The Boston Celtics (16-16) will head to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks (21-13) on Christmas Day at Fiserv Forum. Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m. ET. The Celtics are coming off a 111-101 win over the Cavaliers at home on Wednesday, while the Bucks won their second straight with a 102-95 victory over the Mavericks on Thursday.
Update — Dennis Schroder has entered COVID protocols as well, ruling the Celtics guard out for the contest. Marcus Smart, Jabari Parker, Juancho Hernangomez, Brodric Thomas and Romeo Langford will play. Al Horford remains out.
Update — DiVincenzo is going to make his season debut today vs. the Celtics. The lean was always on the Bucks, so this doesn’t change much. Milwaukee’s line has moved all the way up to 7 points on the spread. If you were able to get in on the spread earlier, good on you.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Bucks are favored by three points at home, at -150 on the moneyline. The Celtics are priced at +130 and the point total is 219.
The Bucks have been hit hard with players in health and safety protocols, as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Donte DiVincenzo have both been out since December 14th. Bobby Portis also entered protocols on December 16th. It’s unclear whether DiVincenzo will be back in action for Saturday, since it will be past the required 10-day period. Milwaukee will also be missing Brook Lopez (back surgery).
Boston will also be without a slew of players, with Sam Hauser, Juancho Hernangomez, Al Horford, Jabari Parker, Grant Williams, Josh Richardson, and Enes Freedom all entering protocols.
Celtics vs. Bucks, 2:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Bucks -3 (-110)
Everything seems up in the air as COVID-19 continues to decimate teams across the league. The Bucks will get Giannis back in time for the clash with the Celtics as his contributions should go a long way. They still have Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Pat Connaughton, who can all start and put up some solid numbers. The Bucks have still been finding a way to get it done even without their top scorer, as Middleton led the way against the Mavericks with 26 points, and Holiday adding 24 of his own.
The Celtics also still have their two best players Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum on the floor, but their bench lacks the depth needed to really push the Bucks through to the end of the game. Whether or not Giannis is back in the mix, I think the Bucks win and cover at home.
Over/Under: Under 219 (-110)
219 seems high at this point, given how many hits teams have been taking lately to their offenses. The Bucks dropped 126 points on the Rockets on Wednesday, but aside from that they’ve been involved in some relatively low-scoring games as of late. The Celtics have the firepower in their starting lineup, but without the solid bench points to really push the score over the total, under seems like the safe play.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat. (CT). 21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/ TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.