Celtics vs. Bucks Game 4 Betting Preview: Will Marcus Smart Make a Difference?

Celtics vs. Bucks Game 4 Betting Preview: Will Marcus Smart Make a Difference? article feature image

Photo credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Marcus Smart

Game 4 Betting Odds: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics

  • Spread: Celtics -1.5
  • Over/Under: 221
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT
  • Series Score: Bucks Lead 2-1

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

Giannis Antetokounmpo lived at the free throw line in Game 3, and the Bucks came away with an impressive road win.

What’s in store for Game 4? Will the potential addition of Marcus Smart (questionable) make a difference? Our analysts dive in.

Betting Trends to Know

This season, the Bucks are 38-18-3 ATS (67.9%) when facing an Eastern Conference team, profiting bettors $1,781 on $100 per bet. They are the most-profitable team against a conference opponent since the 2010-11 Memphis Grizzlies. – Evan Abrams

The Bucks have played five games this season as an underdog against an Eastern Conference team. Milwaukee is 5-1 straight-up and ATS, covering by 10.1 points per game. Their only loss came against … the Celtics in Boston as a 2.5-point underdog. – Abrams

The Bucks beat the Celtics in Boston as an underdog in Game 3. The impressive win hasn’t convinced bettors, however, as a majority of spread tickets are on the Celtics in Game 4. Since 2005, when a top-two seed has received less than 45% of bets in a playoff game (like the Bucks), they have gone 121-72-1 (63%) ATS. – John Ewing

Locky: How I’m Betting Game 4

Marcus Smart’s potential return actually adds an interesting wrinkle to this series, and here’s why. The Celtics have allowed 123 points in back-to-back games. This is a team whose defensive prowess has been remarkable in many spots this year and last year. I really trust and respect Brad Stevens as a coach, and I think he can figure out a way to get a better effort from his team. Having Smart return to the rotation obviously adds defensive ability.

I was already eyeing the under in Game 4 anyway, considering that you would almost HAVE to get a better Celtics defensive effort than what you’ve gotten. Adding to that is the fact that Boston has been particularly vocal about foul shots taken by Giannis Antetokounmpo throughout the series, and with the game in Boston it’s possible you see the officials swallow the whistle a little bit. If there was going to be some type of adjustment in how Giannis is officiated, it would occur now, if at all.

Smart’s return also muddles things at the offensive end, where minutes come out of Terry Rozier’s allotment but also maybe a little from Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward. Offensive continuity should decrease, and you’re swapping a plus-offensive player (like Tatum or Hayward) for a plus-defensive player. Smart’s also prone to taking ill-advised 3-pointers and has been for basically the majority of his career.

The total isn’t going anywhere in this series; it’s been right around 220 in all the games, and it sits about 221 for Game 4. The return of Smart, combined with Boston sitting on a potentially better defensive effort and getting a little help from the officials with Giannis, makes me like the under Monday night. — Ken Barkley

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.