Celtics vs. Bucks Game 2 Betting Preview: Will Giannis & Co. Bounce Back?

Celtics vs. Bucks Game 2 Betting Preview: Will Giannis & Co. Bounce Back? article feature image

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo (34).

Game 2 Betting Odds: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks

  • Spread: Bucks -7.5
  • Over/Under: 220
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT
  • Series Score: Celtics Lead 1-0

>> All odds as of Monday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

The Celtics shocked the top-seeded Bucks in Game 1, putting on an impressive performance all around.

Will Milwaukee bounce back? Our analysts discuss.

Betting Trends to Know

The Bucks lost Game 1 by 22 points. Since 2005, playoff teams that lost their previous game by 20 or more points have gone just 94-90-2 ATS in their next game but 34-25-1 ATS when favored. – John Ewing

Will the momentum from their Game 1 win carry over to Game 2 for the Celtics? Under Brad Stevens, the Celtics are 11-6 ATS in the playoffs when winning their previous game by 10 or more points and 3-0 ATS when winning by 20-plus. – Ewing

The Bucks had the best record in the NBA (60-22) in the regular season. Since 2005, playoff teams that won 70% or more of their games have gone 58-36-2 (62%) ATS when coming off a double-digit loss. – Ewing

Under Brad Stevens, the Celtics have played six playoff games as an underdog directly after beating that same opponent by double digits in their last game. The Celtics are 1-5 straight up and 2-4 ATS in that spot. – Evan Abrams

The Celtics are playing their fourth consecutive playoff game on the road after sweeping the Pacers and starting Games 1 and 2 on the road. This season, the Celtics have really struggled on the fourth game or later of a road trip, especially when you compare that record to previous seasons.

  • 2018-19: 0-3 ATS (-11.2 PPG ATS)
  • 2013-2017: 9-4 ATS (+4.5 PPG ATS) – Abrams

Locky: How I’m Betting Game 2

It can be easy to be a little dismissive of Game 1 in this series. The thought would be something like, “Boston played its best possible game and Giannis played his worst possible game.”

But there are some things present here which make me think the spread should have been adjusted slightly more from Game 1 (it’s essentially changed a point, to 7.5), despite the fact it’s only one game.

The most notable theme is the fact that this current Celtics rotation (basically seven guys, plus less than 10 minutes of Aron Baynes) has never been in existence prior to these playoffs. And in these playoffs, they’re extremely impressive.

The injury to Marcus Smart has somehow gelled roles in a way that’s produced excellent results. And the team is still being rated and handicapped using performances prior to the playoffs. That may be unfair to Boston, and despite a one-point adjustment, I’m still not sure the gap between these teams is this wide.

Yes, Boston hit a lot of 3s in Game 1 and Milwaukee did not shoot particularly well. Yes, Giannis will probably play a little better. But the idea that this is a blowout because of those things is ambitious at best.

The Celtics shot just eight free throws and Jayson Tatum did nothing. Those things can change, too, for those of us on regression patrol. I still think despite the one-point shift that Boston isn’t being rated properly — at least not THIS version of Boston. I like the Celtics at +7.5 in Game 2. — Ken Barkley

Mears: How I’m Handicapping Tonight’s Game

This is a tough game to handicap at its current number. Bucks -7.5 is high after what we just saw in Game 1: Boston domination.

That said, the trends listed by Evan and John favor the Bucks, as do a lot of the betting systems (from Bet Labs) I follow in the playoffs.

Here’s one: In the playoffs, top-three seeds have crushed in Game 2s coming off a loss in Game 1…

And another … Home favorites in the playoffs coming off a loss and a non-cover have done very well:

If those teams are being faded the public, it’s even better:

And finally, when there’s been “sharp money” — defined as more money wagered than spread tickets — on the favorites, they’ve typically crushed ATS:

That’s a ton of positive indicators toward the Bucks, and I’m inclined to follow them.

One way I do like betting on this series outside of the spread: The Bucks are down to just -130 for the series. They’ll likely get back Malcolm Brogdon in Game 3, which should be a big boost for a bench that’s hurting right now. The Bucks could certainly be a value when he returns, but they obviously can’t fall down 0-2 in the series.

As such, there’s an opportunity here to buy low on the Bucks’ series price but hedge with big plus-money odds on the Celtics to win Game 2 (+275). You can bet enough to cover the series bet and hedge in case Boston steals another and effectively ends the series. — Bryan Mears

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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