Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:48 AM

Bucks vs. Celtics Predictions, Odds

  • December 23, 2020
  • By Michael Crosson

Just about two months and two weeks have gone by since LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers hoisted the Larry O'Brien Trophy at the conclusion of last year’s NBA season.

That title run took place in the Orlando bubble from Florida and it didn't end until October.

Due to the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the league is preparing to kickoff the 2020-2021 season in December and VI is getting you ready with a full slate of "Best Bets" and "Game Previews."

Our first installment starts on Day 2 of the 2020-21 regular season with a pair of Eastern Conference contenders.

This Wednesday, the reigning regular season champions of the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks (61-22), will head to Boston to take on the third seed of last year’s Eastern Conference playoffs, the Boston Celtics (58-31), as Milwaukee comes into this game as a short road favorite.

Betting Resources

Betting Odds - Bucks vs. Celtics

Subject to Change

  • Spread: Milwaukee -3.5
  • Money-Line: Milwaukee -155 Boston +135
  • Total: 226

How to Handicap Bucks vs. Celtics

Bucks vs. Celtics Head-to-Head

The Bucks and Celtics met up three times during last year’s regular season and while Boston emerged victorious in the first meeting behind 53 combined points from Gordon Hayward and Kemba Walker, Milwaukee rallied back with two consecutive wins by three points or more to close out the season series.


Jayson Tatum had his way with the Bucks in his first meeting with them, racking up 25 points on over 57% shooting from deep. But in the following two contests, Milwaukee was able to keep him well within check, holding the young superstar to an average of 11 points per game and at a brutal 10 for 38 clip.

(SU-Straight Up, ATS - Against the Spread, OU - Over-Under)

Bucks Betting Outlook

Inside the Stats (2019-2020)

  • Overall: 56-17 SU, 39-34 ATS, 35-37-1 O/U

The Bucks owned the best average scoring margin in the NBA last year (+9.1), ranking comfortably ahead of the Celtics (+6.1), Lakers (+6.1), Clippers (+6.0), and Raptors (+6.0), which are the only teams that possessed an average scoring margin greater than +5 on the year.

Despite also owning the largest average closing spread per contest, Milwaukee still managed to finish with a top 10 ATS record (43-39-1), covering over 52% of their games.

It is quite uncommon for bettors to receive the opportunity to bet on the Bucks as less than a five-point favorite in a regular season basketball game.

With the off-season addition of Jrue Holiday to the Milwaukee side, and the departure of Hayward from the Boston side, the Bucks -3 should be one of the hottest bets on Wednesday night.

Celtics Betting Outlook

Inside the Stats (2019-2020)

  • Overall: 48-24 SU, 41-27-4 ATS, 34-37-1 O/U

The Celtics partook in a hard-fought Eastern Conference Finals matchup with the Miami Heat down the stretch in last year’s bubble, which frankly, I thought they were going to win.

But right on cue, as soon I bought into the Celtics, they decided to immediately prove that they were not as good as everyone believed them to be, getting handled by Jimmy Butler and company in six games.

Boston acquired center Tristan Thompson from the Cavaliers this past off-season, but I still believe the Celtics lack an interior defender capable of adequately guarding Miami’s Bam Adebayo 1-on-1, so they certainly do not have one capable of guarding Antetokounmpo.

Thompson is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s contest with a hamstring injury and if he is unable to go, that leaves fellow center, Daniel Theis, in quite the predicament on the defense, having to help Tatum out down low while chasing around Brook Lopez out near the 3-point line.

The Bucks made some big offseason additions to their backcourt, which include Jrue Holiday from the Pelicans. (AP)

2020 Notable Player Movement

Milwaukee Bucks


  • Jrue Holiday
  • D.J. Augustin
  • Torrey Craig
  • Jordan Nwora
  • Bobby Portis


  • Eric Bledsoe
  • George Hill
  • Ersan Ilyasova
  • Kyle Korver
  • Robin Lopez
  • Wesley Matthews
  • Marvin Williams

Boston Celtics


  • Jeff Teague
  • Tristan Thompson


  • Gordon Hayward
  • Enes Kanter

Key Injuries


  • PG D.J. Augustin: Calf - Game Time Decision
  • PF Giannis Antetokounmpo: Back - Game Time Decision


  • SG Romeo Langford: Wrist - Out
  • C Tristan Thompson: Hamstring - Game Time Decision
  • C Tacko Fall: Eye - Out
  • PG Kemba Walker: Knee - Out

Obviously, the headliner on this injury report is the reigning MVP listed as a game-time-decision with some minor back soreness, but he is expected to suit up and start in the Bucks’ season opener against Boston on Wednesday Night.

Celtics’ point-guard, Kemba Walker, is out for this contest and is at least set to miss the first few weeks of the season after having a nagging knee issue from last year.

Kemba’s tenure in Boston has been lackluster so far, and he has been absolutely spectacular against Milwaukee (29.3 PPG) too.

His presence in this game will be missed dearly on offense and is something to consider when breaking down Brown and Smart current player prop values.

Player Prop Best Bet

Marcus Smart – Over 23.5 points + rebounds + assists (-118)

With Walker out of the lineup for a few weeks, Marcus Smart should benefit from a healthy bump in usage to start the season.

Newly acquired, Jeff Teague, is expected to be the guard replacing Kemba in the starting lineup, which will likely result in Boston leaning on Smart and Brown to do a vast amount of the team’s scoring and distributing on offense.

Last season Smart averaged 12.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 4.9 assists across all games, but managed to average 22 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in his three matchups against Milwaukee.

Back Smart to go over his volume stats total as he gets a matchup he typically thrives in on opening night.

Game Best Bet

Regardless if you think Milwaukee overpaid for Holiday, his addition undeniably makes the Bucks a better basketball team on both sides of the floor and is poised to have a great season alongside Antetokounmpo.

The Celtics don’t have the bodies to defend the Buck’s size and I expect Milwaukee to have a field day in Jrue’s debut.

Score Prediction: Bucks 114, Celtics 102
Milwaukee -3

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