Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks will host Kemba Walker and the Boston Celtics on Wednesday in the fourth game for both squads. Both teams sit at 2-1 and are among the top teams in the NBA standings. After a road loss to the Sixers to start the season, Boston has rebounded with back-to-back victories. Even with big men Enes Kanter (knee) and Daniel Theis (ankle) hurt, Boston has been able to stay afloat. They get Theis back on Wednesday, which will help in the effort to stop the reigning MVP. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m ET from the TD Garden. Sportsbooks list the Bucks as 3.5-point favorites, up sharply from an open of two, while the Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 223.5 in the latest Bucks vs. Celtics odds. Before you make any Celtics vs. Bucks picks, see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and anyone who followed it last season saw massive returns. The model finished 300-252 on all its top-rated picks. On top-rated against the spread and money line NBA picks alone, the model returned a whopping $4,280.
Now, it has locked in on Bucks vs. Celtics. We can tell you it's leaning under, and it also says one side hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see that selection at SportsLine.
The model is well aware that Boston was one of sportsbooks' most overvalued teams last season, covering the spread just 48.3 percent of the time. The Bucks, meanwhile, covered the spread at the league's best rate. They also covered 61.7 percent of the time on the road, which was the second-best mark in the league.
The MVP-led Bucks are not intimidated by playing on the road, and they beat Boston by 13 in their last meeting in the Garden. The Greek Freak put up 30 points in that one, and Boston lost their 'Giannis-stopper' when Al Horford signed with the 76ers this summer. Antetokounmpo is off to an impressive start this season, averaging 30 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists in games that his minutes weren't lowered by blowout. His usage rate is up from 31.4 percent in his MVP campaign to 33.9 percent this season.
Just because the Celtics have no answer for Antetokounmpo, doesn't mean the Bucks will cover the spread against Boston on Wednesday, though.
The model is also well aware of how important the loss of Malcolm Brogdon and Nikola Mirotic was to Milwaukee. Those two ranked third and fifth on the team in player efficiency rating, respectively. Brogdon in particular has looked like he was perhaps an even more vital part of Milwaukee's success than anyone knew. In his first season away from Milwaukee, Brogdon has averaged 22.3 points and 10.7 assists with a true shooting percentage above 60 percent.
It's possible that sportsbooks aren't taking into account how important those losses are, overvaluing Milwaukee early in the season based off of last season's results. Meanwhile, the Celtics have several players trending up. Tatum looks set for a career year, as he's upped his three point rate significantly and is knocking them down at a 46 percent clip.
Perhaps even more encouragingly, Boston has received positive contributions from Gordon Hayward, who looks healthy and confident for the first time in years. Hayward is averaging 16 points and 6 rebounds with efficient shooting, and he could add a dimension to the Celtics that they never got from him last year.
So who wins Bucks vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Bucks vs. Celtics spread you need to jump on Wednesday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.