The Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks meet on Christmas Day in a marquee matchup for the Eastern conference. The Celtics are hoping to get back to the playoffs with their young talent, while the Bucks aim to prove their Finals run last season wasn’t a fluke. Here’s how bettors think this game will play out.
Odds and splits below are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Against the spread: Bucks -7
The big domino here was Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is expected to play in this game. 57 percent of wagers are coming in on Milwaukee for this reason, accounting for 74 percent of the handle. The reigning Finals MVP might be bit rusty but Antetokounmpo at 80 percent is better than not having him at all.
In a battle of two league-average defenses, it’s a bit surprising to see 60 percent of wagers and 64 percent of the money coming in on the under. This number is a bit high, and Antetokounmpo is just coming back from a stint with COVID. The Celtics haven’t been at their best offensively either this season, so the under does seem to be the safer play.
Moneyline: Bucks -290, Celtics +230
This line started at Bucks -150 when Milwaukee didn’t know who would play. With Antetokounmpo and Donte DiVincenzo back, we’ve seen the line swing heavily to the Bucks. The public is also going that way, with 79 percent of the bets and 81 percent of the money backing Milwaukee to win the contest.
Is the public right?
The Celtics haven’t been great this season, while the Bucks have admirably powered through some stretches without their stars. Milwaukee is the better team on paper and Antetokounmpo coming back is a big boost for the defending champions. Bettors are right to back Milwaukee in this game.
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