Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks host Gordon Hayward and the Boston Celtics on Thursday. The Bucks enter Thursday's action as winners of four straight, which has given them a seven-game lead in the East. Boston is coming off a surprise loss to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday and could be without third-leading scorer Jaylen Brown (thumb, questionable). Jayson Tatum sat out Wednesday's loss against Detroit with a knee issue but is not listed on the injury report for Thursday.
Tip-off for this one is set for 8:00 p.m ET from the Fiserv Forum. Sportsbooks list the Bucks as 10-point favorites, while the over-under for total points is 225.5 in the latest Celtics vs Bucks odds. Before making any Bucks vs. Celtics picks or NBA predictions, you'll want to see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and last season it returned a whopping $4,280 on its top-rated NBA spread and money line picks. It's already returned over $2,000 in profit on all its top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season and entered Week 12 on a blistering 28-16 run on all top-rated NBA spread picks. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Celtics vs. Bucks spread: Bucks -10
- Celtics vs. Bucks over-under: 225.5 points
- Celtics vs. Bucks money line: Milwaukee -539, Boston +407
- BOS: The Celtics have the NBA's fourth-best ATS cover rate when playing on the road this season.
- MIL: Despite an incredible 19-2 record at home this season, Milwaukee has covered the spread at a 57 percent clip when playing at home and just one of three home games in January.
Why the Bucks can cover
The model is well aware that the Bucks draw a shorthanded Celtics team that is playing its third game in four nights. Fatigue should be a factor for the visiting Celtics, and even if it isn't, the Bucks are the NBA's most dominant team by a wide margin. Milwaukee has the best record and point differential in the NBA, as well as the top-ranked defense and second-best rebounding rate and offensive efficiency. They've upped their already ridiculous point differential to +14.3 when playing at home.
The Bucks haven't lost a home game in over a month and are 10-5 in the past 15 home games. They're well rested, as the only game played during the past five days was an easy win against the Knicks.
Why the Celtics can cover
But with the line now at -10 after opening at -8.5, there's no guarantee Milwaukee will cover the Celtics vs. Bucks spread. The model is also well aware that not only did Boston cover against Milwaukee in their previous meeting this season, they beat the Bucks by 11 points. Antetokounmpo was held to 22 points, which is eight below his scoring average.
Boston has played well on the road this season, boasting the NBA's fourth-best ATS cover rate (61 percent) when playing away from home. They've upped that rate to 67 percent when playing as an underdog. The x-factor for the Celtics is Hayward, who has helped them pile up the impressive road record.
Hayward has upped his shooting from 49 percent at home to 57 percent on the road, and he is red-hot coming into Thursday's game. In the first meeting with Milwaukee, Hayward contributed 21 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists, all while hitting over 50 percent of his shots. He'll be key in Boston's effort, especially if Brown ends up sitting.
How to make Celtics vs. Bucks picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, and it also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations.
So who wins Celtics vs. Bucks? And which side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Bucks vs. Celtics spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.