is important. The Celtics have largely won with bench units in this series: Jaylen Brown (pictured above) is the only Celtic with a positive Net Rating (+6.0) through the six games. Giannis, Bledsoe, Middleton and John Henson have posted positive Net Ratings so far for Milwaukee. Will Bucks coach Joe Prunty play his starters as many minutes as they can physically handle? Will that be enough to steal the series on the road? — Bryan Mears
Historical Trend Might Favor the Bucks ATS
In the last five seasons, teams that failed to cover the spread in Game 6 of a series that went seven games have gone just 4-10 ATS in Game 7. — Evan Abrams
That Said … Home Teams Overperform in Game 7s
Since 2005, home teams in Game 7s are 29-11 SU and 24-16 ATS. If the home team is favored by more than three points, the ATS record improves to 23-11 (68%). — John Ewing
Also, Stevens Is a Master of Bouncing Back
As coach of the Celtics, Brad Stevens is 87-70-3 ATS the game after losing and failing to cover the spread (including the playoffs). He is the fourth-most profitable active head coach in that span, with bettors netting 13.2 units.
Boston allowed the Bucks to shoot 50.7% from the field in Game 6. After losing and failing to cover the spread while also allowing their opponent to shoot 50% or better from the field, the Celtics are 29-12 ATS (70.7%) in their next game over the past four seasons under Stevens, covering the spread by more than four PPG. — Evan Abrams
Boston Will Need a Big Game From Jaylen Brown
If the Celtics are going to win Game 7 at home, they’re going to need a better performance from Brown. He’s been their best player this postseason, but he struggled in Game 6, shooting 6-of-15 from the field and just 1-of-6 from 3-point range. That said, there’s no reason why he can’t bounce back on Saturday. He’s been guarded primarily by Brogdon, and the Celtics have averaged an additional +10.1 points per 100 possessions in that matchup this postseason. From a DFS perspective, Brown has exceeded salary-based expectations in four of the six games on FanDuel, where he is a slightly better value than he is on DraftKings. — Matt LaMarca